There is something for everyone to enjoy in Westmeath this Heritage Week from visiting historic buildings and sites normally closed to the public to getting out and learning about our bogs and eskers.
A series of talks and tours are planned at Athlone Castle, Uisneach, Mullingar, Belvedere House, Tullynally Castle, Carn Park Bog, and Fore, as well as several of our historic churches and graveyard, including Mount Temple. There will also be exhibitions, outdoor theatre, workshops, story-telling, and star-gazing.
Amongst the highlights is ‘Wild Child Day’ on Wednesday, August 23 when there will be a guided walk along Split Hills and Long Hill Esker. A "Bogland adventure" guided walk with Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council will take place at Carn Park Bog on Saturday, August 26. Sunday 27 August is ‘Water Heritage Day’ and planned events include a nature walk around the Turlough at Dun na Sí Heritage Park, and a ‘fun day’ on the Brosna in Kilbeggan.
In Athlone, the Military Historical Society will give a talk on 'The use of sphagnum moss during the war' on August 24 in the library. Book your place on a trip to Hare Island to discover the history of the area on Saturday, August 26 - limited availability means pre-booking is advised on (086 ) 8423272.
At Athlone Castle Visitor Centre Henry Brady will return with his popular ‘Walk the Walls’ tour, a guided exploration of the castle’s many historical external defence features. Professional facilitator Aideen McBride will be onsite narrating her immersive, mystical tales in family storytelling sessions.
Conservation architect Bernadette Solon will deliver an illustrated talk on ‘Follies’ and cultural officer and chief tour guide Mary Bannon will talk about life in Athlone a century ago.
The Midlands Astronomy Club will hold a twilight tour of the night sky assisted by their high powered telescope and Poetry in the Park will fill the courtyard with sonnets, prose, limericks, and song. At 7pm on August 22 there will be a walking tour of the Napoleonic gun batteries of Athlone.
The annual ‘Storm the Castle’ free admission day will take place on Wednesday, August 23.
On Saturday, August 19, Fr. Jimmy Murray O' Carm will lead the Moate Town Walk starting at Moate Library at 3pm. This is an opportunity to find out about the history and stories associated with Moate personalities, houses and businesses through times past. Moate Museum will be open from 3-6pm each day from August 20 to 26. Admission is free.
Foe a full list of events around the county see www.westmeathcoco.ie/en/media/HeritageWeek2017_Westmeath pdf. Details of events being held all over Ireland are available on the Heritage Council website www.heritageweek.ie