Last years festival Featured

Medieval Festival 2016

For info about the 2017 Kildare Town Medieval Festival come right this way.

Photo Gallery: Happy Faces @ Kildare Town Medieval Festival 2016

The second Kildare Town Medieval Festival was on Sunday 21st August 2016. Last year’s festival saw the Normans return to Kildare along with the huge crowds who turned up to make it an amazing day out for all interests and ages!

The stallholders, activity providers and volunteers came out in their Medieval Costume and we hope to see even more dressed up this year. We had some different activities in 2016 such as the Moon&Sixpence Puppet Theatre, an Ancient Irish Music demo in St. Brigid’s Cathedral and The Exploration Dome which gave all who entered a chance to see the skies from the time of the Normans. No doubt 2017 will be even better than last year so if you want to get involved click here.

Remember to like us on Facebook for regular updates and let us know if you’ll be there on the day.

Video: Kildare Town Medieval Festival 2016

Christmas Opening Hours

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Our Christmas Opening Hours 2016

Christmas Eve: 9:30am – 1pm

December 25th – 28th: Closed

December 29th – 30th: 9:30am – 5pm

December 31st: 9:30am – 4pm

January 1st & 2nd: Closed

January 3rd – : 9:30am – 5pm

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FREE Christmas Parking Kildare Town

Mon 19th December – Mon 2nd January.

 

 

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Leixlip Castle

To find out more about Leixlip Castle call, +353 1 6246873.


Leixlip Castle was built soon after 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, the Norman invader of Ireland. It has passed through many hands and has been in the ownership of Mr. Desmond Guinness and his family since 1958.

The Castle contains many items of antique furniture, tapestries, paintings and drawings and some unusual items. These include a large 18th century dolls’ house originally came Newbridge House, a military bath (which is in current use), a cabinet made in Killarney circa 1880 which is inlaid with views of ruined abbeys and round towers, Irish wolfhounds and with harps and shamrocks in the decoration. Also of interest are drawings of the six Mitford sisters by William Acton. A Print Room has been made in the Library and a corridor upstairs has also been decorated with prints.

The garden has a conservatory and a temple and white iron gates at the far end of the lawn lead to the walled vegetable garden.

Opening Days 2021

Leixlip Castle will be open starting 14th June 2021. Please be advised that people should book and appointment and wear a mask the whole time. They only take 6 people at a time.

Open Time From 9am – 1pm

Admission : €8 Adults

€4 Students, Children, OAPs

Please contact Leixlip Castle for appointments .

Landline : 01 624 44 30 Email : leixlipcastle@gmail.com

In line with the Government policy, the venue is taking a similar approach in terms of properties opening to the public in 2021, therefore:

Properties located in a region to which restrictions in line with Level 1 of the Living with COVID Plan are in operation, should be open but may restrict the number of visitors at one time to a group of 10.

Properties located in a region to which restrictions in line with Level 2 of the Living with COVID Plan, should open but may restrict the numbers of visitors to a group of 6.

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Lodge Park Walled Garden


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Click here for Opening Hours & Admission Cost

To find out more about Lodge Park Walled Garden call, +353 1 628 8412.

Lodge Park Walled Garden is an 18th Century walled garden has been under restoration for the last few years.  It boasts an array of wonderful featured such as brick-faced walls covered with fruit trees, roses and climbers, a South facing shrub border edged in box hedges and topiaried Yew trees running the length of the garden, a pond, vegetable area, walkway of sweet peas and much much more. The greenhouse at Lodge Park Walled Garden has an unusual collection of plants from around the world. Another exciting feature of the garden is the outstanding rosarie which is encountered on entering the orchard.

Visitors to this attraction can also visit the adjoining Steam Museum, Steaming Kettle Tea House and Gift Shop.

