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11 June 2022

Historic Houses of Ireland Heritage Habitats: Fun, Creative Activities at Historic Houses

  • Workshop
  • Exhibition

Historic Houses of Ireland

The Historic Houses of Ireland and their estates, gardens, demesnes and parks have long held a central position in the economic and social life of the communities in which they were built.

Now, as part of Cruinniú na nÓg, young people are being introduced to these old spaces, through Historic Houses of Ireland’s Heritage Habitats programme of child-driven, creative outdoor activities that explore the biodiversity of the gardens, parks, and wild areas surrounding four historic host houses.

The programme varies from venue to venue depending on the unique features of each. Activities will include elements of exploring, painting, foraging, cooking, den building, group music, acrobatics, writing, and performing.  Where possible, participants will be encouraged to follow their own instincts.

Birr Castle Demesne, Co. Offaly

Set in the heritage town of Birr, on 120 acres of parklands and gardens, Birr Castle Demesne boasts a rare collection of over 5,000 species of trees and plants, wonderful wildlife, and peaceful walks along rivers, waterfalls, and lakeside.

On 11th June, the doors will be opened to several workshops linking the astronomical heritage and rich wildlife and plant heritage found within the demesne of Birr Castle.  Each of the workshops will feature an informative session followed by a creative activity, and afterwards the participating children, along with their parents, can spend time exploring the parklands on one of the many trails.

Find out more: Heritage Habitats at Birr Castle Demesne, Co. Offaly

Enniscoe House, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Working with a number of artists, Enniscoe House will deliver a series of workshops, training, performance and exhibitions in the grounds of the estate in the North Mayo Heritage Centre, as well as in Enniscoe House itself.

Find out more : Heritage Habitats at Enniscoe House, Ballina , Co Mayo

Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens, Co. Wexford

Foraging and forest school, den building and open fire cooking!

On 11th June, Emma Hewlett invites you for flower foraging in the extensive gardens at Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens and to experience a forest school with wildtime leader Johanna Brown.

Experience the magic of foraging for elderflowers and dandelions in the open countryside and transforming them into yummy and refreshing cordial and dandelion gummy bears. Then take a break from foraging to explore the maze in the kitchen garden before heading into the woodland.

Johanna will also introduce you to den building, using nature’s abundant resources around the woods.  Find joy, wonder and excitement by cooking your own food over an open fire. Relish the effects of connecting with nature, enjoy team work, use nature’s abundant resources for art and crafts, and immerse yourself in natural surroundings.

Find out more: Heritage Habitats at Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens, Co. Wexford

Killruddery House, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Killruddery House is delighted to offer ‘I See You’, a programme of art, culture and heritage. 

Children can take part in a visual celebration of young people in old spaces, and develop new skills through workshops of technical and creative play, with Aduantas Aerial, Me & The Moon, and three individual circus performers and tutors – Ben Carpenter, Bróna Howard, and Stephen McGinley.

In workshops with Killruddery Artist in Residence, Aduantas Aerial, participants will learn skills in rope, silks, trapeze, dance trapeze and hammock. Independent circus performers and tutors Ben, Bróna, and Stephen will also introduce such circus skills as juggling, hula hoops, object manipulation and more.  Each of the workshops will begin and end with a short show from the circus tutors.

Join Me & The Moon in creating technical and creative drawings, capturing play all around Killruddery’s 17th-century gardens. These finished pieces will then be collaged together to form a giant wall of drawing that will be exhibited in The Orangery of Killruddery House.

Find out more: Heritage Habitats at Killruddery House, Bray, Co. Wicklow

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11 Jun 2022


Age range

All ages