The 1:500 scale model of Youghal, circa 1580, will go on display in the east Cork coastal town at St Mary’s Collegiate Church this morning. The encased replica was commissioned by Cork County Council, with €5,000 grant assistance from the Heritage Council of Ireland meeting 80% of the costs.
County councillors connected with the East Cork Municipal District will this morning view the scaled model before their monthly meeting.
The council’s Municipal District officer, Helen Mulcahy, originally proposed a contemporary replica of Youghal but the Heritage Council linked the funding to the medieval concept.
The model depicts a garrison town overlooked by hills, nestled between sumptuous gardens and the sea, and protected by town walls spreading out from Trinity Gate — the forerunner to the town’s iconic late 18th century clock tower. Sailing vessels occupy the riverscape foreground of the model.
Measuring approximately 90cm by 120cm, the piece was crafted by Gerard Crowley Modelmakers Ltd from Bray. The company used largely acrylic and cast resin on a timber contour base.
Completion took two months, with the model makers being guided by the Irish Historic Town Atlas of Youghal, produced by the Royal Irish Academy.
The replica will be mostly displayed in the 13th century St Mary’s Church of Ireland building “but elsewhere also as required”, says Ms Mulcahy. The church stands adjacent to the restored town walls and college gardens and is central to the designated heritage town’s recently established Raleigh Quarter.
With the restored clock tower set to open to the public for next year’s tourist season, the replica further enhances Youghal’s regeneration as a major heritage attraction.
Other funding recently provided by the Heritage Council includes €8,000 towards the annual Medieval Festival, €3,000 for St Mary’s Graveyard Trail signage and €15,000 for Town Walls restoration.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, and Local Government has also granted €20,000 for maintenance of St Mary’s Church.