Ormond Castle

Client: Office of Public Works

Date: May 2018 – Feb 2019

Ormond Castle was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and was the principal medieval fortress of the powerful Hiberno-Norman Butler dynasty – the Earls of Ormond. 

Ormond Castle is operated by the OPW and we worked with them on a design and management contract to maintain the restored 16th century ambiance by creating reproductions of period wood-cuts, paintings, and tapestries that are arranged in a sequence that follows the story of Tom Butler’s pivotal role in the downfall of his cousins and rivals the Fitzgerald Dynasty – the Earls of Desmond during the two successive bloody Desmond rebellions. 

Interactive digital books on Tudor lecterns provide over one hundred pages of information in eight languages on: the wall paintings, the OPW’s restoration and the rich heraldic symbolism on Ormond’s plaster ceilings, friezes and stone carved mantelpieces. A detailed 1:90 scale model of Ormond Castle, its watergate, orchards and formal gardens at their zenith in 1570 is supported by time-layered images of its evolution in an interactive digital book. The emotional tension between Tom Butler, and two Elizabeths – one his wife – the other his queen, is presented from contrasting standpoints, in two complimentary dramas.

Services Provided

Conceptual and thematic master plan

Exhibit design & specification

Interactive and audiovisual design

Set dressing

Graphic design

Wayfinding & signage

Installation quality control

Project management


John Raftery

Mark Leslie

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