CRAGGAUNOWEN will be transformed into a Viking village this weekend as the sights and sounds of the ‘Norsemen’ descend on the popular Clare visitor attraction.
A battle of recreations at 12pm and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday will be the highlight of
the ‘Viking Invasion of Craggaunowen’ weekend when warring warriors unleash their fierce battle skills for visitors to witness.
Visitors will learn about how the pagan warriors lived by exploring the historically accurate workshop tents where crafters will be demonstrating their trading, silversmithing, armoury, fabric-making, hunting and fishing skills. There will also be cooking demonstrations featuring the use of authentic ingredients that the Vikings would have had access to.
Members of the public will discover the origins of coins and how they were introduced to Ireland by the Vikings. A Viking Moneyer will demonstrate of how coins were made by hand, with each child receiving a complimentary replica coin as a memento of their visit. Children of all ages will also be able to participate in Viking-themed activities from the ‘throwing logs’ game of Knubb to Hnefatafl, a game akin to modern-day chess.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) commented, “As a native of Killaloe, I grew up with stories of the Vikings as my hometown is the birthplace of Brian Ború, the last High King of Ireland who ended the Viking invasions of Ireland. Many modern-day Irish surnames are of Viking descent while the origins of the cities of Limerick, Dublin, Waterford and Cork come from Viking settlements. It is wonderful to see this often forgotten about period of Irish history being remembered at Craggaunowen in what will be an educational and entertaining weekend for all the family”.
Operations Manager at Craggaunowen, Aodhagan Behan said, “We are looking forward to bringing the stories, traditions and history of the Vikings to life at our open-air museum in Craggaunowen. The Vikings have featured heavily in movies and on TV in recent years and this event offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about their day-to-day lives and the real people behind the legend of the ‘men from the north’”.
Pauline Lenihan, Site Manager at Craggaunowen, outlined that visitors will be able to view a replica vessel of the kind Vikings are believed to have sailed in from Scandinavia to North America. “The Brendan Boat was built in 1976 by explorer Tim Severin, who successfully completed a 4,500-mile transatlantic crossing, and is on permanent display at Craggaunowen. We look forward to welcoming people of all ages to our visitor attraction over the course of the weekend”.
Now managed by Clare County Council, the Shannon Heritage visitor attraction at Craggaunowen recreates what life would have been like for the Bronze Age inhabitants of Ireland. The attraction features a 16th-century castle and a reconstructed “crannog” showing how Celts lived, worked, and defended themselves.
Tickets for the ‘Viking Invasion of Craggaunowen’ are available online at www.craggaunowen.ie (normal admission rates apply).