Talks, Workshops & Day Trips

The Medieval Pantry – Foraging Event

What did nature provide for our medieval ancestors to eat? This was the question we asked Lorraine from to explore with us on a foraging expedition in Ferns in April 2023.   

The Medieval Pantry was a foraging expedition with a difference.  The following is just a brief resume in what turned out to be a most enjoyable and enlightening ramble through nature’s larder.    Read More

Day Trip to the National Gallery & National Museum

This was such a fund day out. We met up at the Medieval Ferns Experience and off we set on a relaxing trip to Dublin on a Roche’s bus. First stop was a visit to the National Gallery to see the fabulous painting, The Marriage of Strongbow & Aoife among others. We had a guided tour which was wonderful, adding many layers to the experience. After lunch we visited the National Museum where we saw treasures including the Knight On the Tile, the Breac Maodhóg and the Kavanagh Charter horn, reliquaries and more. Part of the success of the day was the chance to chat over lunch and before we set off for home, we had time for a glass of ‘refreshment’ and a stroll on Stephens Green in the sunshine.

Day Trip to New Ross

With funding from the Ancient Connections programme, we organised a day trip to New Ross for staff and volunteers at the Medieval Ferns Experience. It rained almost all day but that didn’t dampen our spirits.

The idea behind the trip was to actually visit sites in New Ross that we’d heard about but wanted to see so that when we chat to visitors, we can talk with first hand knowledge. New Ross and Ferns have such a shared Norman history we wanted to see for ourselves. And what better way to get to know New Ross than to get a guided tour by Myles Courtney of New Ross Street Focus. We spent the morning visiting sites and were hugely impressed with the extent of its history and the fantastic work being done. The beautiful High Hill Norman Gardens are a treasure, murals bringing life and colour to laneways and lots more projects in the pipeline. And before we left New Ross we had lunch at The Captains Table at the Dunbrody Famine Ship.

In the afternoon it was the New Ross groups’ turn to visit Ferns where they got the royal treatment – the group included representatives of The Ros Tapestry, New Ross Street Focus, Dunbrody Famin Ship and the New Ross Historical Society. We visited Ferns Castle, the Medieval Ferns Experience and after a well earned break for coffee in The Courtyard, Ferns, we finished the day giving them a guided walking tour of key medieval sites in Ferns. l. Thanks to Cathy, Heritage Tours Wexford for chaperoning us to and fro on time and for making sure we all enjoyed our day out.

‘Reading the Stones’ workshop

This workshop was given by Steve Mandal who treated us to a masterclass in the formation of our landscape, giving a fascinating talk at the ‘Reading The Stones’. Those in attendance brought along some of their favourite stones, including greywacke (from earthquake deposits), granite, belsite (volcanic rock), old red sandstone, flint from the Antrim coast, limestone and quartzite. Such a beautiful array in all shapes and sizes, dating back millions of years. And of course there were a few beauties that were hard to identify without further investigation and Steve went away looking forward to the challenge.

The location of the workshop was in the grounds of St Edans cathedral – said to be the ‘smallest cathedral in Europe’. It was a most appropriate site as there are elements of the building that date back centuries – the cathedral was built by Bishop John St John in the 13th century. Steve pointed out the stone which the cathedral was made from – a volcanic stone called Belsite which was also used in St Mary’s Abbey, built by Diarmat MacMurrough – watch this video as Steve explains.