Thursday, 27 January 2022

Heritage in Schools bookings

We are delighted to now be taking bookings for visits to schools through the Heritage in Schools scheme. Between February and June Ann or Annette can come to your school and guide you and your students through one of our fun-filled, interactive heritage workshop sessions. The scheme aims to raise awareness and to help children and their teachers appreciate their local heritage by engaging with it in a meaningful way. Place-based learning in the outdoor classroom is also encouraged.

Visits are part-funded by the Heritage Council so the cost to the school for a full day with a heritage specialist is only €100 (€60 for DEIS schools) and half day visits are €60 (€40 for DEIS schools). If you book the same specialist for 5 sessions the 5th visit is free for the school.

Contact us at to arrange a date in advance, then book your visit through the Heritage in Schools website.

Storytelling and Mythology

Scéalta Beo come in Celtic costume and have props and visual aids to enhance their storytelling. Mythology and storytelling helped our ancestors understand and deal with crisis, which makes them very important tools in this era of climate change. We tell many of the ancient stories of the Tuatha Dé Dannan our favourite being the local legend of Midir and Etain. Midir was known as a judge and given the task of restoring the balance which is very relevant to the times we live in.


Life in the Iron Age

Interactive practical activities, discussions and stories combine to demonstrate what life was like in Iron Age/Early Medieval Ireland. The session(s) can cover aspects of society and every day activities: buildings, clothing, jewellery and metalwork, food, biodiversity, games such as fidchell, weaving, foraging, natural dyeing, Brehon Laws including the importance of trees, fire festivals and ogham script.


Exploring your Townland

Discover all you need to research and explore your townland: delve into its history, find out the meaning of its name and look at local built and natural heritage close up. Using this as inspiration create your own art or writing based on what you learn.



Biodiversity in the school garden 

Whether you want to design a vegetable garden from scratch, develop sensory areas, get guidance for the Biodiversity Green Flag or just look closely at native trees, mini-beasts or animal habitats around your school, Scéalta Beo can help you explore and creatively interact with the outdoor learning environment, getting hands-on experience and connecting with the living stories all around us.;

Saturday, 7 August 2021

10th Anniversary event and plans for Heritage Week 2021

Fadó, fadó Midir was tasked by Eochaidh with creating a road over the bog. Eochaidh did not keep his end of the bargain and sent out a spy to watch the spectacle. Midir then built a deliberate fault in the road, so it wouldn't last. 

This story had been told orally for centuries before being written down by the monks who carefully recorded The Wooing of Etain in Lebor na hUidre and the Yellow Book of Lecan in the 12th and 15th Centuries. 

The road in question was uncovered in the early 1980s at Corlea, near Kenagh, Co. Longford. Constructed in 148AD it was found to have lasted a very short time, around ten years, before sinking back into the bog which preserved it. 

One theory is that it had a ceremonial use and so was needed only for enough time to fulfill its purpose. The people of the time experienced many years of failed crops and hunger, brought about by climate change, so drastic action was needed. Back then this involved a huge community effort, getting together to cut down the 100s of oak and birch trees needed to make the road, cutting, shaping and transporting them into place, before sacrificing their king to appease the gods and restore balance to nature and food abundance to the people. 

Throughout history there have been other times when nature was out of balance requiring drastic measures. Now, with climate disasters making headlines we need action again. We can feel helpless when faced with global problems, but solutions may be found closer to home in our natural heritage. 

We need community effort to plant trees, re-wild areas, add biodiversity and work with nature instead of against her. Time is running out to restore abundance and benefit all life. We can start with our own gardens. 

This Heritage Week Scéalta Beo will show what we’ve been doing in a series of videos including some of the following: attracting pollinators, foraging in the garden, food forests, pond life, saving seeds, growing vegetables, keeping chickens and embracing weeds. 

