Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Odin Made The Dead To Rise And Kept The Rain Away. Youghal Came Out To Play

Odin Made the Dead To Rise
And Kept the Rain Away.
Youghal Came Out To Play.
Birds of prey on display
No sign of the Red Cross

Medieval food; small boys and big boys.

I didn't realise that Youghal's Medieval Festival is now in its 9th year. It was my first time attending and I could see why the event has become a must-visit for people of all ages. It is free and takes place in the stunning surrounds of St. Mary's College Gardens within the 13th Century Town Walls. It is a light-hearted fun event, very enjoyable indeed.

And it is not about staged battles only. You can learn all about the weapons, the protective armour, the clothing, the food, direct from the fighters themselves. And the kids are very well catered for here with bouncy castles, traditional arts and crafts making (including 'make your own shield'), games, face painting, balloon modelling, a magician and much more.

Foul blow at top right
Food is an important part of these festivals and the organisers have quite a line-up. You won't go hungry here with everything from crepes to pizzas. I didn't want anything mega - we had dinner lined up for the evening - so settled for a very tasty sausage sandwich (just four euro) from Flynn's Gourmet Sausages. On the way through the town afterwards, I treated myself to a lovely ice-cream from Fantastic Flavours on the main street.

The marvellous St Mary's Collegiate Church, the nave is 13th century though the roof timbers have been dated to the 12th century,  was only a few steps away so that was a must visit, even if I missed the guided tour. After that, we took a walk on the remains of the medieval town walls which have great views over the town and the bay. 

Didn't realise this but the peace and quite of the ancient graveyard that surrounds the church was shattered in February 1950 when a  helicopter developed mechanical problems and crashed there. Happily no one was injured. A plaque on a graveyard wall commemorates the event.
St Mary's, Youghal's 13th century church
Inset of town's Clock Tower and general view of
the Medieval Fest from the town walls.

Youghal Town Hall

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Water Heritage Open Day at Lifetime Lab!

What-er  Heritage Open Day at Lifetime Lab!
Lifetime Lab at the Old Waterworks will host a family fun Water Heritage Open Day on Saturday 22nd August from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free and children and adults can meander through Corks Industrial Heritage and enjoy a series of fun stands and activities. 

Throughout the day visitors are encouraged to become environmental detectives while investigating the interactive exhibits, discover the engineering trail set the old Victorian waterworks, participate in hands on experiments at the science zone and experience birds of prey up close. Fun activities are planned for all ages including creating giant bubbles, launching water rockets, hook a duck, and face painting and lots more.
Lifetime Lab manager Mervyn Horgan said “Our open day was previously voted Best Interactive Event by the Heritage Council and the 2015 theme of Industrial Heritage and Design is an ideal fit for a Victorian waterworks” adding “We have had a lot of enquires about the day so far and expect a larger attendance this year, we have more volunteers and lots of extra family friendly fun planned with entry and all activities free on the day”
Lifetime Lab has another reason reasons to celebrate with a record number of visitors reported over the summer months and an increase in the number of schools registered to participate in primary science and math’s workshops commencing in September. 
When asked about the weather spoiling the day Mervyn replied “The fun will happen inside as well as outdoors and we are fortunate to have our own marquee, so we are well prepared”
Lifetime Lab is located in the old Cork City Waterworks buildings on the Lee Road. The interactive Visitor Centre is open 7 days a week until 5.00pm with environmental exhibits, a steam centre, coffee dock, a picnic area and children’s playground to explore and is fully wheelchair accessible.

For further information, please contact Lifetime Lab at: 021-4941500 or view the websitewww.lifetimelab.ie

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cork Heritage Open Day

press release
Cork Heritage Open Day 

From Rory Gallagher walking tours to the hidden treasures of the Masonic Lodge, the diversity of Cork’s unique heritage will be open for all to explore and celebrate on Cork Heritage Open Day on Saturday, 22 August 2015.

More than 40 buildings will unlock their doors and provide free public access on this special day in Cork city.  Many of these buildings are not typically accessible to the public, making Cork Heritage Open Day a really unique opportunity to explore the built heritage of Cork.  As well as access to buildings, there are more than 100 free events taking place throughout the city included in the programme for Saturday, 22 August 2015.

“Cork Heritage Open Day has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2005 to mark Cork’s designation as European Capital of Culture.  We are delighted to have more than 40 buildings open to the public this year,” said Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer at Cork City Council.  “Cork Heritage Open Day really demonstrates the diversity of the city’s heritage through an exciting line up of walks, talks, events and building openings. It’s a great day out for all the family and those of all ages, and it doesn’t cost a penny.”

