Athlone Castle Medieval Fair 2019

Athlone Castle will host its seventh annual Medieval Fair on the 31st August and 1st September 2019. The fair takes place in collaboration with the Society for Creative Anachronism and this year will run in conjunction with the Athlone River Festival. The Athlone Castle Medieval Fair is supported by the Heritage Council and the fair is a celebration of living history, customs, pastimes, lifestyle and entertainment.

Athlone Castle will be a hive of activity with complimentary events and activities for all the family over the two days. Through collaboration with the Society for Creative Anachronism and living history merchants and facilitators, visitors will get an opportunity to step back in time and experience a busy medieval fair in action.

Athlone Castle will treat visitors to falconry displays from Animal Magic, music and dance from Galway Early Music and live displays of medieval weaponry with Michael Moylan of Irish History Live, weaving and spinning with Susanna Anker, historical bow making with Jack Pinson and a host of other medieval activities provided by the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Athlone Castle team which include; drop in children’s workshops, archaeological digs, face-painting, food tasting, fencing, weaponry displays, hobby horses, medieval games, children’s archery, dress-up and much more.

The Medieval Fair will be primarily located in the courtyard and upper battlements of Athlone Castle and will be open on both days from 11am to 5pm. Tickets will be available on the gate or by booking in advance online and visitors will have access to the fair and the castle visitor centre all day. Admission prices are: Adult single €8, Student/Senior €6, Child €3, Family (2Ad & 2Ch) €20, Extra Child €1.50
Supporting events have been added to the Medieval Fayre Programme this year including; Falcon Making Arts & Crafts workshops for children at Luan Gallery on Saturday 31st August, West Bank Arts, Food and Craft Market which will be located alongside the west bank of the River Shannon in front of the castle, daily walking Tours of Medieval Athlone with local Historian Donal O’ Brien, a solo exhibition of work from the internationally acclaimed Irish artist, Conor Walton at Luan Gallery, a children’s art exhibition in the boardwalk Gallery at Luan and Serendipity, a group exhibition at the Atrium, Civic Centre. A talk on the History and Origins of Athlone Castle by Author, Dr Rory Sherlock will take place on Saturday 31st August at 7pm in the Luan Gallery.

Advance bookings are advised to avoid disappointment for attendance at the Children’s workshops at Luan Gallery (fee paying), the Walking tours (Free) and the Historical talk by Dr. Rory Sherlock (free) can be made on www.athlonecastle.ie and full details of the programme of events are available on the website.

For further information, please contact Athlone Castle at 090 6442130, or email us at info@athlonecastle.ie

Celebrate Past Times during Heritage Week at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre!

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is ready to celebrate all things ‘Pastimes Past Times’ for Heritage Week 2019.

National Heritage Week runs from the 17th to 25th of August, and accordingly, the team at Athlone Castle has programmed numerous exciting events throughout the week, catered to suit all ages!

Amongst this year’s highlights, Athlone Castle will host a talk by celebrated Athlone native; Journalist and Author, Declan Lynch. With sport being so central to Ireland’s pastimes, Declan will lead a talk on the famed Athlone Town Vs AC Milan soccer match of 1975, exploring the enduring myth and fascination surrounding the match. The talk will offer a more personal history to the game, as Declan will share his own memories of following the team with his father, Frank Lynch, while calling back to the day of the match itself. This event will take place in the Upper Keep of Athlone Castle at 7pm on Sunday 18th August. Pre-booking is essential, as places will be limited.

There are also plenty of events that turn their focus to the Castle itself, with Athlone Castle heritage volunteer, Henry Brady due to return with his ever popular ‘Walk the Walls’ tour; a guided exploration of the castle’s historical external defence features on Sunday 18th at 2pm. Guided tours have been scheduled throughout the week, led by the castle’s team of tour guides, who will share their own favourite past times and pastimes of Athlone’s history on display in the Visitor Centre. The annual ‘Storm the Castle’ will take place on Wednesday 22nd August with FREE admission to all from 10am to 5pm. Then on Saturday 24th August, the Castle will host a Traditional Games Day where people are invited to have fun exploring childhood entertainment and try their hand at some traditional games and activities.

For our younger visitors, there will be Drop-in Children’s Workshops on Sunday the 25th August, with three exciting activities. ‘Dig it with David’, our archaeology dig will kick off at 1pm, followed by Kaleidoscope of Fun, the making of optical toys at 3pm. After that will be A Stitch in Time, an introduction to crocheting at 4pm. The week’s events will draw to a close with a recital of Heritage Week inspired poetry by members of Athlone’s Award Winning Poetry in the Park from 2 – 4pm.

Pre-booking is advised for these events, as places will be limited. A full schedule of events with further details, times, and booking information is available to view on Athlone Castle’s website: www.athlonecastle.ie.

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 or info@athlonecastle.ie

Athlone Castle Work Closure Notice – Update 23rd May 2019

The Office of Public Works have been undertaking essential conservation works on the exterior walls of Athlone Castle this year.

These works will be completed in June 2019.

