Kilkenny will be rolling back the centuries to celebrate its unique and rich history when it hosts Ireland's first Medieval Week from March 28th - April 6th.
Visitors are invited to step back in time and join in epic events including royal feasts, tales of knights, workshops, historic tours and a raucous medieval market.
The city and county will be transformed into a medieval hotspot with locals, business owners, and those working in hotels, bars and restaurants being encouraged to get into the spirit by dressing up in medieval costume.
The Medieval Week, being coordinated by Kilkenny Tourism, is the first of its type in Ireland. It coincides with the development of Ireland's Medieval Mile by the Kilkenny local authorities, stretching from Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice's Cathedral.
According to chairman of Kilkenny Tourism, Colin Ahern: "Kilkenny has so much to offer especially its rich history and we are very excited about this great new event on the Kilkenny calendar! We want our visitors to enjoy the full on experience that our restaurants, hotels and medieval attractions have to offer. We are encouraging all merchants to get involved, dress up or renact medieval times."
Mr. Ahern pointed to one example of what will be happening during this special week. Kilkenny candlemaker, Moth to a Flame, will gear production up with age-old candle making techniques.
"Even modern industries in Kilkenny are coming on board including world-renowned, Kilkenny-based animation company, Cartoon Saloon, who are creating a medieval animated character, our own Kilkenny mascot! "
Events for Medieval Week confirmed to date include:
Medieval Week events will take place within the city walls of Kilkenny and throughout medieval parts of the county. Hotels and accommodation providers will be announcing special Medieval Week offers in the next few weeks.
Medieval week starts on March 28th 2014. For more information please visit www.visitkilkenny.ie
Rothe House & Gardens
A (opening) day full of activities at Rothe House & Garden for Medieval Week - Saturday 5th April 2014 in association with Kilkenny Airsoft and Nore Valley Farm
Swords and Shields: Animals and Archery!
To celebrate Medieval Week in Kilkenny, and also to mark the 6th anniversary of the opening of the reconstructed 17th century garden at Rothe House, we are holding a day full of activities for the family:
First up: 'Swords and Shields' - a creative morning for children from the age of 5 to 12, where they will make and paint their own swords and shields. Lots of other crafts for them to create as well - and they can take them home with them at the end of the workshop. Cost €8.50 per child. 10.30 to 12.30 (please bring a snack for the children to have during the session). Places are limited so please book by contacting 056 7722893 or emailing email@example.com. A non-refundable deposit of €5 is required to be paid at time of booking.
From 1 pm to 3 pm, free access to the garden where children and adults alike can try their hand at Archery, in partnership with Kilkenny Airsoft. Nore Valley Farm will be here also, with some of their friendly animals (watch out Rothe House ducks!).
There will also be facepainting in the garden for both adults and children!
Jerpoint Park, 12th Century Medieval site and believed to be the final burial place of St. Nicholas will give a number of Medieval talks of the site to 5th-6th class primary schools in Kilkenny. Jerpoint Park would like to bundle with Lyrath Hotel, Newpark Hotel and Ormonde Hotel with a price of €5 per adult & kids are free for a guided heritage tour of the site @ 11.30am & 3pm on the designated Country Day or Days. Jerpoint Park would also like to offer OAP's a price €5 per person for a guided heritage tour on designated Country Day or Days.
Kytelers will be happy to provide the following during Medieval Week each evening at 5.30pm.
Trail Kilkenny bundle for Medieval Week
Will include - A Visit to Highbank Orchards, Cuffesgrange (take the Callan Road out of Kilkenny for just 7.5km); home of Highbank Medieval Cider to enjoy a Glass of Cider, tour the farm and a heritage talk on the farm's colourful history (including stories of duelling gentlemen and a princess!) during Medieval Week for €5 per person. Pre-booking required.
Nore Valley Park
Have organised a medieval work shop on milling grain with a stone mill and making a simple bread, and also a black smith to come in a have a chain mail making demo! The chain mail is to be confirmed if it's not that, he'll definitely do horse shoes and simple knives! Not charging for the workshops or demos just charging the normal entry price to the farm which is €7 for adults, €6.50 for children and OAP's. The family rate for 2 adults and 2 children is €25 with extra children at €6 (max of 3).
Would like to do 2 "Blow a Glass Bubble Workshop" - 1 aimed at the adults on the "country" day that was proposed and 1 for families on one of the Saturdays. Crafts were hugely significant in the middle ages - mass production did not exist and the methods we use now at Jerpoint has not changed very much since then. At that time there were advances in glass material etc that we are still using. So the workshop would give the participant a chance to learn some of the techniques involved with gathering the molten glass from the furnace (1000oC) and blow out a bubble. It's educational and a photo op. They won't have the bubble to take home as there is an expense involved in that and we'd like to keep it free. I'll create an infographic and have a handout version too for visitors and participants. 3 hours each day of aprox 15 x 10 - 15 minute individual one on one sessions. The glass blower has agreed to be in traditional dress and here's some images from a past workshop to give you a better idea. We'll have glassblowing demos Monday to Friday also.
Moth to a Flame Candles
are candlemakers and can gear production that week to the age old techniques of hand-dipping candle manufacture and over-pour candle manufacture.