Northern Ireland news

Donaghadee time capsule to be left in the ground as unearthing costs prove too costly

A time capsule buried at Donaghadee harbour was due to be unearthed this weekend before a change of plan by Ards and North Down Borough Council. Picture by Paul Callaghan
Staff Reporter

PLANS to dig up a 200 year-old time capsule in a Co Down seaside town have been shelved over fears it could cost the local council up to £720,000.

Ards and North Down Borough Council had planned to unearth a capsule in Donaghadee that is believed to have been buried in 1821 by the Marquess of Downshire.

The capsule, understood to be buried 24 feet under a foundation stone in the harbour town, is thought to include newspapers from the era, along with coins, a bible, and other items.

The council had planned to dig up the capsule as part of Donaghadee harbour's 200th anniversary celebrations, and place a new time capsule in its place for future generations to unearth.

However, the council has said it has no budget to complete the task after it was estimated to cost between £220,000 and £720,000, following consultation with the Department for Communities' Heritage Environment Division and the council's capital projects team.

An Ards and North Down Borough Council spokesperson said the area where the capsule is buried is "highly utilised" adding: "A dig in the area would compromise access for a long period of time."

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