Lough Neagh Partnership is joining with Antrim and Newtownabbey Council and Queen’s University Belfast to bring the first Archaeology Festival to Antrim Castle Gardens from 28 May to 1 June.
History and archaeology will be brought to life in the grounds of Clotworthy House at Antrim Castle Gardens for the first time with the ‘Skills of the Ancients Archaeology Festival’. Visitors will enjoy free daily walks and talks around the gardens and the surrounding area which are so rich in archaeology and history from the earliest times and the festival will culminate with a free to attend Family Fun Day on 1 June.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth commented “I am delighted that we have joined up with Lough Neagh Partnership and Queens University to host this event. Antrim Castle Gardens is steeped in history dating back to the 17th century making it the perfect setting for this great festival.”
Dr Liam Campbell, Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership, said: “With the ‘Skills of the Ancients Archaeology Festival’ we are giving visitors to the gardens an opportunity to hear about the fascinating history and archaeology from a team of expert archaeologists and historians during free walks and talks events each evening. Our Family Fun Day will be the culmination of the festival offering a fun learning experience for the next generation.”
On 28 May at 7.00pm Thomas McErlean of Ulster University will talk about ‘The Archaeology of Antrim Castle Gardens’, on Wednesday 29 May at 7.00pm Dr Cormac McSparron of Queen’s University Belfast will talk about ‘The Archaeology of Antrim since Prehistoric Times’ and on Thursday 30 May at 7.00pm Dr Colm Donnelly of Queen’s University Belfast will take visitors on a walk as he talks about ‘The Early Medieval Monastery of Antrim’.
On Saturday 1 June, from 11.00am until 4.00pm, families will be welcome to Antrim Castle Gardens for a free Family Fun Day. Activities and demonstrations include trying your hand at flint knapping which our ancestors did on the loughshore, pottery making and firing, cord and rope making with natural fibres, children will hear stories of the Vikings on Lough Neagh, they can take part in basketry and wickerwork, hollow out a log boat and bioblitz will showcase our native wildlife exploring the connections of the built, natural and cultural heritage of the area.
The above walks and talks are free to attend but booking is essential. To book, please call t: 028 9448 1338 or book online at www.theoldcourthousetheatre.com.
Skills of the Ancients Archaeology Festival is a heritage initiative funded by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and by Lough Neagh Partnership through their Landscape Partnership scheme, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Photos: Skills of the Ancients Archaeology Festival, AntrimTagged with: antrim castle garden, archaeology festival, archaeology festival antrim, family fun day antrim castle gardens, Lough Neagh Partnership, press release