This year’s Cork Heritage Open Day recognizes the twenty year anniversary of Rory Gallagher’s death, with walking tours by Marcus Connaughton, author of several books on Rory Gallagher’s life and this year’s Cork Heritage Open Day Ambassador.  There are also maritime tours at Port of Cork Custom House and a Water Heritage Day at the Lifetime Lab.

Elizabeth Fort will host a Medieval Family Fun Day with historical re-enactments and displays of weaponry and pottery as well as archery, medieval games and all sorts of family fun.  The Cork City and County Archives will open their doors on Cork Heritage Open Day to share the “Moments in Time: 1915 Archives of Cork” which details the visit of Padraig Pearse to Cork exactly 100 years ago on 22 and 23 August 1915.

Some walking tour highlights this year include “Cork’s Shortest Walking Tour” by Design Historian Tom Spalding, which packs 250 years of Cork’s history into 900 yards in the vicinity of Grand Parade!   Other walking tours include the Cork Music Scene & Sir Henrys Tour, “Being Boole” which marks George Boole’s bicentenary this year, the Origins of the Quakers in Cork, a Bug & Ladybird Hunt for Children and many more.

There are several self-guided walks on Cork Open Heritage Day, which explore various facets of the city’s heritage from Steps and Steeples, which encompasses amazing buildings and the most spectacular views from the North Side of the city, Customs & Commerce, which follows the river to showcase some of the old and new buildings in Cork City, Medieval to Modern, which weaves through the once Medieval lanes to the more modern streets,  Saints and Scholars lies to the south side of the city encompassing some of the most educational and religious buildings in Cork City, and Life and Learning which encompasses UCC, Fitzgerald Park and the Lifetime Lab.  

Cork Heritage Open Day kicks off Cork Heritage Week, which runs from 22 August to 30 August.  Copies of the Cork Heritage Open Day brochures including maps, event and building details are available at Cork City Council, Cork City Library and Cork Tourist Office. For more information, please visit www.corkheritageopenday.ie or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Horse and Pony at Cork Summer Show

Horse and Pony at Cork Summer Show

Spent an every enjoyable day at the 209th annual Cork Summer Show in Curraheen yesterday, quite a bit of it at the various Horse and Pony events. Great too to see the farriers in action, shaping and shoeing; their tent must have been the hottest spot in the fifty acres of the show. By the way, there is another fifty acres given over to parking. The show continues today (Sunday 21st June) until 6.00pm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Castlefreke and Rathbarry. The Castles And The Wood

Castlefreke and Rathbarry
The Castles And The Wood
Rathbarry is a lovely little village a few miles off the main road between Clonakilty and Rosscarbery and has been prominent in the Tidy Towns awards in  recent years. On the way to Durrus the other day, I decided to make a visit to Castlefreke wood and, at the same time, take a look at the castle on the hill which was a ruin the last time I saw it.

In 2000, Stephen Ralfe Evans-Freke purchased Castle Freke, bringing it back into the ownership of the Freke family, as well as surrounding lands and also Rathbarry Castle. Rathbarry was first to be restored and since he has turned his attention to restoring Castle Freke.
Bottom left: a panel from the high cross
 I turned off at the Rathbarry signpost and soon arrived at the village. Just beyond the village, on your right, you’ll see a lodge. I thought this was a private entrance but is is a public road - you'll see the road markings at the exit/entrance. So I came back and drove through.

There are a number of walks on the woods to your left. A few minutes in, there is a car park on the left, informal and v-shaped, with a gate into the wood. On your right, you have a terrific view of Castlefreke Castle on the hill.

Owenahincha beach from the road below Castkefreke Wood.
Galley Head is behind the camera.
We walked into the wood and followed the sign-posted path up to the high cross that stands at the highest point. It is some 30’ high and was erected in 1902 as a memorial to the local Lord Carbery, an ancestor of the current owner.

Here too you have quite a view over the ocean, all the way from Galley Head on your left to the entrance to Rosscarbery Bay on the right. But there is an even better view, as we would soon find out.

We retraced our steps, through the trees and the bluebells, back to the car park and then drove out of the park at the other end, again by another lodge. We turned left on the road and this took us right to the edge of the sea. From this elevated position, the view was broader and grander. Quite splendid in fact on a sunny day. Enjoyed our snack here before heading off for Sheeps Head Peninsula and our second walk of the day.