Round Tower Visitor Centre Clondalkin celebrates its second birthday

by Padraig Conlon

The Round Tower Visitor Centre in Clondalkin marked its second birthday last weekend with a free family fun day.

Activities in the visitor centre and the monastic gardens included a magic show, giant board games, face painting, and balloon making, as well as free tours of the centre telling 1,000 years of local history.

The event coincided with the weekend long Clondalkin Village Festival. 

The local addition to the Dublin Heritage visitor scene opened its door on Monday 3rd July, 2017.

The Round Tower visitor centre features an interpretative centre, exhibition space, café, gardens, and terrace dining and is nestled in the heart of Clondalkin Village, within minutes of the Grand Canal Greenway, Corkagh Regional Park and nearby Irish Cultural Centre, Áras Chrónáin.

The Visitor Centre is the first to tell the story of that unique of Irish cultural features, the Round Tower – what were they for, how were they built, who built them and can I build one! All experienced in a fun and interactive way for all ages.

“The Round Tower, Clondalkin has stood witness to over 1,000 years of social and cultural development of the village, from monastic to modern, Viking to Victorian”, said Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council.

“The restored Mill Cottages on the site of the 8th Century Round Tower are home to 8 rooms in which these stories unfold through sight, sound and stunning visuals.

“The opening of this exciting facility came after years of work between South Dublin County Council, the OPW and the local community and marks a significant investment by the Council into the economic, and tourism development in the county of South Dublin.”

Suitable for all ages, the interactive multimedia exhibition tells the story of over 1,000 years of Clondalkin’s history and heritage. The exhibition delves into Clondalkin’s medieval origins from the foundation of St Crónán Mo-Chua’s monastery to revealing intriguing clues to the town’s Viking past.

Discover what life was like in Clondalkin during the 1800s, when the visitor centre buildings were originally constructed.

Find out what makes the round towers of Ireland unique, and have your say about what you think makes them so special.

Have a go at building your own Round Tower, dress up in costume and imagine what Clondalkin was like in days gone by.

Admission to the exhibition is free!

The Visitor Centre is also equipped to host various event and in recent times has hosted the launch of the Dublin Economic Monitor on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities, and the wonderful open-air theatre performance of Pride & Prejudice.

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