Field gates to be celebrated at Castlecomer Discovery Park

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

A traditonal farm gate at Kilfane
The need to preserve and celebrate Irish field gates is very important and has become something of a crusade for Thomastown based artist and teacher, Shem Caulfield.

The need to preserve and celebrate Irish field gates is very important and has become something of a crusade for Thomastown based artist and teacher, Shem Caulfield.

He will form part of a major event, Celebrating Traditional Field Gates which will be held on Sunday, October 12 from 2 to 6pm in the Castlecomer Discovery Park.

Vernacular forged wrought iron gates are both a beautiful and functional part of our farming and landscape heritage. They are evidence of past traditions and skilled craftspeople. Shem Caulfield, through the Kilkenny Forged Wrought Iron Gates Project aims to record and raise awareness about this important heritage resource.

It has something to do with the form, style, shape and practicality of the workmanship, the fact that every gate is somehow individual and irrevocably linked to its site. Gates were made sturdy and after many years of being climbed over, pushed against and God knows what else they still, in many instances, remain steadfast, an enduring homage to the blacksmiths craft.

The day will include:

Exhibition on the history and development of wrought iron gates

Launch of the booklet - The Vernacular Forged Wrought Iron Gate

Expert advice on care and maintenance of wrought iron gates

Screening of films on field gate heritage

There will be a number of talks starting at 3pm.

Dearbhala Ledwidge, Heritage Officer, Kilkenny County Council will give an Introduction to the Field Gate Project

Shem Caulfield - Author of the Field Gate Survey will speak on The Wrought Iron Field Gate

Catherine Keena - Countryside Management Specialist, Teagasc will talk on Our Farming Heritage

There will be a display of traditional field gates as well as blacksmith demonstrations

The exhibition, organised by the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council and supported by Teagasc and Castlecomer Discovery Park.