Find out more about Lodge Park Walled Garden here


Gordon Bennett Route & Classic Car Run


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Gordon Bennett Route

The Gordon Bennett Cup Race took place in 1903.  The route went through Laois, Kildare and Carlow and was the precursor to the present day Formula 1 Grand Prix.  In 1903 the speed limit in Great Britian & Ireland was 12 miles per hour and so a special Act of Parliment was passed in order to allow the driving route to be closed for the Gordon Bennett Cup. The winning driver, a Belgian drove an average 49.2 miles in a time of 6 hours 9 minutes over the 52 mile long route.

The Gordon Bennett Route is now a popular tourist attraction in Ireland.  The route is signposted and this gives all visitors and locals the chance to drive it, either in one run or in various different stages.

Gordon Bennett Route – Interactive Map



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Gordon Bennett Annual Classic Car Run

Every year many classic car owners come together to drive the Gordon Bennett route on what is an exciting event across three counties, Carlow, Laois and Kildare.

The Gordon Bennett Rally was first celebrated in this way on the 100th anniversary in 2003. It takes place over 3 days beginning on the Friday of the Irish June bank holiday and prides itself on being the oldest motor sporting event of the year. Even if you’re not taking part, it is an equally thrilling experience to be an onlooker.

So, instead of the neck braking race it once was, this event invites you to take a gentler approach and to travel at your own pace whilst embracing the experience of a weekend filled with fun, nostalgia and liked minded individuals.



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IVVCC International Gordon Bennett Rally

The Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club (IVVCC) International Gordon Bennett Rally takes place each year in June.  This vintage car rally showcases over 100 pre-1931 cars.  Why not find out where the stops will be for the next event and go along to see some of these magnificent vintage cars.

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The Curragh Military Museum


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Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 – 12:30 14:00 – 16:30
Tuesday 10:00 – 12:30 14:00 – 16:30
Wednesday 10:00 – 12:30 14:00 – 16:30
Thursday Closed 14:00 – 20:00
Friday Closed  Closed
Saturday Closed  Closed
Sunday 14:00 – 17:00


This page is for the Curragh military museum

How to get there

 

Access to the museum is free.


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Coolcarrigan House & Garden


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Click here for Opening Hours & Admission Cost

To find out more about Coolcarrigan House & Garden call, +353 45 863 527.

Coolcarrigan House & Gardens is a hidden oasis on the edge of the Bog of Allen near Coill Dubh, with a fantastic 15 acre garden full of rare and unusual trees and a small church in a woodland setting, surrounded by a moat.

Coolcarrigan House is an attractive Georgian house built in the 1830’s and originally used as a shooting lodge.  The house which has been added to and modernised over the years, was built by Robert Mackay Wilson.  The church, built by the same architect, has some very interesting stained glass windows and Gaelic scripts on the walls chosen by Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland.

The gardens underwent a major renovation program in the 1970’s after a windstorm. During this renovation major replanting took place with the assistance of Sir Harold Hillier, the eminent English plantsman. What was created is a very unusual collection of trees and shrubs, many of which will not be found elsewhere in Ireland. It is open to visitors and is visited by many worldwide gardening groups and international dendrologists.

Paths meander through the eight acre garden and create surprises and vistas around every corner. The arboretum was extended by an additional seven acres in 2003 with many new rarities, and a special wild flower meadow.

Find out more about Coolcarrigan Gardens here


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Larchill Arcadian Garden


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Click here for Opening Hours & Admission Cost

To find out more about Larchill Arcadian Garden call, +353 1 628 7354.

Created between 1740 and 1780 Larchill Arcadian Garden is a ‘Ferme Ornée’ or Ornamental Farm and is the only surviving, near complete, garden of its type in Europe. The Ferme Ornée gardens of the mid 18th century were an expression in landscape gardening of the Romantic Movement. Emulating Arcadia, a pastoral paradise was created to reflect Man’s harmony with the perfection of nature.  Freed from the restrictions of the 17th century formal garden, the Ferme Ornée represented the first move towards the fully fledged landscape parkland designs of Capability Browne.

