National Heritage Week — Fore

Fore valley, which is filled with built heritage dating back over 1000 years and including earthworks, burial mounds, the remains of 7th century churches and the largest Benedictine Monastic abbey remains in Europe, a Mausoleum styled like a tiny castle, a Norman Motte and Bailey and a Gallows Hill. This Saturday 923rd August), visitors to Fore can see …

Seven Wonders of Fore: Visitors can walk this new looped walk with a guide who will tell them all about the Seven Wonders and along the way they will meet characters from all through time including a Norman Knight preparing for battle, a Viking getting ready to raid or maybe trade, St Fechin and the Hermit and medieval villagers,” explains Jane O’Reilly, one of the event organisers.

image of fore valley with st, fechins church
Fore Valley 

Art for Children: Paula Heavy Hilliard and the Sundancers Creativity Centre, where children will be able to make a Viking shield, St Fechin’s Rag Tree, a Wooden Necklace and Celtic Art.

Stone & Wood Carving Workshops: The looped walk will also have Fergus Corrigan at a workstation, where he will demonstrate the skill and art of the stone carver and Anton Pierson, a wood carver, who will be carving a piece of art to commemorate the day that will celebrate the area’s built heritage and its beautiful native trees.

 ‘Meet Your Ancestors’ Workshop: With genealogy expert Michael Conlon.

Native Trees & Wild Plants: Fore has many native Ash, Hawthorn, Apple, Oak and ‘Wild Plants’ which horticulturalist, Octavia Tulloch will explain.

A Reflective Prayer Space: Within St Fechin’s Church, visitors can go in and spend time in a space lit only by candles, where they can listen to Gregorian Chants and write down reflections, intentions or prayers that they can leave with the Church to be offered up at Mass.

image of  st, fechiin's church

St. Fechin’s Church

As well as the incredible magic of the built heritage in Fore, which includes handsome Norman Abbey remains, stone archways that remind us that the area was once heavily fortified, a much older 9th Century Church and a mausoleum that looks like a tiny Castle; the looped walk itself will bring visitors through  some of the most beautiful countryside in the midlands.

The beautiful green Valley of Fore, bound on one side by the tree topped Ben of Fore, that looks like a breaking wave and the limestone rocky out crop of Balor’s Hill on the other. Fresh springs sparkle in the meadows and the area is teeming with rare wildlife including pine martins, kingfishers, frogs, newts, swans, buzzards, dragonflies and butterflies. Not rare but thrilling are the ravens that inhabit the abbey ruins and take to the sky to play in high winds and the thousands of crows that inhabit the islands of Lough Lene that can often be seen gathering in the evening to return to roost.

Brief  Summary of Events:

  • The event begins at 12 and guided walks will begin on the looped walk every half hour from 12.
  • Michael Conlon will be situated in the conference room in Fore Coffee Shop, where he will discuss local genealogy and advise any visitors coming into the area about their family connection.
  • The Conference Centre will also have a language exhibition inside.
  • €3 charge for the art workshops to cover materials

This is a Heritage event, supported by Failte Ireland Funding administered by Westmeath County Council. Everyone is welcome and the looped walk is around 3k and people are advised to wear footwear suitable for walking in fields.

To find out more you can visit website.

Look forward to seeing you on the day.





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