The Office of Public Works (OPW) is pleased to announce that additional heritage sites will open to visitors from today, and more will follow in the coming weeks, writes Clodagh Dooley
More positive news, as restrictions start to lift and sites reopen. Among the sites reopening today is Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, offering access once again to the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Newgrange, as well as to Knowth and Dowth.
Other sites will be able to open their doors again to welcome visitors inside for self-guided tours. These include Pearse Cottage, Oldbridge House and Visitor Centre at the Battle of the Boyne site, Dublin Castle State Apartments, Dublin Castle Coach House Gallery and Kilkenny Castle.
At the Coach House Gallery, visitors can discover a new exhibition entitled ‘100 Lithographs: Dante’s Divine Comedy by Liam Ó Broin’, which is part of this year’s events marking 700 years since the death of medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri. At Kilkenny Castle, an exciting new experience awaits visitors following an innovative program of re-interpretation of many of the Castle’s period rooms, all laid out with the Ormonde family’s art collection, the 17th-century Decius Mus tapestries and intriguing new objects on display.
On 12th May, Castletown House will open its ground floor for self-guided visits five days a week. On 13th May, Doneraile Court will follow suit – opening the ground floor from Thursdays to Sundays – and Ross Castle will open for escorted visits on 14th May. Bryce House on Garnish Island is scheduled to open for escorted self-guided visits on 20th May and Rathfarnham Castle on 24th May.
Safety for all is a priority and OPW staff have worked hard to risk assess these historic houses, castles and museums, in order to provide access in easy one-way systems to facilitate social distancing. Together with the OPW gardens and parklands that have remained open and accessible to locals throughout lockdown this year, these reopened heritage sites will play an important role in providing amenities for citizens’ health and wellbeing, and in reviving cultural life locally as we move to the early stages of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information and updates, visit heritageireland.ie
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