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Guided Tour: Leaving Certificate History of Art

Trace the developments of art in Ireland from the Neolithic to the 12th century. Take a closer look at how passage tombs were constructed and decorated in the Stone Age, how some of Ireland’s gold objects were made and used in the Bronze Age right up to the creation and design of Early Christian treasures including the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. This tour is specifically designed to cover key objects that appear on the History of Art Leaving Certificate course.

Tour at a Glance

Level 5th - 6th Years and Transition Year 
Group Size 20 students max 
Location Prehistoric Ireland, Ór - Ireland's Gold and The Treasury, Ground Floor, National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St.  
Duration 45 minutes 
Days Available Tuesdays and Wednesdays during term time 
Times Available 10:30am and 12:00pm
Accessibility This tour is wheelchair accessible. Please advise us of any mobility needs in your class when booking. 



Curriculum Links

History and Appreciation of Art

  • Section I
    Art in Ireland (From Prehistoric times to the present).
    This tour chronologically traces the development of art in Ireland through objects in the museum. The tour begins in Prehistoric Ireland, looking at relevent objects from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age gold collection, and then moves into The Treasury where La Téne objects from the Iron Age are looked at and Early Christian metalworking. 
  • Section III
    General Appreciation.
    This allows students to take inspiration from their every day visual experience and a visit to the museum can assist in this question by looking at the history and layout of the museum, its collections and to an extent, exhibition design and execution.   



Learning Outcomes

  • Students are encouraged to examine key objects, with emphasis on material, form, decoration, and techniques.   
  • Gain a great understanding of the development of Irish art from the Neolithic up to the 12th century in Ireland by taking great interest in influences such as the introduction of La Téne art style in the Iron Age up to the introduction of art styles during the Viking Age 
  • Look at the various raw materials used to construct objects, how objects were made and how these changed over time
  • Take a closer look at the type of people who made and used these objects; why they made them, how they sourced the raw materials and the socieities in which they lived.

Learn About

  • Megalithic Art
  • Bronze Age gold
  • The Iron Age people and La Tene Art
  • The coming of Christianity and Early Medieval Irish Treasures
  • The coming of the Vikings and Viking Art styles 
  • Construction and use of objects and sourcing of raw materails