Even in the pandemic, we hosted several live events and workshops (with compliant restrictions)...
Participants made medieval inlaid and plain tiles using locally dug clay from our building excavation. We mixed and sieved the clay and made about 500 tiles! About 75 people from the community and other groups participated in the events. We also ran paid full-day workshops which included tours and t-shirts.
In September we fired the tiles using a medieval-style kiln. This was partially successful as we had part of the kiln collapse before reaching the final temperatures to melt the glaze. We will re-fire this again in 2022.
2021 Sea-Faring Music Sessions
Inspired by our funding by Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland's Seafood Development Agency, we have been hosting music sessions virtually in 2021 and now get to host some live at the Castle! Join us on these dates for a collection of nautical-themed songs, stories, tunes from around the world if they are inspired by sea, ships, fish, sea-monsters, mermaids, bays, sailors, etc!. Please bring your own chair for sitting outdoors and your own provisions. Tent provided for cover. & COVID restrictions apply Saturdays 7-10 pm: 17 & 31 July, 21 August (along with a special Mumming performance below), 11 September
The Sigginstown Mummers Return! Heritage Week 2021
Join us on Saturday 21 August from 3-7 pm to recreate a Mumming Play based on traditional folk play sources. This year we will be adding two themes to our play: the Plague and Sea-Faring, since the mumming will be performed at the start of our Sea-Faring Session. You can choose to participate in one or several ways: create the script, make costumes, act, provide music or just be general support. We always have a great deal f fun in creating and performing this short play (up to 15 minutes) using our combined creativity. We will record our play and post it to Facebook and YouTube. If restrictions change, we will organize a virtual performance on Zoom (email firstname.lastname@example.org if this occurs!)
The play will be performed as part of our Sea-Faring Session from 7-10 pm that evening. Bring a chair and your food/beverage as there will be no break for supper. COVID restrictions and safety waiver applies. This will be outdoors in a grass field with tent for cover.
When we announced that we had bough a ruined castle, a long time friend asked if we might be interested in doing a TV show - his son was engaged (recently married!) to producer on the show.
We said "Sure - why not? Let's see what happens!" That was in June of 2016 and in September of 2017 the episode aired
We had a great time: One day of filming in Connecticut, and five days in Ireland! Both crews were fantastic - hard working, pleasant and fun to be with. Lots of other people helped too!
The Castle Studies Group, and organization based in the UK with a passion for castles, generously provided a small grant in early 2016 to date the wicker in the tower. This is via a combination of carbon-14 dating and also Bayesian analysis - the method is being trailed by Rory Sherlock for several other Irish Tower houses. Stafford-McLoughlin Archeology submitted the samples and obtained the license.
The first surprise was that the wicker in the tower was gorse! A very prickly but prevalent bush that was deliberately planted by farmers to act as a field barrier, fuel and also for animal feed. We have since learned it is a useful plant in so many ways (plus it smells like coconut!)
More to come on the results of the dating survey!
In 2017 we applied for a Heritage Council Grant to perform a geophysical survey. We were thrilled to get some funding that covered most of the activity!
Joanna Leigh performed the work in June - she surveyed the three surrounding fields with a combination of gradiometer & targeted resistance survey techniques. A variety of interesting foundations and possible archeological deposits were indicated. We will use this information to be more precise with renovation footprints and it will also be used to create the next set of archeological testing.