The theme for National Heritage Week 2023 from August 12th-20th is “Living Heritage”. This theme is centered around the practices, knowledge, and skills that have been passed from one generation to the next, and are still in use today. Athlone Castle has played a crucial role in the events that have shaped Ireland and will host a series of exciting events for Heritage Week 2023. Trace the footprints of the generations who shaped this place. From early settlements and warring chieftains to foreign invaders and local heroes.
Storm the Castle
On August 16th from 10.30 am to 5 pm, Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism will return to Athlone Castle with a re-enactment of a medieval town market with onsite demonstrations incorporating some of the traditional skills and crafts, such as herbology, cooking, needle-binding, embroidery, etc. A selection of period costumes will be available for visitors to dress up in throughout the day. A variety of traditional games will also be available for everyone to enjoy. Admission is FREE to visitors on the day.
Guided Tour of Athlone Castle
On August 12th 15th 18th and 19th from 3.30 to 4.30 pm, Athlone Castle guides will take you on a journey through the history of Athlone Castle and the town, from the times of the first settlement right up until the present day, highlighting tales of battles and bloodlust, destruction, and new beginnings. Visitors will have a chance to engage with interactive displays and replica weapons and dress up in period costumes.
Poetry, Prose and Music at Athlone Castle
On August 20th from 4.30 pm to 6 pm join the Poetry in the Park group for an evening of poetry, prose, and music. Local poets and artists will showcase their works in the intimate setting of the Athlone Castle Courtyard. Admission is FREE to visitors on the day.
Walk the Walls of Athlone Castle
On August 13th Athlone Castle Volunteer and army veteran Henry Brady will bring visitors on a guided tour of the exterior defensive structures of Athlone Castle. Henry will bring the history of the Castle to life with daring tales and interesting anecdotes alike, as he leads visitors around the outer areas of the Castle. This event is outdoors, so participants will need to be dressed accordingly. This event will involve plenty of movement and so, may not be suitable for those with mobility issues. Places are limited and pre-booking is essential at heritageweek.ie. Guided tour included with regular admission fee.
‘Shannon Country: Searching for Richard Hayward’ Talk by Paul Clements
On August 17th from 5 pm-7 pm Athlone Castle will host a captivating talk by journalist and author Paul Clements. In 2018, Paul went on a journey along the River Shannon following in the footsteps of the actor, writer, and singer Richard Hayward who explored the river in 1939 for a book and rare film: ‘Where the River Shannon Flows’
46 fascinating events will take place in County Westmeath during Heritage Week including exhibitions, biodiversity walks, workshops, heritage walks, family fun days, heritage craft demonstrations, a falconry display at Belvedere House, the Viking Ship Centenary Cruise, wild walking on Uisneach and lots more. Visit heritage week.ie for full details on all events
From gorgeous gardens to rich history, Westmeath is a true hidden gem with so many fun things to do. Visit the exciting towns of Mullingar and Athlone and learn about the intriguing histories and famous residents. Music is a way of life with concerts and festivals taking place across the whole county. Take some time to explore the waterways of Westmeath and find moments of pure bliss and tranquillity along the River Shannon and by the lakes throughout the county. See visitwestmeath.ie for more.