Ardglass Golf Club to host talk on history and legends

Ardglass Golf Club to host talk on history and legends

8 May 2019

DUE to the phenomenal success of Game of Thrones the majestic landscape of Co Down has been exposed to millions. 

As tourists flock to filming locations dotted throughout the province in their droves most are unaware of the rich heritage and legends which surround the real families who built and lived in our castles, towers and monasteries. 

Some of these stories will be told at a free event at Ardglass Golf Club tomorrow at 7pm as part of the Beyond Westeros project led by the School of Natural and Built Heritage at Queen’s University Belfast and the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership.  

The talk will identify a medieval trail across Co Down and ultimately the whole of Ulster. Such a trail would link the area’s many tower houses, monasteries and other medieval sites. Local people are being invited to give their ideas on the trail and it might be enhanced through themed banquets, tapestry making, metal working, re-enactments, guided tours and other activities to encourage visitors to spend time in the area.

This project is being supported and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Tourism NI and the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities. It has been developed as part of their European Year of Cultural Heritage programme.

“A medieval trail would leave a lasting legacy from the huge rise in visits to heritage sites used as Game Of Thrones locations, estimated by Tourism NI at 120,000 visitors in 2016, and valued at £30 million to the local economy,” a spokesman for the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership said.

“The Beyond Westeros Roadmap describes how political control was shared around 1500 AD among 12 lordships of medieval Ulster and their stories played out around Dundrum Castle and other sites.  

“The project will also work with people, tour operators and tour guides, particularly in and around Downpatrick, to begin to establish medieval sites as cultural hubs within a network of linked sites.”

Individuals, businesses, artisans and groups in Co Down will be invited to help develop medieval sites as cultural hubs for their community and for visitors. 

A portfolio of medieval stories and characters will be created to communicate to these cultural heritage tourists. 

This will enhance work already undertaken by Historic Environment Division to improve visitor access and community engagement with some sites in their care in the area, and they will be closely involved throughout the project.