Sligo Folk Park

Sligo Folk Park

A trip down memory lane for the whole family is what awaits visitors to Sligo Folk Park. It is a true experience of rural Irish heritage. Here, the cultural heritage and history of the whole region comes to life.

The Museum and Exhibition Hall, built in the style of a traditional residence complete with garden and courtyard also houses a fine collection of rural and agricultural artefacts.

Millview House originates from the 19th century and has both the smell and fell of life in the late 1800s. The house retains its original architecture and a wealth of restored furniture pieces, household items, linens, photographs, and artefacts (like a long-handled bed warmer, a kitchen cooking pot, handmade lace garments, and common weaponry).

The Forge, currently managed by blacksmith artist Michael Budd (www.michaelbudd.ie), is also known as Kilkenny Forge. In ancient societies, the blacksmith was considered the magical shaman of his village and even had the power to marry couples within his forge. Today, it is still considered good luck for a couple to drop by a forge on their wedding day to get a blessing (or a handshake) from the blacksmith. "By the hammer and the hand" is the blacksmith's motto, one that dates to the original forger: the Greek god Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera, born with twisted legs but magical hands. The only twists in Michael Budd's shop, though, are the ribboned loops he so skilfully executes in his beautiful leaded artworks. Among blacksmiths, there exists a certain sign language. Students watch the Master Smythe while he hammers this way, that way, a bend here, a turn of the wrist there. The way he wields and holds his hammer is the signal to the others to follow his movements-much as a composer loops and taps his wand for his orchestra.

The Craft Centre and Restaurant host a wide collection of local crafts and artworks in addition to offering a wide variety of homemade, healthy soups, salads, sandwiches, breads, and scrumptious desserts at reasonable prices (€2 - €10).

The Village Street, the newest addition, is an exhibition hall which houses a recreated village streetscape with authentic objects which would have been found in a variety of Irish shops typical of every village: creamery, pub, cobbler, chemist, library, and mercantile.

On site as well are a peacock pen, a hen house, a duck pond, geese, goats, turkeys, rabbits...all delightfully accustomed to the human animals who take such pleasure in watching and photographing them.

A visit to Sligo Folk Park will prove a delightful adventure with surprises at every turn. A perfect place for family and friends.

Hours: May to September, Open every day, 10:00 - 5:30, Sunday, 12:30 - 6:00

Cost: Adults €6, Children €4, Family €20

For group rates and tour information contact Imelda Ryan-Jones, Manager

T: 071 916 5001

Ample parking available

How to get there:

From Dublin: N4 to Castlebaldwin, Follow signs 5km to Riverstown.

From Belfast: A6 to Derry, then A5 to Lifford, N15 to Sligo Town. Take N4 to Drumfin, left at sign 3km to Riverstown.

 

Address:

Sligo Folk Park

Riverstown, Co. Sligo

www.sligofolkpark.com

 

Written by Joy Davis - Summer of Travel 2007

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