Westmeath – Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

This Norman Castle dominates the town centre and commands the traditional gateway to the West of Ireland.

Athlone Castle Experience

The  eight newly designed exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and  thematic sequence combining hands-on and fun experiences that will  appeal to both children and adults

Gallery One, ‘Early Settlement in Athlone’: covers  Athlone’s early history and settlements in an audio-visual-led space. A  3D map is a major feature; a sculptural representation of Ireland onto  which are projected the significant historic periods such as the Vikings  and the Normans.

Gallery Two, ‘Athlone  Castle’s first 400 years’: This gallery explores the political upheaval  in Athlone in Medieval times. The gallery includes three touch-screens  for multi-user engagement, also interactive ‘Build a Castle’ and hands  on opportunity to try out the weapons of the day that will appeal to all  age groups.

Gallery Three, ‘Athlone Besieged’:  Reveals the events leading up to the Siege of Athlone in 1690 and 1691.  The gallery is a 360o drum wrapped with sketches by Victor Ambrus of  armies in battle. An audio narrative featuring three characters gives  visitors the human perspective of what it was like to live in Athlone at  that time.

Gallery Four, ‘The Siege  Experience’: Located in the Upper Keep of the castle, a naturally  circular space, the gallery uses a 360o projection to depict the heat  and intensity of the bloody battle. A large soundscape using 4D layering  surrounds visitors, putting them right in the midst of the fight.

Gallery Five,  ‘People of the Siege’: Life-size sculptural representations of eight  key characters involved including army generals who led the attack and  defense. The sculptures are abstract in form and use modern materials to  create body shapes supported by audio for each figure to aid the  storytelling.

Gallery Six, ‘The Fabric of  Athlone’: Here visitors come to understand the town over the last 200  years in terms of trade, commerce, politics and religion. There are  modern reflections of life in Athlone told through specific objects  displayed in woven units that contain small apertures through which  visitors can peek. This gallery is strongly visual, featuring bold and  surprising uses of colour and layered images so that they interweave at  different levels along a 3D timeline.

Gallery Seven,  ‘A Self Sufficient People’: Set in the lower keep of the Castle, in one  continuous display case, the space presents objects from the Old  Athlone Society collection that are related to the life of the town,  grouped around a number of subjects such as gentry, carpentry, the role  of the publican in the community and domestic life.

Gallery Eight,  ‘Death and Destruction’: Visitors are led through a dark corridor into a  dimly-lit room in which contemporary sculptures tell of how immediately  following the Siege of Athlone, survivors were put to the sword, those  who tried to escape but were caught, were slaughtered.  In the  background visitors hear the recitation of a moving poem written about  the tragic events

Opening Times:

  • Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm,
  • Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Please check www.athlonecastle.ie for seasonal changes to opening hours.

Average Length of Visit:- Audio-Visual 45 minutes, Castle/Museum: 1 hour

Entrance Fee:

  • Adult Single €8.00
    OAP/Student €6.00
    Children/U15 €4.00
    Family (2Adults & 2Children) – €20.00
    Family (2Adults & 4Children) – €25.00
    Group bookings on request

Prices subject to change – please call for confirmation

Athlone Castle Facilities:

Self guiding centre
Dress – up activities
Outside chess set (seasonal)
Cafe: Yes. Tea/Coffee & refreshments. Seats 16
Picnic Area: Yes
Gift Shop: Yes
Parking: Yes, Pay & Display around castle
Failte Ireland Tourist Office located in castle courtyard



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