05 Jul 2022

Laois Heritage's free online course tells you the secrets of where you live

Laois Heritage's free online course tells you the secrets of where you live

Old Estate maps like the Ballykilcavan maps are among the rich resources available online for local heritage researchers. Photo Alf Harvey.

It is amazing what you can discover about your part of Laois from the snug safety of your home.

Laois Heritage Office with the support of Creative Ireland is delighted to offer a FREE online course delivered by Irish Heritage School that will take you step-by-step through the available online sources that will allow you to paint a picture of the geological, archaeological, and historical events that happened in Laois and all close to where you live.

While the course will look at examples from throughout Ireland, it will focus on the geology, archaeology and history of County Laois. As such the course is aimed toward Laois people (who will be given preference for available course places) who are enthusiasts of natural and cultural heritage.

"We are delighted to be working with the Irish Heritage School to bring this course to everyone with an interest in the Heritage of Laois. During recent lock-downs we have all become much more aware of the beauty and value of our own local place, and this course taps into that interest," said Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council. 

"We hope it will equip people with the tools they need to research their locality and look at their own patch with new eyes. We are really grateful  for the support of Creative Ireland in Laois, which allows us to bring this course to the public for free," she said.

The course will be delivered through five online tutorials every Tuesday and Thursday over two and a half weeks commencing Tuesday 14th September 2021.

"We will begin by looking at the very bedrock under your feet, examining the geological processes and glacial events that shaped the landscape and formed the soils. The course then focuses on the impacts of humans on that landscape over time, from pre-history to the last century," said the heritage office.

The first workshop includes a summary of the course content and format. A list of resources and links will be sent to the participants so that they can study their own locality. Workshops will focus on a different aspect of geology, the landscape and archaeology of Laois each week, from the formation of Ireland to the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland, with a focus on each workshop on teaching a set of online research skills.

The course will also outline how these skills can be used to make your own submission to the ‘KnowYour5k’ initiative of  the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland.

"Through this and other citizen scientist programmes, course participants can make a real contribution to the conservation of our heritage by recording what is in their local area, what the local community values and raising awareness of its importance," said the group.

The Know your Locality course is free but booking is essential and will be on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place, visit the website here.

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