Jam packed Heritage Week ahead in Kildare

Michael, Elaine and Ella Cunningham from Maynooth at last year's Birdwatching event in Donadea, held as part of Heritage week.
Kildare will come alive next week with a wealth of events to mark National Heritage Week 2013, which runs this year from Saturday 17 to Sunday 24 August.

Kildare will come alive next week with a wealth of events to mark National Heritage Week 2013, which runs this year from Saturday 17 to Sunday 24 August.

“I am amazed at the number and variety of events happening during these years Heritage Week. All credit to local community and heritage groups for their enthusiasm for the week.” said Bridget Loughlin, County Kildare Heritage Officer.

Almost 60 events have been planned for Kildare, spreading from Maynooth to Castledermoto and all points in between, ranging from heritage bus tours, open days and musical recitals. Almost all events are free as part of the national initiative (a detailed brochure is available at www.heritageweek.ie, or at local libraries and credit unions).

Kildare’s celebrations kick off with a celebration of medieval heritage in Castledermot and Athy over the weekend.

For those interested in built heritage, many buildings will be open to the public for the week including the Round House, Batty Langley Lodge and Kildrought House in Celbridge, Leixlip Castle and St. Mary’s Church Leixlip.

For the wildlife lovers there is an opportunity to get involved in a Swallow ringing project in Pollardstown fen, take a bog walk to Moods and Clongory bogs, learn about eh hedgerows of Ballymore, bird watching in Donadea, bee keeping in Castletown House, bats in Donadea. A number of Kildare libraries will be hosting exhibitions on Kildare’s natural heritage.

There are some novel events this year including: sharing local memories in Kilcullen, traditional Irish cookery demonstration in Kildare, a bus tour of local Maynooth heritage sites, Sean Nos Song and Dance in Kildare and a Newbridge Heritage Trail Quiz.

Local groups have organised a variety of talks to mark Heritage week: Garret Mor Fitzgerald at Maynooth Castle, the Griffith Family of Millicent House in Clane, the 1913 lockout in Naas, Athy and Kildare, and the transportation of women to van Diemen’s land.

Many heritage walks have been organised by local groups to promote the unique heritage of their area. These cover topics as varied as the churches of Ardclough, the heritage of Celbridge and the flora and fauna of Straffan.

Heritage week in Kildare will also include several events for the under 12s. These include a Kids’ Bird Watching Blitz at Donadea Forest Park on Saturday, August 24. There will also be talks on our natural heritage in the libraries in Newbridge (Tuesday), Athy (Thursday), Leixlip (Friday) and Maynooth (also Friday).

Children’s Living History Tours will take place in Castletown House, Celbridge on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18, and Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24, starting at 11am each day, which will explore the lives of different men, women and children who lived both ‘above’ and ‘below’ stairs in the grand old house.

Kildare town Community Library will on Tuesday host a visit for children from The Recovery Centre, which brings together scientists and designers who promote recycling and sustainability.