Friday 19 January 2018

Volunteers invited to get digging in Glendalough

Excavations at Glendalough as part of National Heritage Week 2016
Excavations at Glendalough as part of National Heritage Week 2016

Those with even a passing interest in archaeology are being invited to take part in an exciting initiative that is currently under way at Glendalough.

The Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council has teamed up with the School of Archaeology at UCD to host a programme of activities centred around the heritage of the Glendalough Valley.

From yesterday (Tuesday, August 8) until Friday, August 18, volunteers are being invited to participate for a day, or several days, in a community excavation. No experience is needed, full training and supervision will be given on site and participation is open to anyone over 18.

For those a little bit younger, there will be a special one-day junior excavation for those aged 13 to 17 years next Saturday, August 12 (teenagers must be accompanied by an adult).

Both of these events are free to attend but places are limited and booking in advance is essential. To register an interest, email

'These are very special opportunities for adults and teenagers with an interest in archaeology to learn new skills and be part of researching one of Ireland's most significant medieval ecclesiastical sites,' said Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer with Wicklow County Council.

This initiative follows on from a Community Excavation held last year and a seminar on Community Archaeology held last May.

The following Saturday, August 19, the ever-popular 'Big Dig' will take place in Glendalough as part of National Heritage Week. This is a simulated archaeological dig, giving children (aged five to 12 years) the opportunity to try their hands at archaeology. Professionals from the School of Irish Archaeology will be on hand to discuss treasures uncovered. This event is also free of charge, but places are limited and can be reserved by emailing

Other events in Glendalough during Heritage Week will include a Food and Resources family open day on Saturday, August 26, demonstrating the interaction of people with the natural landscape at Glendalough over the last 1,000 years for food and raw materials.

Students from UCD will be carrying out excavations throughout Heritage Week and there will be daily guided archaeology and graveyard tours and an exhibition in the Brockagh Centre displaying rare sketches of Glendalough along with a Nature Explorers walk from Wicklow Mountains National Park.

All events are co-ordinated by The Glendalough Heritage Forum, a collaboration of organisations, individuals and stakeholder groups with an interest in increasing our understanding of the heritage of the Glendalough Valley.

For more about events in Wicklow for Heritage Week go to or contact Deirdre Burns, Heritage officer at0404 20100 or

Wicklow People

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