Skip to content

Guided Tour: Leaving Certificate History of Art

Trace the developments of art in Ireland from the Neolithic Period to the 12th century.

Take a closer look at how passage tombs were constructed and decorated in the Stone Age and 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 specification and can be tailored to focus on Pre-Christian Art (c. 4,000BCE - 500 CE) including objects such as the Knowth Macehead and Broighter Hoard, or Insular Art (c.500 - 1100s) including such objects as the Derrynaflan Paten and Saint Patrick's Bell Shrine.

Guided Tour at a glance

Level: 5th and 6th Years
Format: Facilitated onsite tour 
Duration: 45-50 minutes 
Capacity: 20 students max
Accessibility: Please note this tour takes place on the ground floor of the Museum and is fully accessible. If your group has any additional access concerns or requirements please advise the Museum Bookings team in advance
Availability: All tour slots now fully booked up to Easter – bookings now available for April (limited slots remaining), May and early June.
Times: Tuesday 10am and 11:30am, Wednesday 10am, 11am and 12pm, Thursday 10am, 11.30am and 1pm
Booking: To enquire about this free onsite guided tour for your class please complete this enquiry form.

Curriculum Links

The Visual Studies Framework

  • ​The framework is structured around six elements: Context, Artists and Artworks, Analysis, Art Elements and Design Principles, Media and Areas of Practice, Innovation and Invention. When studying a period/movement, these elements should be used to understand what occurred before the period/movement being focused on, the period/movement itself and any effects of the period/ movement on later ideas or artwork.

Visual Studies: Content Areas

  • Ireland and its place in the wider world: Guided tours can be tailored to focus on Pre-Christian (c. 4,000BCE - 500 CE) or Insular Art (c.500 - 1100s).

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 Tène 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 

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date

Receive updates on the latest exhibitions


Kildare St,
Dublin 2,
D02 FH48

+353 1 677 7444