We visited Craggaunowen, a living past experience in County Clare,on April 10th. We were pretty much the only visitors that morning.
In the castle a woman showed us how to card and spin wool.
The Crannog (a man-made island) shows how some people lived starting in the late Bronze Age.
This Iron Age road (dating to about 148 BC) was excavated elsewhere in Ireland and then part of it was moved to Craggaunowen in 1986. Roads like this one are found all over Europe.
Cooking sites like this one (a re-creation) are found in many places in Ireland. They were used from the late Stone Age until the 1600s.
The way the moss grows on the rocks and trees is so beautiful and really contributes to the overall green in Ireland.
About 160 Portal Tombs (Dolmens) like this re-creation are known (including Poulnabrone Dolmen). They were used as communal burial sites. These tombs were used from about 2750 to 2000 BC.
About 40,000 ring fort sites have been identified in Ireland. They were lived in from the Iron Age (about 600 BC) to about 300 years ago. They were really more farmstead than fortification.
Inside one circular house in this re-creation was the entrance to the souterrain, an underground storage area perfect for keeping vegetables fresh through the winter and also could be an escape route if necessary.
A few decades ago, Tim Severin built a leather hulled boat and sailed across the mid-Atlantic recreating the voyage of St. Brendan and the early Christian monks who it is claimed discovered American long before Columbus. The Brendan Boat (the one used in the modern re-creation of the voyage) is housed sitting in water in a glass hut at Craggaunowen.
In a pasture by the parking lot there was a beautiful donkey and her baby. The baby never got very close to us, but the mother was happy to let us feed her some grass by hand.
She also occasionally let loose with a loud heehaw. One of those times Adrian had been standing near her and as soon as she started bellowing, Adrian turned and ran flat out away from her as fast as he could (I can’t believe I actually got a picture of it).