Time capsule at NI harbour must stay buried

A 200-year-old time capsule buried at a Co Down harbour will not be unearthed as the costs incurred to do so would be too great.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:23 pm
People having a splash at Donaghadee Harbour
People having a splash at Donaghadee Harbour

A new time capsule was buried at the weekend as Donaghadee Harbour celebrated its second century, however the capsule which was buried under the foundation stone in the harbour must stay where it is.

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North Down and Ards Council officers researched the unearthing of the 200-year-old capsule and found the costs involved in unearthing the time capsule were estimated at between £220,000 and £720,000.

“There is no council budget available for this expenditure,” said a spokesperson who also explained that the harbour has Industrial Heritage designation and Listed Building scheduling that prohibits any disruption to the original structure without the input of a specialist team of archaeologists and listed building/Heritage Environment Division (HED) approval.

It was also pointed out that the harbour is highly utilised on a daily basis, including by fishermen and lifeboats, and a dig in the area would compromise access for a long period of time.