Family events to the fore at Athlone Castle’s annual Medieval Fair

Athlone Castle will host its seventh annual Medieval Fair on August 31 and September 1. The fair takes place in collaboration with the Society for Creative Anachronism and this year will run in conjunction with the Athlone River Festival. The Athlone Castle Medieval Fair is supported by the Heritage Council and the fair is a celebration of living history, customs, pastimes, lifestyle, and entertainment.

Athlone Castle will be a hive of activity with complimentary events and activities for all the family over the two days. Through collaboration with the Society for Creative Anachronism and living history merchants and facilitators, visitors will get an opportunity to step back in time and experience a busy medieval fair in action.

Athlone Castle will treat visitors to falconry displays from Animal Magic, music and dance from Galway Early Music and live displays of medieval weaponry with Michael Moylan of Irish History Live, weaving and spinning with Susanna Anker, historical bow making with Jack Pinson, and a host of other medieval activities provided by the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Athlone Castle team which include drop in children’s workshops, archaeological digs, face-painting, food tasting, fencing, weaponry displays, hobby horses, medieval games, children’s archery, dress-up, and more.

The Medieval Fair will be primarily located in the courtyard and upper battlements of Athlone Castle and will be open on both days from 11am to 5pm. Tickets will be available on the gate or by booking in advance online and visitors will have access to the fair and the castle visitor centre all day. Admission prices are: adult single €8, student/senior €6, child €3, family (two adults and two children ) €20, extra child €1.50.

Supporting events have been added to the Medieval Fair Programme this year including: Falcon making arts and crafts workshops for children at Luan Gallery on Saturday August 31; West Bank Arts, Food and Craft Market which will be located alongside the west bank of the River Shannon in front of the castle; daily walking tours of medieval Athlone with local historian Donal O’Brien; a solo exhibition of work from the internationally acclaimed Irish artist Conor Walton at Luan Gallery; a children’s art exhibition in the Boardwalk Gallery at Luan; and Serendipity, a group exhibition at the Atrium, Civic Centre. A talk on the history and origins of Athlone Castle by author Dr Rory Sherlock will take place on Saturday August 31 at 7pm in the Luan Gallery.

Advance bookings are advised to avoid disappointment for attendance at the children’s workshops at Luan Gallery (fee paying ), the walking tours (free ), and the historical talk by Dr Rory Sherlock (free ). Bookings can be made on www.athlonecastle.ie and full details of the programme of events are also available on the website.

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