Farmers, Friars and Frontiers exhibition in County Limerick

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan

Farmers, Friars and Frontiers exhibition in County Limerick

Dr Keith Smith, of Monastic Ireland, speaking about Kilmallock Priory

AN EXCITING travelling exhibition that outlines archaeological research in the Ballyhoura Hills area is nearing its final stop.

It was launched in Kilmallock Library, is currently on display in the Tea Rooms at Doneraile Wildlife Park, and then it will move to Kilfinane Library where it will be open to the public to see from Tuesday, August 16 to Tuesday, August 30.

Entitled Farmers, Friars and Frontiers: the archaeology of the Ballyhoura Hills, the exhibition focuses on Bronze Age farmers, Iron Age frontiers and the medieval friars. It reflects the research projects carried out in the area by The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year

”Our celebrations focus on engaging with the communities throughout Ireland that hosted our projects over the years and also by advocating the intrinsic value of our rich heritage of archaeology and history to modern Irish society.

”This initiative links with the Discovery Programme’s current strategy of enabling people to become the custodians of their own landscapes and of creating a vibrant community of scholars to interpret these landscapes,” said a spokesperson.

The Ballyhoura Hills project was one of the first undertaken by the programme and aimed to identify new archaeological sites of Bronze and Iron Age date – 4,500 to 2,400 years ago.

It also set out to test a number of new survey methods in Irish archaeology and to determine how they could best be used together. The Monastic Ireland project also carried out research on medieval monasteries in the region and that project’s research on Kilmallock Dominican Priory is another strand in the exhibition.

Farmers, Friars and Frontiers - organised with the assistance of Ballyhoura – aims to communicate the results of this research in an accessible and engaging manner and create local awareness of the region’s archaeological heritage.

For example, after the launch in Kilmallock Library in July it was followed by a well-attended walking tour of the priory.

See for yourself examples of what is all around us in Doneraile and Kilfinane before the exhibition ends.