Longford

Creative Ardagh

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Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre is home to an exhibition on Irish mythology, early Christianity, local writers and life 100 years ago. Creative Ardagh encourage all ages to explore their creativity, be inspired by the setting and create art.

Creative Ardagh celebrated their fifth anniversary at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre last August 2016. The welcoming, quaint and curious centre is located in an old school house built in 1898. It houses an exciting exhibition which outlines the history of the exquisite village of Ardagh. The story is one of history, literature and story-telling. This exhibition draws on the rich fabric of Ardagh life down through the ages, from the roots of the village in Irish mythology being the home of Midir of Brí Leith from the wonderful story The wooing of Étain, to its development as an important early church site, the location of the first St. Mel's Cathedral and mentioned in the Annals as a place where St. Patrick met with King Maine to build a monastery and its emergence as a model estate village designed by Lord Fetherson based on a Swiss village he had admired. The leader of the Battle of Granard in 1798 was Paddy Farrell a native of Ardagh parish and he is buried in one of the local graveyards as are two of the Longford Volunteers from the 1916 rising, Alfred McHugh and Áine Ní Riain. Over the years, Ardagh has played host to writers and musicians such as Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Walter Scott, Turlough O'Carolan and Maria Edgeworth. The village itself has two beautiful churches that are worth viewing along with a clock tower and the ruins of the original St. Mel's Cathedral. St. Patrick's Protestant church is over 200 years old and recently renovated and St. Brigid's RC Church is one of the few churches in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise to still have it's original altar, an altar built by the father of Padraig Pearse.

Creative Ardagh have transformed the centre into a place in which people of all ages, from toddler to experienced adult, are encouraged to explore their creativity, be inspired by the beautiful setting and create their own individual artwork. They host family events, creativity mornings, group classes and drop-in art days. They are accredited as a SFI Discover Centre with two Discover Primary Science and Maths programmes on their large listing. They have Arty Summer Camps every year with denbuilding, nature walks, tie-dying, claymodeling etc.

They also provide a beautiful exclusive venue for themed birthday parties at value for money prices and offer the venue for events, exhibitions, meetings and so forth. They host many events during the year including The White Rabbit Egg Hunt at Easter, An Enchanted Woodland Christmas and many more. Their biggest annual event is Ardagh Fright Fest which is at Halloween and has a gothic literature theme to it. They host workshops with writers for teens and adults, have spooky art camps and the favourite is the Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which is loosely based on Harry Potter. Magic abounds at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre.