Ardagh 150 Open Day

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Ardagh Chalice and hoard the Museum of Archaeology is holding a day of free activities and displays. Talk to our curators, take part in our art activities and meet Vikings, monks and scribes to discover life in Early Medieval Ireland.

Ardagh 150 Anniversary Open Day

Join our Open Day on 6th October from 11am until 4pm to learn all about the Ardagh Chalice and Hoard and life in Early Medieval Ireland. Take part in our free activities happening throughout the museum building including art activities in our Learning Resource Room, talk to curators and conservators of the Museum and learn about our resserved collection and meet medieval monks, scribes and Vikings! For details of all of our activities taking place on the day, please see below. 

For more information, please email or phone 01-6486 332. You can also download our brochure on all of our events here

This is a free event and suitable for all ages! 



Expert Hot Spots!

Ask a curator: Come and meet with our curators from Irish Antiquities Division, Matt and Sharon and our Conservator, Paul to see close up artefacts relating to the Ardagh Chalice from the museums reserved collection. See these objects through our high resolution microscope and learn more about how these objects were made and used in Early Medieval Ireland.

UCD Centre of Experimental Archaeology: Hidden behind beautiful pieces of art like the Ardagh Chalice is how these things were made. Using details scientific analysis, Dr Brendan O'Neill has unlocked some of the secrets to authentically recreate a selection of 'artefacts of production'. During this display, you can talk with this team about the results of their research while learning about metal crafts by handling these replica objects.



Irish Arms – Early Medieval Demonstration

Come and meet the people of Early Medieval Ireland who lived at the time the Ardagh Chalice was made and used. Meet a monk who lived in a monastery and a Viking who came to Ireland on the early Viking raids. Discover more about the skills and materials used to make the Ardagh Chalice, including silver smithing, book binding and bone working. Learn more about the many other skills that people were using at the time, including how the illuminated manuscripts of Ireland were decorated, and how people used natural remedies to cure the sick.

Early Medieval Monk – Meet an Early Medieval Monk who would have lived at a monastic site when objects like the Ardagh Chalice were made and used

Manuscript Scribe – Learn more about how the illuminated manuscripts of Ireland, such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, where made and decorated by meeting our scribe.  

Viking – Encounter a Viking of the 8th century, when the Vikings first started to come to Ireland in search of fine objects at monastic sites.

Silver Smith – The Ardagh Chalice is just one example of an object from Early Medieval Ireland made from silver. Find out more about how silver was worked to make these magnificent objects.

Bone and Horn Worker – Before decorating in gold and silver, the decoration was carved into a bone practice piece. Meet our bone and horn worker to see his skill and learn of the other uses of these useful materials.

Herbalist and Medicines – Learn how people of Early Medieval Ireland used plants and natural remedies to cure their ailments.

Bookbinding - Books were once the most precious objects that could be owned, the written word more valuable than gold and jewels. See the beautifully illuminated pages being bound into books by our bookbinder with skill and art.

Spinning and Weaving - Turning the fluffy wool of the sheep into wearable clothes is a long and constant task, performed by the spinster, the weaver, the dyer and the seamstress. Come and try one of the oldest technologies using the ancient drop spindle.



Sam Maguire and the Ardagh Chalice

One of the most famous trophies in Irish sport, the Sam Maguire Cup, which was inspired by the chalice will be on loan for the day from The GAA Museum and can be viewed at the Museum of Archaeology. This day will be a unique opportunity to see them both in the same building.


Knot Again! Ardagh Chalice Workshop

Come to our Learning Resource Room and join in the art activities to help decorate the largest ‘Ardagh Chalice’ you will ever see. Take a peep at the winning entries in the display of the Ardagh Chalice Colouring Competition