Athlone Castle Experience

First built in the 12th century as a timber fort, Athlone Castle evolved into a bold, defensive building. Its most significant architectural features, such as the keep, have now been harnessed to act as a dramatic backdrop to its diverse and fascinating story.

The eight exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and thematic sequence combining hands-on and fun experiences that will appeal to both children and adults. Bold sculptural forms help to convey human figures and historical milestones. 3D maps, audio-visual installations and illustrations by renowned illustrator Victor Ambrus (best known for his work on Channel 4’s Time Team), bring the stories and characters of Athlone to life.

Your Tour

Three dimensional map of Ireland

Early Settlement in Athlone

This exhibition highlights settlement in Athlone and along the River Shannon from pre-history to the 12th century. A 3D interactive map of Ireland illustrates how Athlone was impacted by the stages of settlement happening around the country.

Children looking at illustrations by Victor Ambrus at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Athlone Castle’s first 400 years

Dating from the earliest defensive structures in the town of Athlone, this space takes you through the various stages of the castle’s development. Inventive displays, hands on activities, interactive games with participative elements combine with locally found artefacts, see the story unfold.

Illustration by Victor Ambrus


Here we are introduced to the characters and events that preceded the siege of Athlone. Striking illustrations by Victor Ambrus, dramatic soundscapes and weaponry objects set the stage for the bloody siege to come.

Athlone Castle historical figures

People of the Siege

Get up close and personal with the key figures from the siege of Athlone learning the roles they each played and the battles they won and lost. Made from recycled materials, these amazing sculptures tell their stories in a unique and colourful way.

Fabric of Athlone timeline with costumed visitor

Fabric of Athlone

Here you will find an extensive display representing Athlone’s indigenous industries, military history, religion, communication, education and much more. A comprehensive timeline from 800AD to the present day encapsulates the events that shaped the town of Athlone. Learn all about Athlone’s most popular son, the world famous tenor John Count McCormack. Discover his celebrated international […]

A collection of objects from The Old Athlone Society relating to the various trades and lifestyles that were prominent in Athlone

Self Sufficient People

Benefiting from a collection of objects donated by The Old Athlone Society, the Lower Keep houses a rich array of items relating to the various trades and lifestyles that were prominent in Athlone right up to the twentieth century. Through their own words, Athlonians recount memories and stories of these times.

Death and Destruction

Death and Destruction

This space provides an opportunity for thoughtful reflection as the post-siege horror unfolds. Survival was tough for people living outside the castle walls in the Connaught town. Be immersed in the harrowing sights and sounds of the aftermath of the Siege of Athlone.