It is amazing what you can discover about your local area from the snug safety of your home!

We are delighted to offer a FREE* course (mostly online) that will take you step-by-step through the available online sources that will allow you to paint a picture of the geological, archaeological, and historical events that happened close to where you live. While the course will look at examples from throughout Ireland, it will focus on the geology, archaeology and history of your county. As such the course is aimed toward local people (who will be given preference for available course places) who are enthusiasts of natural and cultural heritage.

The course will be delivered through five online tutorials every Tuesday and Thursday over two and a half weeks commencing Thursday 13th Oct 2022. This year, the course will include a field trip to an archaeological site(s) on the weekend of the 22nd/23rd October (TBC). We will begin by looking at the very bedrock under your feet, examining the geological processes and glacial events that shaped the landscape and formed the soils. The course then focuses on the impacts of humans on that landscape over time, from pre-history to the last century.

The first workshop includes a summary of the course content and format. A list of resources/links will be sent to the participants so that they can study their own locality. Workshops 1-5 will comprise two parts. The first portion of the workshop will focus 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 will aim to teach a set of online research skills. Workshop 5 will also outline how these skills can be used to make your own submission(!) to the ‘KnowYour5k’ initiative by the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland. Gathering these submissions for your county is a key outcome of the course.

* funded by the Heritage Council with support from Westmeath County Council (Heritage Office).

Course Details

  • Course Dates and Times: October 13th – 27th, 2022 (five 1.5-hour sessions (7pm – 8.30pm GMT) in total on Oct 13th, 18th, 20th, 25th & 27th)
  • Field trip (TBC) on the weekend of 22nd/23rd October
  • Where: From your home! (except for the field trip)
  • Equipment: You will need access to the internet and a device (preferably a laptop or PC)
  • Enrolment Status: Open
  • Course Type: Local Geology/Archaeology/History
  • Instructor: Dr Stephen Mandal
  • Cost: FREE
  • Application Deadline: n/a (places are limited)

Steps to enjoy the weekly Know Your Locality course:

The series consists of five specialist online tutorials delivered over two and a half weeks, plus a field trip.

  1. Sign up (fill out the simple ‘Register here’ form above)*
  2. Receive the link to the first tutorial 24 hours before the live zoom session
  3. Watch the online tutorials from the comfort of your home
  4. Discover your local area with the online sources provided in the course

* Please note that places are strictly limited on this course. While the course if free – thanks to support from the Heritage Office – please only enrol if you are committed to attending, as otherwise you will be taking someone else’s place.

Register here

Safety Notice

This is predominantly an online course and as such, the majority of the activities are based on using online resources. The course may bring to your attention some really interesting findings about your local area. Please bear the following in mind if exploring your area:

Never enter private land without permission and please be aware of any risks in entering a monument or accessing it, such as crossing a field containing livestock. If leaving home please adhere to all government public health advice regarding Covid-19 and do not enter land, or sites which are closed to the public (for guidance see: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/). It is an offence to interfere with an archaeological site and/or to search for archaeological objects using a metal detector without written consent from the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (see also: https://www.museum.ie/en-IE/Collections-Research/The-Law-on-Metal-Detecting-in-Ireland). Many archaeological sites may be in an unstable or ruinous condition, do not place yourself at risk or break any advisory or safety notices for any reason, such as a hope of getting ‘a better photo’!