Here are a list of important Heritage centres in Ireland useful for that vital tourist information:
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills lie in what is now Ballincollig Regional Park and is Ireland’s largest industrial archaeological site. It can be accessd via Inniscarra Bridge as well as via the East Gate by the new Aldi in Ballincollig.
The white round tower at the entrance to the park was once a watch house for the gunpowder mills where workers were searched upon entering the complex. It is possible to enjoy a walk along the designated paths and see the ruins of other old buildings associated with gunpowder manufacture. These include a charcoal mill, a sawmill, a huge circular coal store and two magazines at the eastern end, a boiler house in the middle for drying the powder and the weir and Inniscarra Bridge at the western end.
One of the most important features of the site is the main canal which runs the length of the complex and which acted as a means of transport within the factory as well as providing the power to drive the waterwheels of the mills.
Situated 60 km from Galway and 6 km from Clifden, lies the Connemara Heritage Centre, a National award winning enterprise in 1992 and 1994. Irish Tourist Board approved. A time journey through Connemara past, this centre also includes the home of legendary Dan O’Hara.
To get there, stay on the N59 i.e. Galway to Clifden Road approximately 1 hour’s drive from Galway city, 10 minutes drive from Clifden.
The history of the cinema is littered with major box-office ‘hits’ which after their fashionable success are forgotten, as surely as if they ended up on the ‘cutting room floor’. However, there are some enduring classics which have developed a cult-following and high on this list is John Ford’s greatest movie ‘The Quiet Man’ starring Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne and Barry Fitzgerald.
Shot in 1951 and released in 1952 it is set in the beautiful West of Ireland, with filming being centred in the village of Cong, on the Mayo-Galway border. These heady days are re-created in the Quiet Man Heritage Cottage/Cong Archaeological and Historical Exhibition. Large numbers of people flock to the area to avail of guided tours of the various film locations. The Quiet Man Heritage Cottage is a novel concept which gives the visitor a total Quiet Man experience as if they were actually ‘on-set’.
Located by the river at Circular Road, Cong, between actual locations used for filming, the ground floor of the cottage has been designed as an exact replica of the original set in Hollywood where the interior scenes were filmed.
Adare Heritage Centre tells the story of the development of the town of Adare from it’s the building of the Norman castle by the banks of the River Maigue in 1233 to the present day using realistic models, enactments and audiovisuals. It shows the busy day-to-day life of Adare from the 13th to 16th centuries, and the changes that came to Adare, with war and rebellions helping to cause it to wane, and then how it waxed again under the Dunraven family.
Located just 10 miles outside Limerick and 40 minutes from Shannon Airport. Also housed here are the Tourist Information Office, The Abbot’s Rest Restaurant, Adare Woollen Mills and Black Abbey Crafts for gifts and Curran.
Newgrange is Ireland’s best known prehistoric monument, and one of the finest passage-tombs in the whole of Western Europe. Foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe.
The almost heart-shaped mound is about 36 feet high and about 300 feet in diameter. Carbon dating has shown that the tomb was constructed around 3100 BC and is thus probably centuries before the Pyramids.
The magnificent entrance slab is a decorated stone covering a small box over the passage which allowed the sun’s rays to penetrate to the centre of the burial chamber as they appear above the horizon on the morning of 21 December, and one or two days on either side of it. It is ‘one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art. The triple spiral, found only at Newgrange, occurs both on the entrance stone and inside the chamber.
The passage is long, over 60 feet, and leads to a burial chamber with a corbelled roof which rises to a height of nearly 20 feet. A number of the stones bear decoration, such as spirals, zigzags etc.Recent excavations have shown up some clever techniques used in building the mound, particularly the stone packing above the chamber, so that water filtering down from above could be drained off rather than dripping into the chamber – which remains remarkably dry.
Standing upright in the earth outside the base of the mound are large boulders up to 8 feet high, of which 12 out of the original estimated 38 survive. The revetment of large horizontal stones surrounds the base of the mound and many of these are also decorated with geometric designs. Excavation has shown these stones to be later than the great mound.
Newgrange is located eight kilometres east of the picturesque village of Slane.
The Giants Causeway is located one mile north of Bushmills, and signposted off the B146.
Spectacular cliffs and headlands faced with basalt columns of different heights give shelter to a number of bays, while pavements of “Causeway Stone” march out in regular shapes from the foot of the cliffs towards the sea. Within the nature reserve, a series of paths run between the visitor centre at Causeway Head and Hamilton’s Seat.
One path follows the cliff top, while another runs midway up the cliffs to provide breathtaking views of the Amphitheatre, the Chimney Tops, the Giant’s Causeway itself, and Port-na-Spaniagh, where the Spanish galleon “Girona” sank in 1588. In early summer, the ledges and cliff tops are carpeted with wild flowers such as bird’s-foot trefoil, kidney vetch, spring squill and thrift. Watch out for buzzards, peregrine falcons and rare choughs around the cliffs. Eider ducks and oystercatchers often feed in the sheltered bays below
The Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield Village is in the heart of Old Dublin. Irish Whiskey can trace its history back to the 6th century.
It was established in 1780 by John Jameson and it’s now one of Dublin’s top attractions. It’s almost like a tour of a working distillery as you can follow the fascinating craft of whiskey making through the different stages from grain intake to malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling.
Finally the tour culminates in the Jameson Bar for a traditional Irish Whiskey tasting session. Other facilities include the Distillery Gift Shop on the ground floor and the 3rd Still Restaurant which overlooks the lobby.
Take bus number 68, 69 or 79 from Aston Quay, 90 from Connolly, Tara & Heuston Station. Get off at Merchants Quay. You can also take the Red Line Luas to the Smithfield stop. The Distillery is only about a 3-minute walk from there.
The Waterford Crystal Centre is located off the Cork Road, N25 on the outskirts of Waterford. Nowhere in Ireland will you receive a warmer welcome than at the home of the world’s finest crystal.
‘Waterford’ – the very word conjures up the brilliant sparkling crystal, famed the world over. Each piece is a miracle of light, heat and the skill of master craftsmen. Learn all about the arts of blowing and glass cutting in this precise skill.
Our aim is not to be the largest crystalmaker – just the best. Every piece of Waterford celebrates a tradition of perfection. Before commencing your journey into the world of crystal, our short audio visual presentation will introduce you to the crafting process through the eyes of our crystal makers. The centre’s hosts and hostesses will assist you along the route with any queries.