The value of community heritage: Kilkenny

After 25 years in the business, I am still regularly inspired and delighted by the people and places that my work takes me to. And that was even before last week, when Peter and I went to Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Cats are the tops!

Recently (for example here and here and here and here) there has been a lot of discussion about what heritage means, and what the benefits of communicating or interpreting heritage are. In Kilkenny we are working with this, putting into practice, as practitioners do.

Our task is to work with local communities to develop heritage projects that will be of value to the community. As wide as that.  The community will define what valuable means, what benefits they want; they may be social, conservation, access, participation, skills building, or tourism-related. None of us know yet.

Maybe we will build on the work of local artists … Callan

Maybe the work will draw on local traditions … (This is the paddle for a ‘cot’ a local boat.) Thomastown.

The heritage is not just history. It may be built, folkloric, artistic, natural, personal, military, ecclesastical or community.  None of us know yet.

Maybe the projects will focus on restoration and conservation.
The Clapper Bridge, Graignamanagh

Maybe the work will open up new access for local people and visitors.

This is open-ended and exciting.  It is adventurous. Before last week we didn’t know what we were taking on. Now we have been introduced to, and welcomed into with that ceid mille failte that we encounter whenever we visit Ireland, three of the communities we are likely to be working with. Now we are convinced this will work and it could be brilliant.

These are what you might be tempted to call ordinary little towns and drive straight through.  You would be wrong and you would be missing out.

In all the towns we found fascinating things, beautiful things, inspiring and moving things. We were shown them by committed, passionate, dedicated people.

There are almost always extraordinary stories and extraordinary people in ‘ordinary towns’.

Hidden secrets (Thomastown0

Undiscovered treasures. (Callan)

Tales from the past

Tales to be told (Meg’s Lane, Graignamanagh, the ‘narrowest lane in the world’ built to be the width of a washerwoman.)

This is a potent combination with enormous potential.  We left hugely enriched and excited about the opportunity of working here.

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About susancrosstelltale

Great visits to heritage and natural sites do not happen by accident. This blog is about the work that make special sites great places to visit. I hope it will be useful to visitors and host alike. Find out more at me and my blog.
This entry was posted in Consulting, Good places to visit, Ireland, Stories, Visitors and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The value of community heritage: Kilkenny

  1. Pingback: Putting heritage to work for communities - Kilkenny - TellTale

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