on Saturday, May 6th.

The Daniel Maclise painting of The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife features prominently in a short film in the Medieval Ferns Experience, a visitor attraction located on Upper Main St., Ferns. The painting and the many artefacts found in Ferns over the years have shaped the day trip to the National Gallery and the National Museum on May 6th.   A guided tour of the Gallery will include the Maclise monumental painting and other works of art relating to the history of the period.  A guided tour of the Museum will include artefacts relating to Ferns, including the Breac Maodhóg and the Kavanagh Charter Horn among others.   

The day trip is organised by the Ferns Heritage Project in response to an interest expressed in the Maclise painting and in viewing artefacts in the Museum, some of which were found in Ferns over the years.

The subject of the painting is the marriage of Diarmait MacMurrough’s daughter to Richard de Claire (Strongbow) in Waterford in 1170.   It contains symbolisms which point to the new reality as a result of the union between Strongbow, the Norman Lord and the Aoife, the daughter of the King of Leinster.   This is a story with many complex twists and turns and the painting is a terrific way of exploring the Norman and Gaelic kingship story.

Ferns is fortunate to have evidence of settlement dating back to the Iron and Bronze age.  But it was in the late 6th, early 7th century when St. Aidan founded a monastery, that it really came to prominence.    We know the monastery was significant because of the reputation of St. Aidan but also because there are 4 high crosses in Ferns reflecting its importance.

Artefacts found, mainly through archaeology digs are now stored in the National Museum for safe keeping, however they are not easily available for viewing.  We look forward to seeing some of the treasures relating to our history.   

The cost of the trip is €20 per person which includes travel by bus and guided tours (lunch not included).   For more details and to book this day trip, please email: [email protected]. Places are limited and will be given on a first come, first served basis.