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be closed to the public on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June to facilitate the de-install of the scaffolding erected to deliver these works.

The Office of Public Works have been undertaking essential conservation works on the exterior walls of Athlone Castle this year.

These works will be completed in June 2019.

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be closed to the public on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June to facilitate the de-install of the scaffolding erected to deliver these works.

For Public Safety reasons it may be necessary to close the tunnel under the town bridge and adjacent pedestrian area for this brief period also as shown hatched in yellow on attached drawing entitled “Requirements for Scaffold De-install”.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Lots to look forward to St Patrick’s weekend at Luan Gallery and Athlone Castle

Written by castle-keep

Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre will re-open to the public on the 16th of March just in time for St Patrick’s Day, after a period of closure since the 27th of February allowing the Office of Public Works to begin carrying out essential restoration work on the castle walls. Athlone Castle is offering all visitors a 10% discount on our admission prices for St. Patrick’s weekend. Guided Tours of the Castle Visitor Centre will take place at 1pm on Sunday 17th March. The castle guided tour is included in price of admission. Booking in advance is advised as there are limited spaces for the guided tour, first come first served.

For further information on St Patrick’s Day weekend events, contact Athlone Arts & Tourism on 0906442154 or e-mail info@athlonecastle.ie

Athlone Castle Conservation Works Notice

The Office of Public Works will undertake essential conservation works on the exterior walls of Athlone Castle from 27/02/2019 to 24/05/2019 inclusive.

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be closed to the public from 27/02/2019 to 15/03/2019 and from 13/05/2019 to 24/05/2019 inclusive to facilitate these works.

For Public Safety reasons it will be necessary to close the tunnel under the town bridge and adjacent pedestrian area for these periods also as shown hatched in orange on attached drawing entitled Requirements for Scaffold Erection

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be open to the public from 16/03/2019 to 14/05/2019 inclusive.
The tunnel under the town bridge and pedestrian access route will be open for this period as shown on the attached drawing entitled Requirements for Main Works

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Athlone Arts & Tourism

Free Talk at Athlone Castle Explores the History of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is delighted to host a special free talk titled “Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History” by designer Wendy Williams. Wendy is an exhibition designer and has spent the last twenty-odd years making a show of everything from Neolithic battle axes to Patrick Pearse’s tea cup. Wendy is also the curator of the travelling exhibition Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History, which is now on display at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre until October 21st, with the kind permission of Dublin City Library and Archive.  The exhibition was originally funded by the Dublin City Council Decade of Commemorations.

Wendy’s talk will discuss how in the first decades of the twentieth century, biscuits made by workers in the Bishop Street factory of W & R Jacob & Co. graced tables from Bombay to Buenos Aires. This talk looks at many aspects of Jacob’s one hundred and sixty year business legacy – from the origins of the names of the biscuits to welfare provisions for the people who made them.

The talk will take place at 3:00pm on Sunday 7th October. Admission to the talk is free, but places are limited – booking in advance is advised to avoid disappointment. Places for the talk can be booked by emailing info@athlonecastle.ie, or by phoning 090 6442130.

Normal Athlone Castle Visitor Centre admission rates apply when visiting the Jacobs travelling exhibition. The Castle is open from Tuesday until Sunday for the months of September and October. Athlone Castle Visitor Centre encourages everyone to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane & visit this tasty exhibition!

Celebrate Culture Night at Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery & Abbey Road Artist’s Studios!

Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios are delighted to be offering a busy and exciting schedule of free events for Culture Night 2018 on Friday 21st September.

Culture Night visitors to Athlone Castle, will be treated to rousing performances in the castle courtyard by the Athlone Pipe Band at 6.15pm, and the Army Band of the 2nd Brigade at 7.15pm. These events are weather permitting, and are subject to change. There will be free entry to the Athlone Castle Visitor Centre from 5.30pm until 8pm (with last entry at 7.30pm). Visitors can also take the opportunity to view the temporary travelling exhibition “Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History” on display in the Visitor Centre during this time.

Luan Gallery will host free guided tours by the artists of the gallery’s latest exhibitions; If Not for You by Eoin Francis McCormack and Living in a bubble by Susanne Wawra. These tours will take place from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. The gallery will also hold Drop-in Art Workshops for children aged 6 – 12 from 5.30pm to 7pm (with the last workshop at 6.15pm). Members of the Award Winning local community group “Poetry in the Park” will provide music and poetry in the gallery from 7.30pm to 8pm.

In Abbey Road Artists’ Studios, visitors will have the chance to experience Open Studios from 4.30pm to 7pm, which provides a unique behind-the-scenes view of the artists’ studios. The current resident artists of Abbey Road; Calvin Doyle, Leigh Francis, Lelia Henry, Eoin Francis McCormack invite you to their Culture Night exhibition entitled; Welcome to the neighbourhood’ which will be opened by Senator Gabrielle McFadden and all are welcome to attend the launch at 5.30pm.

Culture Night is a wonderful nationwide initiative that invites people to spend their evening exploring the best cultural offerings of their town. 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 and Luan Gallery on 090 6442154.