Historic Bannatyne Staircase Gifted to Limerick Civic Trust

Bannatyne Staircase

Historic Bannatyne Staircase Gifted to Limerick Civic Trust

Historic Bannatyne Staircase Gifted to Limerick Civic Trust

Cotswold District Council (CDC) will fund the removal of a historic oak Bannatyne staircase from the Cotswold’s Old Memorial Hospital and transfer it to the custodianship of the Limerick Civic Trust.

The Bannatyne staircase – which is regarded as an official war memorial – was originally donated to the hospital by the Limerick-based family of Major Edgar James Bannatyne, who was a member of the Royal Flying Corps during World War 1 and died at Rendcomb airfield in the Cotswolds in 1917.  The Old Memorial Hospital is being demolished and the Cotswold District Council wanted to ensure that the Bannatyne staircase was preserved for posterity.  The line of the family has now died out but they are remembered as leading merchants who helped to bring prosperity to Limerick.      

Limerick Civic Trust will honour the memory of the Bannatyne’s by installing the staircase into St Munchin’s Church on Church Street in King’s Island, which contains a number of graves and monuments commemorating the Bannatyne family. The Trust is currently converting the Church into a Military Museum.

David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust, said “We are very grateful that Cotswold District Council has agreed to give us custodianship of this historic staircase. For over 30 years Limerick Civic Trust has been involved with the conservation and preservation of our heritage, so we very much appreciate the origins and story behind the Bannatyne staircase. We are delighted to be able to provide a very fitting home for the staircase in St Munchin’s Church which we are currently converting into a museum, allowing us to ensure this unique war memorial will be open to the public.”

St Munchin’s Church was built in 1827 and was renovated in 1980 by Limerick Civic Trust.  When the conversion to a museum is complete, the Trust plans to exhibit two military collections already in its care – the Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in Trust’s headquarters at Bishop’s Palace, and the Armstrong collection. To expand the museum’s offering, the voluntary organisation is working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artifacts of Irish historical significance from the UK back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase.

David O’Brien explained, “Our vision for the museum is to tell the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick forward.  The siege was the last stand of a great European war and Limerick’s part hasn’t been properly recorded.  The Carrol Collection gives us one vista into this colourful military history.”

Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader of CDC, comments: “The Council will be demolishing the Old Memorial Hospital and we wanted to ensure that this magnificent staircase was preserved for posterity.  Placing it in storage would have deprived the public of a magnificent war memorial and we are very pleased that it will now be on display on the grounds of the Bannatyne family crypt in Ireland.”

Limerick Civic Trust, which was formed in 1983, is an independent, non-profit making voluntary society.  It is mainly supported through donations from local government, industry, business, and individuals.  Its mission is to protect and enhance Limerick’s heritage and environment through conservation and preservation, improving civic amenities, education, and research.

The Trust undertakes projects that make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive.  Whether it’s improving or maintaining a graveyard, a riverside walk, community garden or City Street, the Trust’s work aims to promote civic pride.  The Trust also undertakes conservation and preservation projects as well as Educational and Research work.

For more information about Limerick Civil Trust, go here.

For more stories about Limerick Civil Trust, go here.

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