School Tours | The Irish National Heritage Park
Aerial image of a Viking Boatyard
Child holding a Viking horn
Icon of Cap on Brown

School Tours

Here at the Irish National Heritage Park, we share the stories of different peoples who settled in Ireland throughout its history and this story begins in the Stone Age.

Ring Fort

Primary Schools

Our guided tours for primary schools are both educational and fun. Beginning in the Stone Age, our 90 minute tour brings children on a journey through Ireland’s past, as they wander through Prehistoric settlements, monuments and burial places, and up to the introduction of writing and Christianity. Bringing to life what students have learned in the classroom they learn about farming in medieval Ireland and the invention of the world’s first automatic machine for grinding wheat into flour. The tour finishes with the arrival of the Vikings and Anglo-Normans. Some of the children might even discover that they are Vikings at the end of the tour!

Old Dwellings

Secondary Schools

Secondary school tours cover Early Christian Ireland and Medieval Life, which are part of the current curriculum. All tours refer to archaeology, excavations, and primary sources, showing how they are used to learn about the past. The park is an outdoor museum, as well as a heritage park. Almost all sites – from Prehistoric Ireland to the Anglo-Norman period – are reconstructions, though there is one actual archaeological site in the park, which has been thoroughly excavated. It is the site of the first Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland. Excavation revealed a variety of artefacts which have helped archaeologists build up a picture of the people who occupied the site, and how they lived, between the mid-12th and early 14th century.

Christian Ireland

There is a choice of two guided tours for secondary schools. Both take an hour and a half. The first option takes students from Prehistoric Ireland up to the arrival of the Vikings. Throughout the tour students see how our ancestors lived, from the materials they used to build their homes, to the way they farmed. Our guides highlight the role that archaeology, DNA and other scientific evidence play in changing our interpretation of the past, as theories are proved correct or incorrect. The second option is the Carrig Tour, available from October 2022. This tour covers the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland and its back story and takes the students to the site of the first Anglo-Norman fortification built in 1169. Students will also visit the Carrig Centre and see how excavations are carried out. They will learn about the methods involved in the protection of Irelands National Monuments, beginning with procurement of a license to excavate, right through to displaying artefacts in museums.

Stone Tomb

Language Schools

The Irish National Heritage Park offers an introduction to Irish history, beginning with the first settlers in the Stone Age, and continuing up to the arrival of the Vikings. This one-and-a-half-hour tour brings students through 9,000 years of Irish history, exploring Ireland’s past through Prehistoric buildings, a Stone Circle, a Ringfort and a Viking House.

Old dwelling with campfire in front

Third Level

The Irish National Heritage Park is a great facility for Students of History and Archaeology – especially Archaeology. It’s a great resource for experimental archaeology, showing students how prehistoric and early medieval buildings were constructed. The buildings in the park were all constructed under the supervision of Archaeologists. While almost all of the sites are reconstructions, there is an authentic site in the park – the site of the first Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland. This was built by Robert FitzStephen in the winter of 1169.

What’s On

It’s always worth checking the calendar to see what’s coming up at The Irish National Heritage Park. Better still, why not join our mailing list and receive regular updates? There’s always something going on – you could say we’re making history every day!

Illustration of a piece of flint / rock

Book Tickets

Booking your tickets on line before you arrive is convenient and it secures your place.

Clost up portrait of an owl