From replicas of ancient dwellings to walks though the surrounding boglands, this park is situated on a small island within the Bog of Allen, the country’s largest peatland.
The park was officially opened in 1993 by Mary Robinson. It focuses on the history of Ireland and its people, spanning a time period of nearly 9,500 years.
Displays and Topical Exhibits include:
•A Neolithic Farmstead, complete with the round dwellings, depicting a settlement from 6,000 years ago, where rudimentary crops were grown and animals such as goats, pigs and cows were raised for meat. Accompanying exhibits from this same period include a Celtic Astrology garden and fairy bower from the Newgrange tomb era, when mystic culture was prominent in the lives of the people.
•The Early Christian Visitor Centre, which focuses on the times of great transformation from the mystic to the Christian beliefs. It tells the story of Erc, the druid, who met up with St. Patrick, was converted and built a large monastery at Lullymore. The exhibit items flesh out the story – a stained glass window depicting Erc himself, an oak model of an early monastic settlement, materials on St. Brigid, who was associated with Erc, and a replica of Ogham Stone, the oldest example of Irish writings.
•The 1798 Exhibition depicts the life of John Doorly, a Lullymore man who went on to join the United Irishmen in County Kildare, and fought in many historic battles of 1798. He built a reputation as a rebel leader, and did not surrender with his men in the summer of 1798, but tried to escape by crossing the River Boyne. He was captured and hung at Mullingar Jail, so quickly that his clothes were still wet from his attempted river crossing.
•The Lullymore Road Train offers visitors an opportunity to view the entire park as well as scenic areas of the Bog of Allen.
•The Famine Commemoration area contains a depiction of a period mud house as a well as a graveyard with 47 model graves built in remembrance of 1847, the year that recorded the highest number of famine deaths in the area.
•The Eviction Scene and Soup Kitchen are contained in an indoor exhibit, complete with audiovisuals explaining the famine and outlining its many effects on the people of the area for generations afterward.
•Various folklore sites are sprinkled through the woodlands, focusing on the mystic beliefs and traditions of the ancient tribes, including the Fairy Bower, a tiny village dedicated to the Tuatha De Danann, a people who supposedly ruled Ireland until they were defeated and changed into fairies, tiny beings that may have been a representation of their otherworldly spirits.