Crowd-funding has been set up to to kick-start the regeneration of a centuries-old thatched cottage in Co Armagh.
A young native villager has started a sponsored run to help restore Kilmore Cottage which stands at the heart of Kilmore village.
Conor Sandford believes that with a lot of work and money the cottage, which is owned by Kilmore Parish Church, can be returned back to its original character and help bring new life into the area.
He has started a Couch to 144km in aid of the Kilmore Cottage. “I’m running 144km to try and raise £2k to help my local church find a viable future for our historic thatched listed building at risk,” said Conor.
“It’s a thatched listed building at risk which appears on the first map of Kilmore dated 1707 and probably dates back to the 17th century. Thatched cottages were once a common feature in NI in 1950 about 30k were thought to survive, but today only around 144 of those historic homes remain.
“That’s a remarkable loss of our heritage and in living memory too. I want to do something to highlight that loss and try to find a solution for this thatched building.
“It is an important building as one of only 144 surviving thatched buildings in NI. It has stood empty since the 1980s but the church who own it are trying to find a viable future for it before it is too late and it’s loss would have an awful impact in the village.
“As it stands at the heart of Kilmore we hope it can help to regenerate the character, core and community of what is an historic little village, but it has a significant conservation deficit owing to its listed status and the specialised nature of the work it will need to do it justice, as a building of special architectural and historic interest.
“As such, I’m running 144km to try and raise some money for the church to undertake a viability study to identify the use which will attract the funding and have the output (restored cottage) and outcomes (restored community spirt) which we hope to achieve for the village and wider community.
“As such we are welcoming suggestions from the local community on what it might be turned in to and also it would be great to see what people out there in the local area know of its history. Who lived there? Do they have any old photographs etc.”
If you can help contact: TheKilmoreCottage@gmail.com If you would like to help - here is a link https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kilmore-cottage-at-risk