Ireland’s lost crafts and local craftsmanship showcased at Craggaunowen

July 2024
Ireland’s lost crafts and local craftsmanship showcased at Craggaunowen

Ireland’s traditional crafts and trades will be showcased during the 2024 Culture & Crafts Fair at Craggaunowen next weekend (July 13-14th).

Visitors to the popular Clare attraction will have the opportunity to engage directly with artists, crafts and tradespeople, storytellers, musician, and dancers from across the Banner County.
This event celebrates Ireland’s “lost” or traditional crafts and trades. Jack Pinson, a Clare-based maker of traditional and historic longbows, will showcase the ancient skill of timber craftwork on the traditional pole lathe. Michael Foudy from Ruan will demonstrate the ancient craft of basket making and how locally sourced pliable materials such as hazel and willow were used to create baskets for carrying fuel, gathering food or catching fish.
Meanwhile, the ringfort's resident blacksmith and tool maker (Uinseann) will forge jewellery and share his knowledge of the history and mythology of forging in Ireland, and Craggaunowen’s resident craftsman (Arno) will transform animal hide and wood into functional drums for tribal ceremonies.
The idyllic setting of 16th-century Craggaunowen Castle will host demonstrations and talks by local artists and craft producers, including artist Helen Lowe, SIAR Photography, Allison Chillice Leatherwork, Wild Atlantic Glass, Palm Oil Free Soaps, Carmel's Cottage Candles, Ramona Mulvey Jewellery, Pricella Crochet and Knitting, Gaelach Candles, Galanta Jewellery and Mona Paper Quilling.
From 1pm to 5pm on the Castle Green, visitors can enjoy live traditional music by local musicians as well as set dancing performances, while Konor Halpin will perform Druid storytelling and magic shows and Anthony Galvin will present his own unique brand of slapstick comedy and puppet shows.
“Our second annual Culture & Crafts Fair is all about giving visitors a unique opportunity to experience the resilience and fortitude of early Bronze Age settlers,” explained Pauline Lenihan, Site Manager at Craggaunowen.
She continued, “We are excited to bring together some of Clare’s finest musicians, crafts and trades people and artists for what will truly be a celebration of the history, heritage and ancient traditions of County Clare. We promise a fun-filled and educational day for people of all ages.”
Craggaunowen recreates what life would have been like for the Bronze Age inhabitants of Ireland. Visitors can see a replica of a Crannóg (lake dwelling), a ring fort, an Iron Age roadway, and an outdoor cooking site. Also on display is the 'Brendan Boat' built by Tim Severin who sailed from Ireland to Newfoundland, re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan, reputed to have discovered America nine centuries before Christopher Columbus.
Earlier this year, Clare County Council announced a €1m investment in the popular East Clare visitor attraction. Amongst the works earmarked for completion during 2024 is the upgrade of Craggaunowen’s signature crannógs and woven hut lake dwellings, along with the bridge that connects them to the remainder of the site.  A new playground themed on St. Brendan’s Voyage will be developed, while significant upgrades to the public carpark, public toilet facilities, fencing and pathways will be carried out. Other developments include the installation of wayfinding signage throughout the site and an audio-visual experience to complement the 'Brendan Boat’.
The Craggaunowen Culture and Crafts Fair takes place on Saturday July 13th and Sunday 14th July from 11.00am to 5.00pm each day. Online bookings (standard rates apply) can be made on