Although the follies became semi derelict and obscured by undergrowth and trees, the mystery and beauty of Larchill is still recognised.  Folklore stories of hauntings and the ‘strange’ nature of Larchill ensured its continued notoriety.

In 1994 Paddy Bowe, Garden Historian, visited Larchill and was the first to realise that Larchill was indeed a Ferme Ornée and an important ‘lost’ garden, four years of restoration then took place.

Visitors can walk through beech and lime avenues leading from the formal Walled Garden adjoining Larchill House and the Gothicised Farmyard, around an  8 acre Lake, linking follies and gazebo seats, all with marvelous views of the Dublin mountains. The original 18th century layout extended further to include two more lakes,  waterways and a fish hatchery.

Find out more about Larchill Arcadian Garden here


History of The Market House (Kildare Town Heritage Centre)

The Kildare Town Heritage Centre is an exciting visitor attraction situated in the picturesque town of Kildare. The centre is an ideal point of departure from which to explore the ancient treasures of the town. It is housed in the restored and refurbished nineteenth century Market House, which is situated in the hub of Kildare town. This unique historic building, with its vista of windows, designed to oversee the market place, has been given a new lease of life and is an impressive addition to the heritage assets of the town.  The Heritage Centre was formally opened on the 17th September 2001 by the then Minister for Finance and T.D. Mr. Charlie McCreevy.

Kildare Town Heritage Centre

The building has a long and varied history. According to the Statutes of Henry VI (1458) a market had been held in Kildare ‘from time whereof memory runs not,’ and an official weekly market, to be held on Thursdays, was authorised by Henry VIII in the Charter of Kildare of 1515. A survey of the Earl of Kildare’s estate in the town by Emerson in 1674 mentions a town hall but not a Market House. Since the location of the Town Hall cannot be determined we might suggest it was situated here, centrally in what became the Market Square and the focus of activity in the town. Reference to the ‘Market Place’ can be found in the Registry of Deeds Office in 1726 and 1751 and although the recognisable triangular area of the modern ‘Square’ is unnamed in John Rocque’s Map of Kildare of 1757 it was designated the Market Square’ in Thomas Sherrard’s Map of Kildare of 1798 and subsequent maps.

Rocque however does identify ‘The Market House,’ in the centre of what is later known as the Market Square on the site of the modern Heritage Centre. According to Rocque it consisted of three adjoining buildings with a yard in 1757. If we accept Emerson made no mention of a Market House in 1674 because it did not exist, then the Market House was built sometime between 1674 and 1757 (however he may not have mentioned it because it was not part of the Earl of Kildare’s estate, or because the town hall and market place fulfilled the same function at that stage). By 1798 (Sherrard) it had developed into a singular rectangular building on the same site with another section to the Cathedral or western side. This projection had disappeared by 1817 but a small northern (facing Nugent Street/Station Road) projection could be noticed on the 1838 Ordnance Survey Map of the town. Interestingly a well was noted by Rocque in 1757 to the east (Dublin side) of the Market House, a pump in 1817 and a fountain in 1838; presumably referring to the same feature, a water source for the town’s inhabitants. A pump was used on the Market Square until the early 20th century but was eventually removed. In 1973 an ancient well was discovered on the Market Square but filled in for safety reasons. It was re-discovered in 2003 and, now restored, has become a permanent feature on the Market Square.

According to Niall Meagher, former Co. Architect, while it may have incorporated an earlier structure, the present building dates from the nineteenth century. In 1838 the Market House was clearly identified as a public building. Valued at £5 in 1844, it was exempt from rates. Not only was the Market Square a centre of economic activity it provided a space/forum for town gatherings and meetings. This was captured by the ‘Illustrated London News’ on the 8 January 1881 in a drawing of a Land League Meeting, with the Market House in the background, showing leases of the Duke of Leinster being burned on the end of a ‘98 pike. Originally it may have been a single storey building but by the mid-nineteenth century at least it had been re-developed with an upper level. By the mid-1880’s a water tank had been placed in the roof of the Market House as a receptacle for water being pumped from St. John’s Well at Tully.

