Get ready for a weekend of Medieval Games, fancy dress duels, fire-juggling and heritage in Bandon this weekend, the 23rd – 25thAugust at the Bandon Walled Town Festival. Town criers and pipe bands will add a wonderful dimension to ye olde town whilst poignant harp music and seanachai will entertain you deep into the night.
There is literally something for everyone at this fantastic festival – families will be enthralled with the line-up as will music lovers and historians.
Learn about Longbows, blacksmiths, juggling and coin-making all in the atmospheric set up amongst Hiberno- Normanic Encampments and basketry displays in an all-day-action-packed line up for families.
This promises to be an atmospheric festival, steeped in Heritage which is fun and educational and is a perfect way to round off the summer holidays.
Here is what the brilliant flyer has to offer –
“This year music features strongly to acknowledge its’ very special place in Irish history. Through out the weekend we will have sessions, recitals, workshops and a harp gathering!!! Just some of the acts include;
Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Irish harp), Nollaig Casey (fiddle, vocals) and Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh (vocals, fiddle, Irish harp) a very talented local family who have had incredible success both here and internationally.
Brenda Malloy the Renaissance Harp player will return this year to wow us again.
PerKelt, a Celtic-Medieval Speed Folk band from London will be demonstrating what exactly is Celtic-Medieval Speed Folk and of course last but by no means least our very own local choirs regaling songs of old.
Some of the family day festivities so far include an archery display, a medieval puppet show (with special effects!!), balloon modelling, a battle re-enactment (this years arsenal includes balloon swords and axes), coin making workshops, a blacksmith, long bow displays, live music, ye ol tavern trail (adults only), jugglers, pig on a spit, food stalls with much more to be confirmed!!! “
Please follow us on facebook to keep up with all updates and how (if you wish) you can participate.
A short History by John Desmond
Bandon was an important centre for the Munster Plantations after the Battle of Kinsale. It was promoted as a military outpost after the capture of lands and stock from the O’Mahony’s, O’ Driscoll’s, McCarthy’s and the Desmond Geraldine’s. The town came under constant attack from the conquered natives so Richard Boyle had a wall constructed around its perimeter, which took approximately five years to build, from 1620 to 1625. The area enclosed by the walls was calculated at twenty seven acres.
The walls were mainly composed of thick black slate which was quarried and broke at Ballylangley, Twomeys Glen and the nearby Park. Most of the walls were nine feet thick and varied in height from thirty to fifty feet. They were mounted with cannon guns and had six round watch towers built along them at regular intervals. The river openings were protected by iron flood gates and by fences manufactured from beams of timber and poles, with sentry on duty all the time.
The gates were built within an archway capable of allowing the tallest cart-load to pass through. They were of an imposing kind with beautiful architectural portals and strengthened with Portcullises.
The bridge was built of stone and consisted of six arches. It did not have parapet walls but consisted wooden railings on both sides, with intersecting rails, joined to uprights and surmounted with a hand-rail. The hand-rail was ornamented by a large ball of wood where the uprights met, which rendered the ‘tout ensemble’ of the structure both picturesque and graceful.
The three castles were erected within the wall, with each of them containing twenty six rooms. The turrets and flankers were plat-formed with lead and mounted with ordnance. The design and structural arrangement was of the highest standard.
In 1625 Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork boasted ‘ My town of Bandon-Bridge is more encompass than Londonderry– my walls are stronger and thicker and higher’
For many years people were rejected entry into the town with a slogan at each gate reading, ‘ Turk, Jew or Atheist may enter here, but not a Papaist’ Thankfully today the walls are breached so now we can all look from the inside out.