I have to say that the KNOW YOUR LOCALITY course I’ve just completed, courtesy of Kildare Heritage Office, was inspiring. It was ably delivered by Dr Stephen Mandal (MIAI PGeo EurGeol) with interesting illustrations and explanations of many features from around the country. Naturally, there was an emphasis on Kildare.
The course was delivered through five online evening (7pm – 8.30pm) workshops over two and a half weeks. It began with an examination of the very bedrock under our feet, examining the geological processes and glacial events that shaped the landscape and formed the soils. The focus then moved to the impacts of humans on that landscape over time, from pre-history to the last century.
Workshops comprised two parts. The first portion of the workshops focussed on a different aspect of geology, the landscape and archaeology, from the formation of Ireland to the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland. The second part of the workshops presented wonderful online resources and explored their use to develop a set of online research skills. Finally, Workshop 5 outlined how these skills could be used to make a submission to the ‘Know Your 5k’ initiative by the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland. A comparison was made to the National Folklore project of the 30’s with the hope that a new archive of these submissions for our county as a key outcome of the course.
A comprehensive list of resources/links was sent to all the participants so that we could study our own locality.
Perhaps the appeal of the course has been complimented by my continued amazement and excitement at my new found mobility. My walks now include a historical element – looking for echoes of the past.
Naas was by-passed by the Great Southern and Western Railway’s Dublin to Cork line in 1846. In 1885 it gained a service and a station when the Sallins to Tullow line was opened. The last train ran in 1959. Now all the remains is the name “Railway Terrace”, the old railway bridge on Friary Road, the Railway Storehouse and the Railway Line Walk, one of my new exercise routes.
I can now extend a walk around the lakes to a route along the bypass, by the hospital and workhouse cemetery ending up with coffee at Swans on the Green.
The Naas Union workhouse was erected in 1840-41 to accommodate 550 inmates at a cost of £5500 plus £950 for fittings.