Athlone Castle Visitor Centre will host “Maps of Ireland” a travelling exhibition from The National Library Ireland

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The “Maps of Ireland” exhibit will consist of 8 informative banner stands and a discovery box containing hands-on learning materials and activities.

Carmel Duffy, Manager of Athlone Art’s & Tourism states:

‘Although the exhibition has broad appeal, it is of particular interest to primary and second-level students and has been specially written by the educational staff of the National Library of Ireland with them in mind. We encourage schools to visit the exhibition and utilise it as a valuable learning resource for those studying Junior and Leaving Certificate Geography and 5th and 6th class SESE’

Map reading is an important skill and there is more than one way to read a map. Ireland from Maps introduces basic mapping concepts and terminology as well as exploring the subtext behind some of the most well known maps of Ireland.

Athlone Castle will display the temporary exhibition “Maps of Ireland” from Wednesday 15th February to the Sunday 19th March in the lower Keep. The exhibition is free of charge to visitors though school groups are advised to book in advance on 0906442130.

Launch of Athlone Castle book

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Launch of Athlone Castle book by Dr. Rory Sherlock
Athlone Arts & Tourism is delighted to announce the launch of an excellent guide book on the history and architecture of Athlone Castle by Mayor, Cllr John Dolan. This beautifully illustrated book shows the development of the castle throughout the centuries and is an enjoyable read for visitors and locals interested in learning more about the castle origins.

The guide book author, Dr Rory Sherlock is an archaeologist and architectural historian who completed a programme of doctoral research on the social environment of Irish tower houses at NUI Galway in 2008. He is the founder and director of the Galway Archaeological Field School, which conducts on-going research into late medieval settlement in Ireland while training students in survey and excavation techniques. He is the author of many papers on late medieval architecture in Ireland and has given papers on the subject to conferences at home and abroad.

Mayor of Athlone John Dolan stated, ‘Thanks to the efforts of the old Athlone Society and Westmeath County Council this rich cultural heritage has been compiled by Rory Sherlock and this publication is the outcome of a complete survey of the complex which draws upon a range of documentation, maps, architectural analysis and a detailed digital survey to uncover the story of Athlone Castle’.
Athlone Castle recently expanded its services with a multi lingual offering thanks to a Fáilte Ireland Ireland’s Ancient East grant and the castle together with its neighbouring Luan Gallery are two of the many great attractions that Athlone and the surrounding areas has to offer. Athlone is fast becoming a top five short stay destination in Ireland and with a high quality cycleway from Athlone to Dublin will be a major attraction for international tourism also.

Athlone Castle Manager, Carmel Duffy said, “Since it’s re-opening in November 2012 after a multimillion euro investment by Westmeath County Council and Fáilte Ireland, Athlone Castle Visitor Centre offers visitors a wonderful and interactive opportunity to step back in time and discover the castle’s rich story and the history of the town and its people. We are delighted that its story is now presented in a publication for our visitors and the people of Athlone and beyond to enjoy and keep as a memento of their

John Waple armorial plaque (1621)

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John Waple was a merchant in Jacobean Athlone. This plaque bears a coat of arms and the inscription 1621 ERECTED BY JOHN WAPLE MARCHANT. The implication was that Waple had been granted arms as a testament to his status and wealth. This would have helped to underpin his commercial reliability. This plaque was recovered from an external wall in Custume Place, the probable location of his business.
Find out more about the John Waple armorial plaque