Category Archives: heritage

Heritage Week Events

This week Ireland celebrates Heritage Week. It is a week to celebrate all the wonderful things in Ireland’s natural, cultural and built heritage. There are over 2000 events happening throughout the county. As part of the week I will be hosing two events this coming Wednesday, 21st August. See below for details.


To find out what events are happening on your area follow this link.

Heritage week events



Lough Gill, castles and woodland

Recently we had the opportunity to visit Parkes Castle on the lake shore of Lough Gill in Co Leitrim.


Lough Gill from the Shores of Lough Gill

The castle is a restored plantation* castle from the early 17th century, though within the grounds there is evidence of an earlier 16th century Tower House.


Evidence of Tower House in foreground on right hand side of photo

The Castle is now in ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and we received an excellent guided tour from one of their staff, who explained a little about the history of the castle and how it has been restored.


Parkes Castle

One of the more fascinating facts was that the castle would have been home to over one hundred people including the family, guards, and servants.


Lough Gill

Afterwards we took a drive to the other side of the lake (now in Co Sligo) where there is a lovely forest walk at Slish wood, by then the sun had come out too.


Inspired by this week’s lens artist photo challenge – seascapes and or lakeshore



*As Cathy noted I should have really explained the term “plantation castle”. Put in simple terms during the 16-century the English Crown was seeking to extend their control over Ireland. One of the ways they tried to do this was to confiscate land from Irish landowners (both Gaelic clans and Hiberberno-norman ones) and replace them with English or Scottish settlers. Between the 1550’s and the 1650’s Four Plantations took place in Ireland. Each plantation was the result of a rebellion by the Irish who were trying to resist the extension of English control over Ireland.





St Brigid’s Day

Here in Ireland,  the 1st of February is celebrated as Saint Brigid’s Day and is seen by many, perhaps optimistically, as the first day of spring!

It was great to see the children leave school today clutching their Saint Brigid’s Crosses. We made some more at home.


Rushes are weaved together to form a simple cross. There are a number of different designs. This is the one I have known since I was a school girl.

You can learn more about St Brigid traditions here.

Heritage in Schools

Heritage in Schools is a scheme run by the Heritage Council, here in Ireland. I have recently become a member of the Heritage in Schools panel. This panel is made up of individuals with expertise in various heritage subjects including science, geography, history and culture. Primary schools are encouraged to invite members of the panel to visit their school so that the children may develop a greater awareness of Ireland’s natural and cultural heritage. The children have fun learning outdoors and get to enjoy many different aspects of heritage and the environment.  The cost of the visits are subsidised by the Heritage Council.

My own workshops will focus on biodiversity, pollinators, Ireland’s wildlife, and school gardens. Workshops can be tailored to the needs of the school or the individual classes.
I am looking forward to working with schools here in the west of Ireland.
For more information click on any of the following links:
Or alternatively contact me here.