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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Additions at Cruachan Ai!

Ducks on Bridge at Cruachan Ai Heritage Center, County Roscommon, Ireland

We have some friendly new additions to the Cruachan Ai team! These beautiful ducks have moved onto the Ogulla river where it flows through Tulsk Village. Bring the kids along to feed them, while you relaxe. You can have a chat, drink some fresh ground coffee or quality tea, browse the net using the free WiFi connection, or read a great book you can purchase from our well stocked Book & Craft shop!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Book on Rathcroghan!

"Rathcroghan: Archaeological and geophysical survey in a Ritual Landscape"
by John Waddell, Joseph Fenwick, and Kevin Barton.
Published by Wordwell Ltd, Ireland. 2009. (ISBN 9 781905 569311)

Rathcroghan (Crúachain) is often referred to as both a 'Celtic' Royal Settlement and a sacred burial place; it is one of several major royal sites in ancient Ireland, such as Tara, Co. Meath, Knockaulin, Co. Kildare, and Navan Fort near Armagh, that are frequently mentioned in early literature. While these sites had special importance in early historic times, and in some cases bore and extraordinary weight of myth and legend, we now know that they are older archaeological assemblages of impressive complexity and size.

This book is the result of a major programme of archaeological field research at Rathcroghan in County roscommon in the West of Ireland. The project involved the use of a range of geophysical techniques to explore a number of extraordinary monuments in the Royal Site.

Professor John Waddell, Opening Speech at the Launch of Rathcroghan Book

The book was launched on 22nd July in the Cruachan Ai Heritage Centre, in conjunction with NUI Galway and Roscommon County Council, to an excellent turn out. Speeches by the authors, Kieran O'Conor of NUIG, and the County Manager Mr. Frank Dawson, proclaimed this site to be Roscommon richest Resource, and equally the equivalent in status and importance of Tara, due to preservation levels and longevity of occupation. Signed copies are available to purchase in the Cruachan Ai Craft & Book Shop, or can be purchased directly from the publishers, Please Click This Link to Go to the Wordwell Website

Discovery Programme 2009 Dig

The DP were in residence from May to July this season, for their last year at Tulsk. Archaeological research conducted by the Discovery Programme, Ireland’s archaeological research institute funded by the Heritage Council, has been examining the nature of Gaelic lordship and settlement in north Roscommon during the later medieval period, c. 1170-1650 AD. Since 2003, elements of this work have focussed on the history and development of Tulsk, as the principal residence of the O’Conor Roe lords. Excavation on the ringfort in Tulsk village has revealed a sequence of unexpected and complex settlement horizons, which include a medieval castle-building phase and an Elizabethan-period (c. 1560-90s) occupation, when the mound was included as part of the works associated with the garrisoning of Tulsk by Sir Richard Bingham, ‘flail of Connacht’.

In 2009, the archaeological team has focused on a series of critical strata that explain the dating and development of the site. This year’s work considered the ringfort that underlies the medieval tower.
The work shows the impressive boulder clay bank and ditch. It also shows the levels of soil introduced at a later date to build up the ringfort into a ‘platform’ of ‘raised rath’ form, sometime before the building of the medieval tower. The recent excavation n has also revealed prehistoric levels, that extend back into the Mesolithic period, before the time of farming and when hunting and gathering prevailed. The sequence of levels reveals the degree to which the medieval lords attached value to returning to known sites of habitation.

Student volunteers from Ireland and from around the world have contributed to the success of the excavation project, and publications are expected to begin next year.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Weekend Rate, Sat 25th and Sun 26th: - €140.00

Saturday Lectures: €20.00 per talk, Day ticket €90.00
Sunday Events: Living History Fair, gates open 11am to 6pm
Adults €15.00, Children €9.00, Family Ticket €40.00

Local Community Concession Rates

Weekend Rate, Sat 25th and Sun 26th: - €70.00

Saturday Lectures: €10.00 per talk, Day ticket €45.00
Sunday Events: Living History Fair, gates open 11am to 6pm
Adults €7.00, Children €4.00, Family Ticket €20

Schedule, Sat 25th

Saturday 25th April 2009

Ø Academic Conference. Lectures by top archaeologists, historians, and other academics/notaries, to take place in Cruachan Aí Centre.

9am Sign in begins

10.30am ~ Kieran O’Conor, of NUI Galway; The Rock of Lough Key, Co. Roscommon

12 noon ~ Brian Shanahan, of the Discovery Programme; 'Royal Sites' - Origin, Myths & the Gaelic Kingship of Connacht

2pm ~ Dr. Niall Brady, of the Discovery Programme; Medieval Rural Settlement Project Director

3pm ~ Gillian Kenny, of UCD; Women and War in Medieval Ireland

5pm ~ Denise Murray, of UCC; Legislated Anglicisation and The Composition of Connacht

All talks are approx 1 hour long

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Celebrating Medieval Ireland in Tulsk

Sat 25th & Sun 26th April 2009

The Cruachan School is an annual event which aims to promote and develop an increased appreciation and awareness of Ireland’s archaeological and cultural heritage environment. The theme for 2009 is
“Celebrating Medieval Ireland in Tulsk”.

Saturday 25th April 2009
Ø Academic Conference. Lectures by top archaeologists, historians, and other academics/notaries, to take place in Cruachan Aí Centre. Already confirmed are Kieran O’Conor of NUI Galway; Gillian Kenny of UCD; Dr. Niall Brady, and Brian Shanahan, of the Discovery Programme; and Denise Murray of UCC.

Sunday 26th April 2009
Ø Medieval Fair. Living History day located on green field adjacent to the Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre, in Tulsk Village. To include village market, displays and demonstration including authentic cooking and lifestyle crafts, archery, recreation period costume, falconry, and military re-enactment with authentic weaponry and equipment.

· Lectures and conferences (Saturday)
· Medieval Battle recreations (Sunday)
· Living History and Medieval Displays (Sunday)
· Falconry displays (Sunday)

This promises to be a great weekend for all the family!

Contact: Lora O’Brien, Manager
Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre
Tulsk, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.
Tel: 071 9639268
International Tel: 00353 71 9639268

Online Diary:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Educational Programmes 2009

Cruachan Ai Heritage Centre provides a wide range of educational programmes designed to meet the needs of all, from those starting out to mature students.

Our Education Packs for schools, covering 1st Class to 6th yr students, comprise a number of modules, both in general and in depth, allowing students to research their own local and national history from the Mesolithic to the Late Medieval Period.

This includes materials and information as well as guided tours of the centre’s interactive exhibition, audio visual display and the mounds and earthworks which comprise this fascinating and important historical site. All of our material is aligned with the strand units of the national curriculum, and designed to enable the necessary skills and concepts development, for maximum ease and convenience of teachers.

We also provide classroom visits with various artefacts, slide shows, costumes and storytelling for younger classes.