Another landmark in the redevelopment of the Irish National Heritage Park has been reached with the re-opening of the early medieval ringfort. The ringfort has been almost completely rebuilt, and surrounded with a massive timber rampart which required the felling of some 400 Irish oaks. Inside, the two ‘old’ buildings have been rethatched in different styles, one using a wheat straw and the other, reed. A third building has also been added, an openwork structure suggestive of the out buildings referred to in the texts, but which is intended for use as demonstration area. A hugely successful two-day bow-making course has already been held here and another is planned for August 18-19 (some places still available! – see www.inhp.com/events). Regular pole-lathe demonstrations will also feature. A dramatic feature of the new ringfort is the gate-tower which rises prominently above the entrance. The main house is being fitted-out at present with bed cubicles, hearth and cooking equipment, and once that is completed people will be able to stay overnight in the ringfort, for an utterly unique experience of living in the past.
The rebuilding and refitting of the ringfort is being undertaken by craftsmen from Muintir na Coille with archaeological advice from Crane Bag Consulting, as well as input from the UCD School of Archaeology.