History Brought to Life at Craggaunowen

Jill Holtz

August 7, 2015


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Looking for something to do with your child in Clare? Jill tells us why you should visit Craggaunowen, to see history brought to life:

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What is Craggaunowen?

Craggaunowen is an attraction in the heart of County Clare, with several buildings that have been renovated or reconstructed to show you how people lived in the past.

How Shannon Heritage Describe Craggaunowen

Craggaunowen is Ireland’s original award winning Pre-historic Park, we call it the “the Living Past Experience”.  Follow in the footsteps of the fascinating Celts in Ireland and the many advances they brought about in Irish society at that time.


What did Jill and her family think of it?

At Craggaunowen you will find several buildings and a series of pleasant walks around the attraction, one through woodlands. On the day we went, we happened to have fine weather which made it extremely enjoyable as we wandered around.

craggaunowen tower castleWe started with the Tower House Castle, and enjoyed climbing up the winding stairs and into the different rooms.

The day we visited there was a lady spinning wool with weavings on show, showing how spinning and weaving would have been done in the past.

We then moved on to The Crannog, where we enjoyed a talk by a Chieftain who regaled us with tales of how the Celts lived in Iron & Early Christian periods, what they did for hunting, how the bards were important, how battles might have taken place, how society was run.

craggaunowen crannogThe trail takes you next to the Iron Age Field, Iron Age Road (with a section brought over from an original Iron Age bog road Corlea), then you arrive at the Ringfort or farmstead with its slightly spooky looking Souterrain, where they used to store food.

It’s so fascinating to see things that you have read about in books or heard about at school brought to life.

craggaunowen brendanNext up was a visit to The Brendan which was a boat built in 1976 based on descriptions of Brendan the Navigator’s vessel which according to legend went to America long before Columbus!

Finally a wander on the Woodlands Walk and back to the cafe and shop for some refreshment.

Two minor things that I think would make Craggaunowen
even better for families would be for them to put some sort of playground for kids and also to give kids a slightly more kid-friendly quiz or trail for them to follow around the site, craggaunowen donkeymaybe answering questions as they go. These would really enhance the visit experience.

But overall we enjoyed our visit and especially on a dry day, it’s so nice to be outside and seeing new things at the same time. And we also enjoyed meeting the baby donkey by the car park!

Tell us in 5 words why we should go

The past brought to life!

Over to you now. Have you visited Craggaunowen? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Published On: August 7th, 2015 / Categories: Ireland, Things To Do / Last Updated: March 19th, 2021 / Tags: , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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