The medieval town of Athlone has taken Heritage Week to its heart this year with an engaging series of events to take place at Athlone Castle from Saturday, August 14 to Sunday, August 22.
Athlone Castle is presenting virtual demonstrations, workshops and concerts all themed around their displays and history.
Highlights for children include a Viking Ship Workshop and Collage Workshop to make their version of Athlone Castle. Adults interested in archaic weaponry will love Longbow Making with master bowyer Jack Pinson of Living Longbows, a closer view of Musket, Bayonet and Grenade with military historian Tóla Collier of Loach Living History, and a look at the innards of the flintlock pistol with David Landers.
Another interesting event should appeal to foodies. It’s an acted recreation of a medieval feast overseen by Lady Susannah of York, the Norman Chatelaine of the household of John De Gray in 1210, at the time when the first stones of Athlone Castle were being laid. The recipes will be available for those brave enough to give it a go at home!
All events are free of charge, but some require pre-booking on www.athlonecastle.ie
Bow-Making during the 100 Years War by Living Longbows
Jack Pinson of Living Longbows will demonstrate a depiction of longbow making as it might have looked during the 100 years war in the 15th century. Jack is a master bowyer with the Craft Guild of Bowyers and Fletchers and has been making traditional and historic reproduction longbows for over 10 years. Using a variety of tools, equipment and examples, glean an insight into the various stages of longbow production shaped and tillered from a single stave of timber.
Jack’s demonstration will be streamed live on Athlone Castle’s Instagram.
The recording of this live demonstration will afterwards be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels
Treasures from the Shannon by David Landers
Watch this virtual tour with Athlone Castle Cultural Assistant, David, who is an archaeologist with experience in museums & heritage institutions.David will deliver a brief history of Neolithic stone axe heads, which were found in the River Shannon as well as delving into their importance and use in Prehistoric Ireland.
This Virtual talk will be available on Athlone Castle’s social channels.
Traditional Music Session at the Castle with Fia Rua, Neil Fitzgibbon and Adam Downey
Join a selection of the best local traditional musicians and singers for a performance of lively tunes and songs. Singer/songwriter/actor Fia Rua is joined by Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle and Adam Downey on percussion to return live music to the historical grounds of Athlone Castle.
This performance will be streamed live on Athlone Castle’s Instagram
The recording of this live performance will afterwards be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels
Three Royal Castles: Athlone, Rindoon and Roscommon by Kieran O'Conor
Dr Kieran O’Conor will explore the history of three castles in the Midlands. Athlone, Rindoon and Roscommon were once considered as royal fortresses guarding the line of the Shannon. Dr O'Conor will look at their importance as medieval structures and will give us an insight as to why they were once considered amongst the most important royal buildings in Ireland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.
Free virtual event from Athlone Castle via Zoom, booking is required.
Viking Ship Workshop for Children by Joanna Grobosz
Join Joanna, the Cultural Officer at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre, for this virtual children’s workshop. Joanna is a Cultural Anthropologist with experience in museums, heritage organisations and event management.At Athlone Castle learning and play goes hand in hand. Watch Joanna as she creates a replica Viking Boat out of cardboard box and paper plates. This exciting craft tutorial can be viewed online from your own home, allowing the audience to engage and create as the video unfolds.
This Virtual Workshop will be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels.
How Athlone Got Its Name by Scéalta Beo
Who was Luan anyway? Let's find out! Scéalta Beo went searching, as far back as the written word would lead, to find out how and who. They have lots of interesting stories to tell us! Watch Annette and Anne’s video to learn all about the adventures that led to the naming of Athlone.
Event will be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels.
Material Culture of the Irish Revolution by Claíomh
An introduction to the material culture of the Irish revolutionary period, 1913-1922During this live demonstration, Dave Swift of Claíomh Living History and Military Heritage Group, will give an introduction to the Material Culture of the Irish revolutionary period 1913-1922. He will explain the purpose and stories behind a select military and domestic artefacts and reproductions of the era encompassing the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan, the RIC and the British Army.
• This demonstration will be streamed live on Athlone Castle’s Instagram
Musket, Bayonet and Grenade by Loach Living History
Join military historian Tóla Collier as he describes the infantry soldiers of the Williamite war in Ireland and in particular the Grenadiers. A new type of soldier which emerged in the 17th century, the role of the Grenadier was to break up enemy formations on the battlefield and to assault fortified positions such as Athlone Castle. As a result they were considered elite soldiers.
Tóla’s demonstration will be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels.
A Weapon of Choice – The Flintlock Pistol by David Landers Watch this virtual tour with Athlone Castle Cultural Assistant, David, who is an archaeologist with experience in museums & heritage institutions. David will take a close look at one of the weapons used during the Sieges of Athlone in 1690 and 1691. He will demonstrate the workings of the Flintlock pistol, a common side arm and accompanying weapon to many soldiers at that time.
This virtual talk will be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels.
Athlone Castle 2D Collage Workshop for Children by Aiga Blowick
Join the artist, doll maker and textile sculptor Aiga Blowick for this fun and easy to follow pre-recorded art and crafts workshop for children. Using simple materials like paper, paints, craft glue and some textile fibres she will create a 2D collage of our very own Athlone Castle!
This virtual workshop will be available on Athlone Castle’s social media channels.
Feast at Athlone Castle 1210 with Susan Callaghan & Geraldine Clarke
Susan (Viscountess Susannah of York ) and Geraldine (Meadbh Róis Inlgeagh Uí Caoimh ) have been members of the Society for Creative Anachronism for over 10 years, where they have studied many arts and sciences pertaining to the Medieval Period, 600 AD to 1600 AD. They both take a keen interest in the cooking methods, foraging and food that people ate in Ireland in the early to middle Medieval era.Lady Susannah of York, the Norman Chatelaine of the household of John De Gray, oversees the cooking of a feast for the arrival of De Gray. The justiciar is there to inspect the beginning of the building of the stone castle at Athlone. Her Irish cook, Maebh, will be cooking dishes for the high table and for the workers. The recipes include salmon, pottage, oatcakes, and candied flowers. She will be using only ingredients available in Athlone and around the countryside.
Recipes will be available at the end of the video.
Traditional Willow Fence & Hurdle-Making by Wicklow Willow
Join Pat from Wicklow Willow for a live demonstration of traditional willow fence and hurdle-making techniques.Learn how to make wattle-fencing and hurdles in the age - old style and watch as Pat shows how to plant a very simple, tough living-willow fence/hedge.These traditional skills have been used in Ireland for millennia and you can learn how to put these skills to practical use in your garden, school or local park.
This demonstration will be streamed live on Athlone Castle’s Instagram
The Story of Wool by Susanna Anker
The Story of Wool: From Sheep's Fleece to Knitted Jumper. Susanna is an accomplished textile artist, specialising in textile crafts and dress making. As part of Athlone Castle’s National Heritage Week events, she will demonstrate the story of wool, from wool carding to wool spinning on a Donegal spinning wheel, to dyeing wool with plants. She will show a selection of hand woven, felted and knitted wool garments.
Susanna’s demonstration will be streamed live on Athlone Castle’s Instagram