Craggaunowen Open Air Museum

Project: Craggaunowen Open Air Museum
Completion Date:
Client: Shannon Heritage
Project Value:
Services Provided: Full Civil and Structural Engineering
Project Size:

Project Description

The Craggaunowen project is Ireland’s original award winning archaeological open air museum, centred around a 16th century fortified tower house (built in 1550), in County Clare. (The name Craggaunowen derives from its Irish name meaning Creagán Eohain - Owen’s little rocky hill).
The purpose of the project, which is sited on 50 acres of idyllic woodland, was to recreate several examples of early historic dwelling places. Primary features of the project include; a 4th or 5th century ringfort, a replica Fulachta Fia (Bronze Age cooking and industrial site), a Dolmen (Neolithic portal tomb), a Standing Stone (Ogham Stone) and ‘The Brendan Boat’, the (reconstructed) boat used by Saint Brendan to sail to Newfoundland in the mid-6th century.
One of the most famous features of the project is the Crannog, a reconstruction of a lake dwelling, common in Ireland during the Bronze Age and early Christian periods. (The name Crannog is taken from the Irish word crann meaning tree).
Crannogs were artificial man-made islands usually built about 100m from the shore of a shallow lake. On these islands, dwellers built houses, kept animals and lived in relative security. A replica island was reconstructed, on the picturesque lake at Craggaunowen, using a build-up of layers of brushwood and other materials such as stones. A perimeter stockade and houses were constructed on the island using wattle-and-daub construction techniques.
From the initial stages of the Craggaunowen project, Garland provided a range of services and continued to do so intermittently throughout the course of the park restoration and development. Services provided included tender documentation, undertaking various site surveys, survey and design of the access road, the design of the Crannog and its associated footbridge and stockade and the design of the housing structure for “The Brendan Boat”.

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