Ogham Workshop and visit to Killeen Cormac
- Nora White
- Scoil Nioclais Naofa, Co. Wicklow
We started the morning in the classroom with an introductory discussion on ogham stones (using 3d printed models of the stones), the earliest writing in Ireland in our own unique script and putting ogham stones in context by means of a timeline. We next explored the ogham stones of the West Wicklow area using the online Historic Environment Viewer and the Ogham in 3D website before focusing our attention on the archaeology, history and folklore of an important, but little known, multiple ogham site nearby.
Killeen Cormac, which is actually just over the border in Co. Kildare, is an early church site (although no church survives) and graveyard and is one of the sites with the highest number of ogham stone finds in Ireland. One of the ogham stones from here is on display in the National Museum in Dublin. It is one of just three ogham stones in Ireland to have both an ogham inscription and a Latin letter inscription.
We then visited the site so that the students could discover and read the remaining ogham stones for themselves. Using a map of the graveyard students had to find the ogham stones and other interesting features marked on the map, for example a stone carved with a human figure on the face and a stone with a hole in the top, which inspired a legend regarding the finding of the site.
Back in the classroom after lunch the students made ogham stones from clay adding their their own names. This was an informative, interactive and fun way for students to learn about an important part of our national heritage (encompassing the Irish language, history and archaeology) and the significance of a local site.