This yearâ€™s Cashel Town Wall Festival runs from Wednesday to Saturday, August 15 to 18. With most of the events being free to the public.
The festival will get under way at the Heritage Centre with a daytime hands-on archaeology workshops for children, run by Mick Drumm of Wolfhound archaeology. Running from 10am to 4pm each day, this will be a chance for enquiring minds equipped with trowels to discover what lies beneath the surface. Will they find treasure, perhaps shards of pottery, old coins, a rusty dagger or who knows even a body? You can book your free dig at the Heritage Centre.
The festival is largely sponsored by the Kilkenny based Heritage Council. They grant the Cashel Town Council a substantial sum of money each year to put on a major heritage event, centred around the Cashel Town Walls (which were built between 1319 â€“24).
The running of the event is in the very capable hands of the Cashel Heritage Trust. Olivia Quinlan from the trust told us that this yearâ€™s main festival will return to the Cashel Palace Garden on Saturday, August 18. â€œA stipulation from the Heritage Council is that the event must be run in or very near to the town wall, and we are very lucky in Cashel to have a number of areas that are suitable for the festival,â€ she explained.
Olivia said: â€œThis year the Heritage Council are marketing the country-wide event as a chance to see some authentic medieval culture, and where better to experience that than in the Cashel Palace Grounds? It is right under the shadow of the Rock and surrounded by Cashelâ€™s ancient town walls. There will be all sorts of medieval crafts and demonstrations, a chance to get hands on with things such as stone carving and basket making and perhaps even taste some medieval food, and a few surprises too.â€
This year the festival will feature Clioamh, a group of Irish re-enactors who will show weapons and armour from the Gallowglass period, which is â€œspot on for the time when the town walls were erectedâ€ said Olivia . There will be a chance to see the soldiers in action as they recreate battle scenes from the 14th century.
The festival will officially launch on Friday, August 17, with a special Patronsâ€™ Concert in St. Johnâ€™s Cathedral. Sean Laffey the festival director of the Heritage Trust said he had a wonderful mix of music for the evening spanning 700 years of history. The Cathedral is itself built within the bounds of the town wall. â€œWe have Nuada from Ireland and Opland/Freeman a duo who come from Manchester and Alaska!
â€œThe concert will throw the spotlight on two contrasting acoustic duos. With Opland/Freeman playing world music on a huge variety of instruments. The second duo, Nuada are Irish,â€ said Sean Laffey and he said that they will perform on period instruments and give a light-hearted introduction to music of the middle ages. â€œThese four highly experienced and widely travelled multi-instrumentalists come together as duos, trios and quartet to share their diverse repertoire of music that sweeps through the centuries.â€
Tickets are on sale now for the St. Johnâ€™s Cathedral concert from the Heritage Centre , tickets are â‚¬10 for adults , â‚¬5 for under 18s and pensioners, with a family tickets ( two adults and up to four children) for just â‚¬20.
More details from the Cashel Heritage Centre on 062 62511 and check out www.cashel.ie