Celebrate Heritage Week at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre invites you to explore the programme of activities scheduled for National Heritage Week from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th August 2017. The Visitor Centre will host a number of events throughout the week suitable for all ages.

Henry Brady will return with his popular ‘Walk the Walls’ tour, a guided exploration of the castle’s many historical external defence features. Professional facilitator Aideen McBride will be onsite narrating her immersive, mystical tales in family storytelling sessions.

Conservation Architect Bernadette Solon will deliver an illustrated talk on ‘Follies’ and Cultural Officer and chief tour guide Mary Bannon will talk about life in Athlone a century ago.

Copyright: Emilia Krysztofiak Rua Photography 2013
Copyright: Emilia Krysztofiak Rua Photography 2013

The Midlands Astronomy Club will deliver a twilight tour of the night sky assisted by their high powered telescope and Poetry in the Park will fill the courtyard with sonnets, prose, limericks and song.

The annual ‘Storm the Castle’ free admission day will take place on Wednesday 23rd August and further scheduled guided tours will be available with paid admission at the weekends.

A full schedule of events with further details, times and booking information is available to view on Athlone Castle’s newly launched re-designed website: www.athlonecastle.ie.

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 0906442130 or info@athlonecastle.ie

John Waple armorial plaque (1621)

Written by castle-keep

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

North Gate lock and key (1613)

Written by castle-keep

This massive iron padlock and key were used to secure the North Gate. Its face is inscribed with its date of 1613, which is shown in Roman numerals. The gatehouse was located at the junction of North Gate Street and Lucas Lane. Built in 1578, it was demolished in 1840.

The name of the street today – Northgate Street reflects its time as the location of a gatehouse for almost 200 years. It was very important from about 1570 onwards to have a wall, without one you were seen as a ‘poor naked village’ while having one gave you prestige and offered defence.