Conservation and Safety Works completed at Athlone Castle

Conservation and safety works completed at Athlone Castle with support from the Heritage Council and the Irish Walled Towns Network

Conservation and safety works were recently completed at Athlone Castle with support from the Heritage Council and the Irish Walled Town Network will make previously closed lower battlements accessible again to the public when the Athlone Castle Visitor Centre reopens.

Westmeath County Council and Athlone Castle Visitor Centre would like to take the opportunity to graciously thank the Heritage Council and the Irish Walled Towns Network for the provision of support funding under the IWTN Interpretative Fund 2020 towards remedial and safety works at the South Eastern Lower Battlement of the castle grounds.

Battlements before safety works started at Athlone Castle
Battlements before safety works started

The works were associated with the installation of planters incorporating guard rails on realigned and repaired/conserved steps at the battlement viewing point. The completion of these works ensures the conservation of the stonework and steps accessing the south eastern lower battlement viewing point for many years to come and access to the battlement viewing point is easier and safer and secure for the general public and staff alike.

The remedial works were carried out by Master Stone Masons and the fabrication and installation works by Nolan Engineering who persevered through inclement weather, at times and delays caused due to health restrictions in order to complete the repair and safety work.

Work in Progress on Steps of Battlements at Athlone Castle
Work in Progress

Consultation on the project was supplied by Westmeath Heritage Officer, Melanie McQuade, Malachi Cullen Consulting Engineers Ltd and Martin Murray Conservation Architects who provided a detailed plan into the efficacy of the intended works. Initial consultancy was provided by former Westmeath County Council Conservation Architect, Bernadette Solon.

Renovations Completed on Steps at the Battlements at Athlone Castle
Steps Completed

Celebrate Heritage and Education during Heritage Week with Athlone Castle!

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is ready to celebrate all things “Heritage & Education: Learning from our Heritage” for Heritage Week 2020. National Heritage Week runs from the Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd August, and accordingly, the team at Athlone Castle has programmed numerous exciting events throughout the week, catered to suit all ages! This year’s Heritage Week is a lot different from previous years, as Athlone Castle and many other Heritage sites have organised online events.

Demonstrations and workshops provide the focus for staff and heritage professionals to showcase Ireland’s rich medieval history. Workshops include the ever popular ‘Dig it with David‘; an archaeological excavation that can be replicated at home, Medieval themed arts and crafts videos where people of all ages can make their own suit of armour for instance. There will be demonstrations live streamed to everyone at home of bow making, wool spinning and healthcare from the Medieval era. Athlone Castle will also host the ‘Bloodsports and Boozing in the Barracks’ talk on site. Consultant Archaeologist and owner of Atlantic Archaeology, Angela Wallace will present a talk based on the finds uncovered during recent excavations at the Garda Station, Barrack Street in Athlone.

Pre-booking is advised for the on-site talk, as places will be limited, and strict social distancing rules will apply. Online events will be broadcast on our social media channels. A full schedule of events with further details, times, and booking information is available to view on Athlone Castle’s website. Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 or info@athlonecastle.ie

Athlone Castle Reopening

We are delighted to announce that Athlone Castle is reopening on Monday 29th June after a temporary closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to assure you that the health and safety of our visitors and team members is and always will be our highest priority.

Revised opening hours will be in place from 29th June and ticket availability will be monitored in line with HSE Guidelines, health and safety measures and within the constraints of our business. Please continue to check our website and social channels regularly for updates and information on the enhanced safety measures we are taking to keep you safe during your visit.

If you have any questions please contact our team on info@athlonecastle.ie and they will be happy to assist you.

We appreciate your support more than ever in these challenging times and we look forward to welcoming you safely to Athlone Castle soon.


Temporary Closure Notice

Written by castle-keep

Following the advice of the Irish public health authorities and to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, please note that closures at all three sites managed by Athlone Arts and Tourism – Athlone Castle Visitor Centre, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios will continue until further notice.

Please check our website and social channels for updates.

Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Athlone Castle on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December!

Athlone Castle will be turning into a magical Christmas land on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus who will be visiting for two days to meet the boys and girls from the town and surrounding areas.

Children and their parents will be greeted by Mrs. Claus, who will entertain them with a Christmas storytelling session. Mrs. Claus will regale the children with lots of festive tales about Santa, his elves and reindeers, helping others during the season of goodwill, and lots more about their adventures in the North Pole.

After Mrs. Claus’ storytelling, children will enter the Castle Visitor Centre and follow a festive trail through the visitor centre where they will get a chance to have fun creating Christmas arts and crafts and have their faces painted whilst waiting to meet Santa Claus in his grotto in the Upper Keep of Athlone Castle. This will be a great opportunity for children to have a little chat with the man himself about their Christmas list, discuss whether they were naughty or nice this year, and take the opportunity to get a photograph with him. Santa will also have a small gift in store for all the good children and a treat for toddlers.

Storytelling and Santa visits will take place during four sessions daily at 12.00pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Families are advised that pre-booking for each of the four sessions is essential to avoid disappointment as places will fill fast. Tickets for the event will cost €10 per child (children under two free), €4 per adult, €25 for two adults and two children and families of two adults and three children will cost €28. This will include entrance to Athlone Castle Visitor Centre, storytelling with Mrs Claus, festive face painting, Christmas crafts corner, a visit and chat with Santa, and a small Christmas gift for children and an edible treat for toddlers. This Christmas experience will last for approx 45 minutes, and the castle gift shop and café will be open each day, with Christmas gifts and vouchers available to purchase onsite. Places for the event can be booked online in the Events section at www.athlonecastle.ie

For more information contact Athlone Castle at info@athlonecastle.ie or by ringing 090 6442130. Athlone Castle looks forward to welcoming all the boys and girls to a very special and memorable Christmas experience!

Culture Night 2019

Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios will be offering a busy and exciting schedule of free events for this year’s Culture Night 2019, taking place on Friday 20th September.

Culture Night visitors to Athlone Castle will enjoy free entry to the Castle Visitor Centre between 5pm and 8pm (last entry, 7:30pm). Traditional Games will be set up on site for visitors of all ages to play with. Children will also be invited to experience and engage in the work of an archaeologist, with our popular workshop, “Dig It With David”. Plan, sketch and excavate some of our hidden treasures with Athlone Castle’s own resident archaeologist and historian, David Landers. During this event, children will have the chance to immerse themselves in modern day archaeology and learn what life is like an archaeological dig. This event is suitable for children aged seven and upwards.

Across the road at the Luan Gallery, exhibiting artist, Conor Walton, will be undertaking an all-day Portrait Drawing Marathon, drawing portraits of members of the public from 11am – 7:30pm. Demand for a free portrait from the renowned artist will be high, so pre-booking for people interested in sitting is essential. Please call, email or drop in the Luan Gallery Reception and state your preferred availability to claim a place. Members of the public are welcome to drop by the Gallery throughout the day to observe the artist at work. The Gallery will also be extending its opening hours until 8pm and offering free guided tours of Walton’s exhibition; Asymmetrical Warfare.

Over the Shannon at Abbey Road Studios, visitors will have the chance to experience the Open Studios from 4pm to 8pm, providing a unique, behind-the-scenes view of the artists’ practice in their studios. Our resident artists will be on hand to showcase some of their old and new work, and to explain their working process and inspiration to members of the public. Abbey Road will also play host to a photography exhibition by community group, Athlone Photography Club. The exhibition showcases images from members of the club across the wide range of subjects, from Portraiture, to Landscape, Creative Art and Nature.

Culture Night is an innovative public event taking place nationwide, that invites people to spend their evening exploring the best cultural offerings available to them on their doorstep. Special, one off events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge. With museums, galleries and artists’ studios extending their opening hours all around the country, Culture Night is the perfect opportunity to visit sites that you may ordinarily miss out on due to your work schedule. Athlone Arts and Tourism look forward to welcoming the public to our celebration of culture!

A full schedule of events with further details and times is available to view on www.athloneartsandtourism.ie and www.athlonecastle.ie.

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 or Luan Gallery on 090 6442154.