Medieval Glendalough forms the focus of two open days at the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street on Sat 12th and Sunday 13th November for Science Week. The unique LEGO model of the valley of Glendalough forms the centre piece of the display along with the outputs from workshops held in County Wicklow over recent months, including LEGO mosaics and the longest LEGO wall ever made in Ireland, which has been made by the people of Co Wicklow.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in LEGO workshops, handle replica objects relating to the archaeology of the valley, test their observational skills tracking the daily life of the valley’s inhabitants with an activity sheet, try colouring drawings of objects from the time period, and watch videos about the archaeology of the Valley.
Made out of 44,388 bricks, the model shows how the monastic site might have looked in medieval times. Built by brick artist Jessica Farrell and inspired by archaeological discoveries about the valley, the LEGO© model includes displays of what daily life might have been like in the valley for monks and pilgrims, and references some of the objects on display at the National Museum’s Glendalough: Power, Prayer and Pilgrimage exhibition launched in 2020 ( more information, videos and resources relating to the exhibition are available on the Museum’s website here)
The LEGO model opened at Glendalough Visitor Centre in July 2022 and over the Summer months toured Wicklow branch libraries and the Arklow Maritime Museum where members of the public had the chance to see the model and take part in LEGO building workshops which were sponsored by the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council. Under the guidance of Jessica Farrell, participants made segments of a traditional stone wall in LEGO and created the longest wall made of LEGO in Ireland, over twelve metres in length.
The Glendalough LEGO model is an initiative of the Glendalough Heritage Forum, a member of the Our Wicklow Heritage network and iCAN. The model was funded by The Heritage Council and supported by Wicklow County Council Heritage Office.
Activities will take place in the Ceramics Room, National Museum, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, on the first floor, between 10am and 4:30pm on Saturday 12th of November and between 1pm and 4:30pm on Sunday 13th of November. All are welcome to attend these free events, but please note that booking is required for LEGO workshops, see eventbrite link at https://www.museum.ie/en-IE/Museums/Archaeology/Events