The geology and history of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and the pre-historic discoveries made throughout its unique karst landscape will be discussed as part of a series of Heritage Week talks getting underway this weekend.
The 21st annual celebration of County Clare’s built, natural and cultural heritage is being coordinated locally by Clare County Council and The Heritage Council, with support from Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media.
The Burren series of events commences at The Burren Centre in Kilfenora at 3.30pm this Sunday (13th August) with a talk by Dr. Eamon Doyle geologist for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and Clare County Council. Dr. Doyle will be speaking about some of his past discoveries including abandoned fossil burrows dating back 330 million years which he found in limestone rock on the northwest Clare coastline at Doolin.
A talk on the geology of Lisdoonvarna and surrounding areas, the Geo Stack, and the history of the wells in Lisdoonvarna will be held at Lisdoonvarna Library on August 17th from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. Stories about the therapeutic mineral waters of the spa wells caused a tourism ‘boom’ during the late 19th century and resulted in most of the present-day guest houses and hotels being built to accommodate the huge influx of visitors.
Animations being produced by the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, in association with Magpie 6 Media and supported by the Geological Survey of Ireland, will also be promoted on the Geopark’s social media accounts during Heritage Week. The animations tell the story of the formation of the Burren and how it has changed over 330 million years and focus on themes including the last Ice Age, fossils in the Geopark, the karst landscape and hydrogeology of the Burren, Climate Change, Earth’s plate tectonic journey, the sandstone and shale of the Cliffs of Moher, and the formation of the Burren limestone.
Heritage Week in the Burren concludes at Caherconnell Stone Fort on August 20th from midday to 4.00pm with a fascinating talk about iron production in Ireland. Irish Smelting Archaeologist Dr. Paul Rondelez and Dr. Eamon Doyle also will be providing insight into the 2023 Caherconnell International Furnace Festival, which takes place on the weekend of August 26th and 27th when the 1,000-year-old Fort will be transformed into an open-air museum as iron is smelted on site before being forged into replicas of arrowheads, knives and belt buckles excavated at the medieval site.
Carol Gleeson, Manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, said, “One of the primary objectives of our Heritage Week events is to further increase engagement between the people of Clare and the heritage of the Burren. By doing so, we hope to create a greater sense of awareness and appreciation of the geology and history of one of Ireland’s most unique landscapes.”
Visit www.burrengeopark.ie/heritageweek2023 for the latest on Heritage Week in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.