By the mid-twentieth century the Market House had fallen into disrepair and was bought for £300 by Kildare County Council. It was carefully reconstructed in the early 1970’s and a bus shelter, public toilets and small museum were incorporated into the new building. The cast-iron water gauge dated 1885 was retained on the outside of the building as was a plaque celebrating the completion of the Kildare Waterworks in 1886. It won an An Taisce Award in 1973 because of the improvement it made to the appearance of the town.
A Heritage Project Committee representing the three second-level schools was formed in 1992 to campaign for Heritage Status for the Town of Kildare. The designation of Heritage Town provided an impetus for the reinvigoration of the Market House. The European Development Fund provided £230,000 towards the project with additional funding coming from Kildare County Council (£50,000) and local contributions. Once building began the reconstruction and refurbishment took a little less than 2 years and Kildare Town Heritage Centre was officially unveiled in September 2001.

The Heritage Centre contains a multi-media exhibition centre telling the story of Kildare, past and present, combining attractive fixed panels with a video trail where your host Cogitosus, a 7th century monk will take you on a historic journey from the time when St. Brigid established her church in 480. A.D. This video presentation lasts approximately 12 minutes. The visitor can catch a fascinating glimpse of the past before visiting the many other attractions, which include the Japanese Gardens, the Grand Canal the National Stud and the Curragh racecourse. The Centre is the Regional Tourist Office for local and county-wide tourist information. It also has a vibrant shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and jewellery.

By: Mario Corrigan

Tom McCutcheon is the Manager of Kildare Town Heritage Centre

Mary O’ Connor is Chairperson of Kildare Town Heritage Committee.

Kildare Town Heritage Centre
Market Square, Kildare Town
Tel: 00353 45 530672
E-Mail: info@kildareheritage.com

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The Curragh


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The name Curragh comes from the Irish word “currach” which translates as “plain”, a place of the running horse.  The Curragh is Ireland’s largest, finest, and possibly only, example of a surviving ancient lowland unenclosed grassland. The 5,000 acres stretch from Kildare Town to Newbridge. The Curragh is surrounded on all sites by good, fertile lands however, it itself supports nutrient poor acid grasslands, severely deficient in lime and phosphorous.

The Curragh is unique in terms of it’s natural and cultural heritage.  This distinctive landscape houses the main training center for the Irish Army, a military museum, the premier racecourse for Ireland, Pollardstown Fen, Ireland’s oldest golf club, and many ancient barrows and raths.

Many famous Irish characters, including St. Brigid, the patroness of Ireland, Fionn MacCumhail and in more recent times, Dan Donnelly, the boxer are synonymous with this special place. The Curragh is also the birthplace of motor racing as it is where the first ever formal road race in Britain & Ireland was held with the Gordon Bennett Rally, 1903.

Click here to learn more about The Story of The Curragh
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Things to see and do at The Curragh

Accommodation

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How to get to The Curragh

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The Curragh is also very accessible from Kildare Town or Newbridge.


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Upcoming Events

  1. Visual Art : Quarantine Project

    September 1 @ 10:00 am - October 20 @ 2:00 pm
  2. LONGINES IRISH CHAMPIONS – Weekend

    September 25 @ 1:00 pm - September 26 @ 5:00 pm
  3. PADDY POWER IRISH CESAREWITCH , STAFFORDSTOWN STUD STAKES 2021

    October 10 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Upcoming Events

Contact Info

Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Tel: 00353 45 530 672
Email: info@kildareheritage.com

Opening Hours

Monday 10.00am - 4.45pm

Tuesday 9.30 am - 4.45pm

Wednesday 9.30 am - 4.45pm

Thursday 10.00 am - 4.45 pm

Friday 9.30 am - 4.45 pm

Saturday 10.00 am - 4.45 pm

Sunday Closed

Please note we close for cleaning and lunch from 1.00pm until 2.00pm each day