Ardagh Chalice

Top Ten Tour

Looking at the Ardagh Chalice

On this page, you can find out what you can do at the Museum, in the classroom and online

At the Museum

Important information

All groups who are coming to the Museum must book their visit with the Bookings Office.

On this tour you can:

  • See how people in Mesolithic Ireland caught their fish with our 9,000 year old fish-trap
  • Guess how many of your class-mates would fit in our ancient canoe
  • Learn how our first metalworkers turned gold from the soil into stunning neck ornaments shaped like half moons
  • Choose which type of shield you think was best for prehistoric battle
  • Hear why 2,000 years ago someone placed a gold boat and collar in a lake for Celtic sea-god Mananann Mac Lir  
  • Discover the stories behind the impressive 'Tara' Brooch

Top Ten Objects

1. Fish-trap, Clowanstown, Co. Meath, 5300-4730 BC.

2. Macehead, passage tomb, Knowth, Co. Meath 3300 BC.

3. Dug-out canoe, Lurgan, Co. Galway, 2500 BC.

4. Macehead, passage tomb, Knowth, Co. Meath 3300 BC.

5. Gold lunula, Rossmore Park, Co. Monaghan, c. 2000 BC

6. Gold torcs, Tara, Co. Meath 1000 BC.

7. Bronze shield, near Lough Gur, Co. Limerick. C.700 BC.

8. Carved stone head, Corleck, Co. Cavan, 200-100 BC.

9. Gold hoard, Broighter, Co. Derry, 100 BC.

10. The ‘Tara’ brooch, Bettystown, Co. Meath, 8th century AD.

11. The Ardagh chalice, Co. Limerick, 8th century AD.

Key Curriculum Strands

SESE History

  • How we find out about the past
  • The work of the historian
  • Our roots in ancient civilization
  • Time and chronology
  • Using evidence
  • Technology and innovation
  • Continuity and change over time
  • Life, society, work and culture in the past

Maximum 30 per group. Duration 50 minutes. Wheelchair accessible.

Tours and workshops should be booked at least two weeks in advance, via the Bookings Office.


Want to explore on your own with your class?

To make the most of your visit, we recommend that you plan activities for your students to complete.

Why not try our worksheets:

You can download these in advance of your visit, or request some at the time of your self-directed booking, via the bookings office.

Treasure Trail TreasureTrail.pdf (0.52 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Treasure Trail Irish Treasure Trail Irish.pdf (0.52 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Stone Age EN Stone Age English WEB.pdf (1.15 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Stone Age IRE Stone Age Irish WEB.pdf (1.15 MB, Adobe PDF) 

My Favourite Object (Irish) My Favourite Object Ire WEB2.pdf (0.11 MB, Adobe PDF) 

My Favourite Object Activity Sheet (English) My Favourite Object Eng WEB2.pdf (0.11 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Don't forget to bring your pencils!

In The Classroom

Here are some suggested follow up activities:

  • Create a timeline using drawings inspired by your Museum visit, such as Mesolithic arrowheads, Bronze Age lunulae or shields. Add to this timeline as more topics are covered.

Useful link: Archaeology in the Classroom 


We are continually improving and adding to our online resourses.

Looking for information on exhibitions and collections?

Take a look around:

Looking for a particular object? Try our Artefacts Search

Information on the Mesolithic Clowanstown Fish-Trap:

Fishtraps article fishtraps.pdf (1.07 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Seanda article on fish traps Seanda Article Fish Traps.pdf (2.08 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Information on the Faddan More Psalter:


psalter folio 22 recto

Faddan More Psalter - Explore the Text Psalter text.pdf (0.86 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Quick Links
Tips for your visit

For tours and workshops, the maximum number of students per group is 30.

Duration of tours and workshops is approx. 45 minutes.

More Tips...

Primary Level Resources in other Museums
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