Céide Fields, Ballycastle, County Mayo
Prehistoric landscapes, dramatic cliffs and a unique ecology found in the bogland – it’s all there. The Céide Fields in North Mayo are the oldest known field systems in the world at over five and half millennia old.
There you’ll discover how the farmers organised their society along with their spiritual beliefs and how they pitted themselves against the daily skirmish with the environment.
Discover a buried wall using a centuries-old probing method. Learn why bogs grow -you’ll find it all at the interpretive centre. You can also see remains of stone field walls, houses and megalithic tombs, which are preserved in a blanket of bog covering several square miles.
The award-winning interpretive centre houses exhibitions and there is a 20-minute video that will explain the history of the Céide Fields.
Visit the Céide Fields website
Glengowla Mines, County Galway
Once worked for lead and zinc in the mid 1800s, this mine is now open to the public. Situated just west of Oughterard, the mine was opened to the public in 1999 after it was rescued from flooding. It’s the only one of its kind in the country.
Find out what kibbles and windlasses are in the underground tour and see the unique haulage shoot and pumping system used when the mill was working. There are also a number of museum specimens of calcite and green fluorspar.
You will be able to see some remaining surface features such as a leat, which runs for about two miles. See the remains of a waterwheel pit, and a powder house and Blacksmiths Shop too. The current owners have also built a horse gin.
Contact: Keith Geoghegan, Glengowla Mines, Oughterard, Co Galway
Telephone: + 353 (0)91 552021
Learn about the history of the Glengowla Mine at the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland website
National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, County Mayo
Based in the grounds of Victorian Turlough Park House, the museum tells the story of the lives of ordinary people in rural Ireland from 1850 to 1950. Educational activities focus on science in everyday life.
Visit the National Museum’s website
Brigit’s Garden, County Galway
Brigit’s Garden offers imaginative, hands-on educational visits relating to the natural environment and Irish heritage. All age-groups welcome, as activities are age-appropriate and led by experienced staff.
Read more on the Brigit’s Garden website