Events for Heritage Week

Events of various shapes and sizes are taking place throughout Co Kilkenny to mark Heritage Week from August 20-28.

Events of various shapes and sizes are taking place throughout Co Kilkenny to mark Heritage Week from August 20-28.

The lineup includes:

‘Ceol and Stroll’ in Ballykeeffe Nature Reserve on August 27 (free), followed by music and barbecue in Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre (10 euro)

Heritage Mosaic Workshop with Celtic Patterns in Castlerun Studios, Bennettsbridge on August 22-26 from 10am to 1pm; admission is 220 euro for the week’s workshop, including materials and Irish Treat Tees

Nore View Folk and Heritage Museum, Bennettsbridge from August 20-28, 10am to 6pm; admission is 5 euro.

Lecture on stained glass: This free talk hosted by the Callan Heritage Society will take place on August 26 at 8pm in the Friary Church, Mill Street, Callan.

Demonstration on Making Stained Glass: This free demonstration will take place in the workshop of Joe Sheridan, Newtown, Kells on August 27 from 10.30am to noon; contact 056 7725309 for information.

Castlecomer Country Markets and Country Corner: This free event in the Castlecomer Community Hall will feature home baking, fresh veg, jewellery and stationery on August 26 from 9am to noon.

Tour of the Deerpark Mine: This free tour of the above-ground remains of the mine will be led by ex-miner Seamus Walsh at 10.20am on August 23. Booking is essential at Castlecomer Discovery Park reception on 056 4440707.

Local history talk: Emigration from the Wandesforde Estate: This free talk by Máire Downey will take place in the Castlecomer Discovery Park on August 25 at 7.30pm.

Bat walk: This free guided bat walk with district conservation officer Lorcan Scott will take place in the Castlecomer Discovery Park on August 23 at 9pm.

A Talk About the Present Inhabitants of the Cave –the Bats: This free talk at Dunmore Caves on August 20 at 2pm will be led by Lorcan Scott.

St Lachtain’s – Church of Ireland Past, Present and the Future: This free illustrated talk by conservation architect Margaret Quinlan will take place on August 26 at 7pm in St Lachtain’s Church, Freshford.

Historical talk: Freshford: Free events will include local historian talking about the Clashcrow area of Freshford, traditional music and old footage and photographs in Uppercourt Manor, Freshford. For details, contact 086 0512770.

Open day at Clomantagh Castle: Self-guided tours of this restored 15th-century tower house in Freshford will be available for free on August 28 from 10am to 4pm.

Exhibition of Culture: Freshford: This free exhibition of old farm implements, photos and crafts will take place in Uppercourt Manor, Freshford on August 27 from 2-6pm.

Freshford Look Walk official opening: This three-mile walk travels through woodland, plantation, farmland, road and riverbank. Participants will meet at Freshford Community Hall on August 21 at 2pm; the walk lasts two hours.

‘We Played Cricket Here Once’: The event on August 28 from 3-6pm at St Lachtain’s GAA Grounds in Freshford will include a cricket game, cucumber sandwiches, food stalls and family attractions. Admission is 5 euro for adults, 3 euro for juveniles, free for children under 12, and 10 euro for families.

The River Barrow and its Bounty: This presentation at Ionad Dara centre in Goresbridge will include photographs, artifacts, models and information about the local community’s history.

String Quartet Music Recital: This free recital by Vitava string quartet will take place on August 21 at 2pm in St Mary’s Church, Gowran.

Townlands with Alan Counihan: This event about a project that recorded field names in nine townlands in North Kilkenny will take place in Graignamanagh Library on August 23 at 7pm.

Explore Woodstock Gardens and Aboretum: Free guided tours of the Woodstock woodlands and gardens will be offered on August 21-26 from 11am to 4pm on the hour (meeting in the car park), with a break for lunch from 1-2pm.

Wildlife Walk, River Nore at Woodstock: A guided walk and talk about the wildlife and habitats along the River Nore will take place on August 25 at 4pm, meeting in Inistioge village beside O’Donnell’s pub.

IWT Wild Watch Walk: Kells Priory Adventure: This free event will see Senan Gardiner lead “a fun day to see what creatures still make the priory ‘crawl’ with life!” on August 27 from 1-3pm, meeting at the Kells Priory car park.

Family Tree Masterclass: One-to-one sessions with local studies staff will be available in Loughboy Library on August 22 from 9.30am to 12.45pm; places are limited to six and booking is on 056 7794160.

