Some of our projects
Loughrea and Youghal's Medieval Festivals
Loughrea's medieval festival is Ireland's largest free medieval themed event. Established in 2014, it attracts roughly 15,000 people into the town. In Youghal, Co. Cork, a similar event attracts up to 8,000 people annually. In 2008, a KPMG report estimated that the economic benefit to the town from this one day was €480,000. Both Youghal and Loughrea's festivals depend on close cooperation between the community and the local authority in order to succeed. The IWTN is the prime funder of both events. We have also provided training to the organisers.
Kilkenny Pop-up Museum
Over four Thursdays in August 2014, a pop-up museum brought heritage directly to the people by locating itself in the place of highest footfall, right beside the weekly farmers market. By combining archaeology with art, public theatre and food, it worked to excite people about the relevance of the past. The Kilkenny Pop-up museum was an attempt to see if a seasonal heritage attraction which was low on capital expenditure but high on interactivity would work. It did. In four days 3,080 attended. The IWTN was a co-organiser and the prime funder.
To learn more about the Kilkenny Pop-up Museum click here and skip to 6 minutes 10 seconds.
Rindoon Abandoned Medieval Town
Rindoon in Co. Roscommon is the best preserved abandoned medieval town in either Ireland or the UK. Located on a peninsula jutting out in to Lough Ree the site contains an impressive collection of medieval remains. The local community working in partnership with the IWTN and other agencies have managed to save much of what survived. To aid navigation and understanding a walk was developed and interpretation signage installed. From very low numbers the site now attracts c.8,000 visitors annually. The IWTN is the main funder of the conservation works. We also funded and designed the site's interpretation.
To learn more about the Rindoon project click here.
Talbot's Tower Archaeology Park
The tower is the most impressive surviving section of the medieval city wall of Kilkenny. Until relatively recently, there were calls to have it dismantled due to health and safety concerns. However, by working with the local authority we not only saved it, we managed to create a pocket park with the tower as its centrepiece. Now open and enjoyed by both locals and tourists, the tower has also been used as a venue for Kilkenny Arts Festival. The IWTN were the main funder of the tower's conservation. We also supported the site's interpretation.
To learn more about the Talbot's Tower project click here.
Kells Town Kick-Start
An innovation of the IWTN, the Kick-Start Project is a multipronged initiative to renew historic towns. After a competitive process, Kells in Co. Meath, was chosen as the pilot. For the first time, the conservation of a town’s heritage assets was combined with the enhancement of the skills of its retailers and a community-led regeneration plan that incorporated public realm, the arts, heritage, planning and parking, tourism and retail. Much facade conservation work in the town centre has already been completed. The regeneration plan is done and training is ongoing. Already, the scheme has allowed the community to leverage additional funds in their drive to renew Kells.
To learn more about the Kells Town Kick-Start project click here.
Galway Civic Museum Medieval Wing
The IWTN have been assisting Galway Civic Museum and Galway City Council in their efforts to construct a new medieval wing to the museum that will also allow access to the top of the Spanish Arch. We have provided funding for the city wall conservation plan, concept plans of the new wing and an economic impact appraisal.
Viking and Medieval Dublin Online
Over several years, the IWTN supported Dublin City Council and Dublinia in creating an interactive online platform where historical research on the walled city of Dublin would be freely accessible. The compelling site directly ties into the primary and secondary school curricula. Available across desktop and mobile devices, in 2016, the learning zone was the No.1 most visited free web resource in Ireland amongst primary school teachers/pupils and No.2 in secondary school equivalent rankings.
To visit the site click here.
Dig: the Value of Archaeology for Society and the Economy five day Conference
For five days in November 2018, 300 delegates gained at least partial answers to the questions: how does archaeology impact positively on our society and economy? And secondly, how could this be sustainably deepened? Speakers from Ireland, the UK, Sweden and the USA both informed and inspired a diverse audience attending the 24 separate events that made up Dig. Aside from the main two day conference, there were tours, workshops, digital recording demonstrations, panel discussions and even a poetry reading in a medieval tower.
Dig was a collaboration between the Heritage Council, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Department of Communities NI, Fáilte Ireland, Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and Dublin City Council. It was project managed by the Irish Walled Towns Network and receiving support from Creative Ireland.