We are starting a collection of living stories: local plant heritage and lore. Pat Kelleher will share the story of the kale that has been growing for generations in his garden. He gave us plants last year and we have saved seeds to share at our in person event. Brendan Farrell will tell us of his grandfather’s golden osiers. We will have cuttings later in the year. 

We would like your help to gather more living stories. Have you had an encounter with a frog? Are you re-wilding land? Have you a tree in your field for generations? Is your family growing vegetables together? Whatever your story, we would love to hear it. Get in touch to share it: 

If you would like to tell us your story in person or have some seeds or chemical-free plants to swap come along to the 10th Anniversary event at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre:

22nd August: 2pm-4pm

Plant, seed and story swap

We have been busy collecting seeds and growing plants to share. We are giving away seeds including Pat Kelleher's Kale in the hope that people will grow their own. We encourage you to bring chemical-free plants and seeds to swap. We'll use what we get in return in our gardens and keep seed to share next year. The aim is to build connections, biodiversity, and keep heritage seeds in circulation. This helps local food resilience and hopefully saves some rare heirloom varieties for the future.

The story collection is a very important element. Scéalta Beo means living stories and we hope to educate and inspire, as well tapping into and storing some vital knowledge, plant lore and memories for future generations. We want to encourage people to garden with nature instead of against it and save the planet while we're at it. Come along to start restoring the balance.


This event will be outdoors and held in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions. Feel free to bring your own refreshments or picnic, but remember to leave no trace.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Heritage Week 2020


Join Scéalta Beo and Creative Ardagh online for three days during National Heritage Week when we will show you all you need to explore your townland; delve into its history; take a walk; and look at your local heritage close up.

Using this as inspiration we will then guide you to create your own art and writing in two short workshops suitable for all ages - children and adults.

Share your creations with us and we will feature it in our online gallery

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Creative Ardagh Craft Shop online

We are delighted to announce that our new Creative Ardagh Craft Shop website is now live and we are ready to take your orders on
Please spread the word!

Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre remains closed at present due to Coronvirus restrictions, but you can now get your handmade gifts and authentic Irish art, craft, design and books online. We will continue to add beautiful pieces by our wonderful creators from all over the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands region over the next few weeks and months. We also have plans for more Scéalta Beo and Creative Ardagh products, so keep an eye out for more details.

Shipping is available at flat rates to anywhere we can post to, the list of countries will be updated as restrictions are eased.

Thank you all for your continued support, remember that supporting local small businesses is now more important than ever.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Find us on the Heritage in Schools expert's panel

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are now registered experts on the Heritage in Schools panel. You can find out more about the scheme at and you can view our profiles here:

If you would like to book a visit to your school contact us to arrange a date and discuss what you would like covered in the visit and you can then book through the Heritage in Schools portal.

All of our usual school programmes are still available in Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre. You will find details of those here:

Monday, 13 January 2020

St. Brigid's Cross Making

Join us for our annual St. Brigid's Cross Making Workshop at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre on Sunday 26th at 12pm. €5pp, Tea and coffee included along with some stories about St. Brigid and her connections to Ardagh and the traditions of the past.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Ardagh Fright Fest 2019

Here's a snippet from the TY visits during the week. Thanks to Nathan Sheridan for this video and to Shelley Corcoran and Longford Arts Office for arranging it.

Restoring the Balance is the theme of Ardagh Fright Fest 2019. This year the popular TY photography exhibition returned and almost 200 students joined us during the week to view the exhibition, hear stories from Scéalta Beo and take part in a clay workshop. Brendan Farrell started off the other events with an informative look at Winter Gardening. Tonight (25/10/19) we are joined by Karina Tynan who will explore the legend of Midir and Etain from Fuamnach's perspective and tomorrow (Saturday 26th) she will join Ruth Long and Scéalta Beo on an author panel looking at the relevance of Irish Mythology to the world today. Ruth continues this theme with a workshop for teens and adults delving into how ancient myth can be used in modern fiction. Family event Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Year 9 brings Ardagh Fright Fest 2019 to a close on Sunday and Monday at 12pm. See for more details.