An Evening of Music, Song and Dance with Comhaltas at the Castle: The evening of entertainment in the Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle will take place on August 24 at 8.30pm; admission is 10 for adults, 7 euro for groups of 10 or more, and 5 euro for children.

Free admission to Kilkenny Castle: Admission will be free from 4-5pm on August 20-28 and 9am to 5pm on August 21 and 28. There will also be free entry into a daily draw for a chance to win a family Heritage Card for those who visit the castle during Heritage Week.

Myths and Stories: Discover Trail through Kilkenny Castle Park: This free trail includes activities for children from August 20-28, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

‘Trail-athons’: Themed walks and pop-up picnics will take place on Kilkenny’s food and craft trails on August 21 and 28 from noon to 5pm; see

‘If Maps Could Speak’: This free event with Richard Kirwan in the city library at John’s Quay on August 24 at 7pm will combine memoir, history and stories about Ireland’s early maps and today’s Ordnance Survey.

Medieval and Tudor re-enactments: These will take place in Rothe House and Garden on August 20 from 11am to 4pm.

The Story of the Munster Express: 150 Years of Local Family Newspaper Publishing: This talk by Kieran Walsh, editor and managing director of the newspaper, will take place in the city library at John’s Quay on August 23 at 7pm.

KAS Library: Ancient maps, archive papers and books in the Kilkenny Archaeological Society Library in Rothe House can be viewed on August 21 from 3-5pm.

‘From Us, Through Them, To You’: A chance to meet the curators (age 16-18) of the Butler Gallery Collection exhibition, in Butler House and the Butler Gallery on August 25 from 2-4pm. Tours of the gallery’s current exhibition, Ian Burns’ ‘Supreme Fiction’, will also take place at 11am and 3pm from August 20-28.

Flora and Fauna in Kilkenny City: An illustrated talk by ecologist Billy Flynn about biodiversity and flora and fauna of Kilkenny City will take place in Loughboy Library on August 25 at 11am.

Child Crafts: Shieldmaking and Storytelling: Children will hear old Celtic legends while making their own shields in this free event in Rothe House on August 22 from 11am to 3pm.

Free Guided Tour of St Canice’s Cathedral: These will be offered from 3-4pm from August 20-28, except on August 25 when it will be from 8.30-9.30pm.

Mac-talla nan Dun: Echoes of a Gaelic Chieftains’s Castle: This evening of 16th- to 18th-century Gaelic harp and vocal music will take place in St Patrick’s Church, College Road, Kilkenny on August 20 at 8.3pm. Admission is 18 euro/ concessions 12 euro.

How to get started on an oral history project: This free workshop will take place on August 22 from 2-4pm in the Kilkenny County Council offices at John’s Green. Places can be booked on 056 7794925.

IWT Wild Watch Walk: Waterford Branch: A bat walk will take place on August 28 at 7pm in the Slate Quarries in Kilmoganny (the date and time have been changed since the Heritage Week brochure was printed). Booking is essential at

Barrow River Cruise: A cruise to mark the 220th anniversary of the river as a navigable waterway will take place on August 20 from 2.30-4.30pm, from the Galley Cruise, New Ross. Admission is 12 euro.

Cheese making: A Cheesemaking DVD, shop and café will be available at Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Stoneyford on August 26 from 3-4pm.

Free admission to Jerpoint Park: Admission to the national monument at Thomastown will be free on August 20-28 from 10am to 5pm.

Free admission and guided tours at Jerpoint Abbey: Free tours of the 12th-century Cistercian monastery will be available on August 21 and 28 from 10am to 5pm.

Historical river walk: A free walk starting at Grennan south of Thomastown as far as Dysart, meeting at Thomastown GAA grounds, will take place on August 25 from 6.30-8.30pm.

Informal Talk on Thomastown’s Industrial Heritage: This free event on August 23 at 7pm will take place in Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown.

Traditional Timber Boats: A display of timber boats that were used on the local rivers and can still be seen today will take place on August 24 at 7pm at Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown.

Children’s Medieval Themed Treasure Hunt: This free event will take place in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey on August 21 and 28 from 10am to 5pm.

Demonstration of Stone Cutting: Jerpoint Abbey will host this event on August 24 from 10am to 3pm. Normal admission rates apply.

Traditional Craft Demonstrations and Food Sampling: Visitors can enjoy knitting and crochet demonstrations while sampling a range of Country Market produce in the Concert Hall, Thomastown on August 27 from 11am to 1.30pm.

Folk Museum, Farm and Builders Tools: Free tours at Tullaherin Parochial House will be available on August 21 and 28 from 2-5pm.

Astronomy Ireland: A Guide to the Night Stars: Admission will be free to this “Star Dome” at Tullahought Community Centre on August 20 from 6-10pm. Each show will last 40 minutes with a capacity for 35-40 people.

Mike Williams Memorial Shield: This free camogie and hurling blitz organised by Windgap GAA for under-12s will be held at Tullahought Sports Field on August 21 at 11am.

Photography Exhibition: Carrick Camera Club present a selection of landscape, sunsets and local-interest photographs in Tullahought Community Centre on August 19 from 8pm; August 20 from 3-8pm; and August 21 from noon to 5pm.

Nature walk with Eanna Ní Lamhna: This free event with Eanna Ní Lamhna from RTE Radio 1’s ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ will start from Tullahought Community Centre on August 21 at 2.30pm (this time has been changed since the Heritage Week brochure was printed).

Knockroe Passage Tombs: The official opening of Tullahought Heritage Week will start with a talk by Eamon Rafter of the Office of Public Works about the reinstatement of the passage tombs on the summit as part of the conservation plan for the site. The free event will take place in the Tullahought Community Centre on August 19 at 8.30pm.

Music and storytelling: Cóis Siúire will play a mix of traditional and folk music on August 19 at 9.30pm in Tullahought Community Centre. Admission is free.

Introduction to Genealogy and Starting Your Family Tree: This free event will be held in Urlingford Library on August 23 from 7-8pm and Castlecomer Library on August 25 from 7-8pm.

And there’s more…

Several events have been added to the Heritage Week lineup in Kilkenny since the brochure was printed:

Mace and sword on the Parade: See the city mace and sword projected in coloured lights onto the Castle and Parade each evening after dark. This initiative is organised by the Kilkenny City Walls Steering Committee of Kilkenny Borough Council and is part of the National Walled Towns celebrations as part of Heritage Week.

Eat History/ Drink Ale: This event on August 22 from 7-9pm will take in Bridie’s, Tynan’s, Kyteler’s and Cleere’s pubs with a different drink waiting to be sampled at each (mead, real ale, French wine, Smithwicks or pale ale). To “learn about Kilkenny’s medieval past while sampling some medieval alcohol”, contact Pat Tynan on 087 2651745 or; tickets are 16 euro.

Ecclesiastical Tour of Kilkenny: This walking tour exploring the ecclesiastical heritage of Kilkenny with Pat Tynan on August 23 from 2-4pm will start outside the Tourist Office on Rose Inn Street. Cost is 6 euro and places can be booked by contacting Pat Tynan on 087 2651745 or

Renaissance Movie Night: The Last Valley: Starring Michael Caine, The Last Valley is set in 17th-century Germany as the continent rips itself apart during the Thirty Years War. Made in 1970, the film was an allegory for the conflict going on at that time in Vietnam. The free screening will take place in Billy Byrne’s pub, John Street on August 24 at 8.30pm. It will be followed by a ‘Medieval Movie Morning’ on August 25 at 11am, also in Billy Byrne’s. The free event will feature a screening of The Princess Bride, and for the full experience, a face painter will be present to transform you or your little ones into warriors or princesses.

Medieval Wine Tasting: This event on August 27 from 7-8.30pm in The Hole in the Wall, High Street will see participants “taste the medieval” with Liam Murray from The Wine Centre in these 16th-century surroundings. Several varieties will be available for sampling as Liam talks about how many of today’s wines had their origins in the Middle Ages. Admission is 10 euro.

Thomas Kilroy in Callan: Callan native Thomas Kilroy, distinguished playwright and author of The Big Chapel, will participate in two events on August 27. At 6pm there will be a public reading from The Big Chapel at the ‘Gardener’s World (Future)’ Commonage installation by architects in the walled garden at Westcourt. Westcourt was the location for the “Horace Butler/Whytescourt” strand of The Big Chapel and Tom will read a site-specific passage. Then, at 8pm Tom will be a focal figure in a public conversation about theatre in Callan, to be held in the indoor performance space designed and constructed by Culturstruction for Commonage. The aim is to have lively dialogue about past achievements and future aspirations, and all are welcome to attend.