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Calling all budding archaelogists and historians ....

08 April 2014

Battles, Bricks and Bridges - a local history project in Co Fermanagh

Here's a fabulous opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a local history project, running until the end of April 2014.

Arney is a small rural farming community in County Fermanagh. For centuries brick was made in the fields along the River Arney and transported on boats to Enniskillen. Arney Bridge is the oldest in the County, dating from early 1600’s. It carried the main coach road to Dublin and is a rare example of its type in Ulster. The wonderfully named Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits was fought close by on the banks of the river in 1594 between the local Irish chieftains and the English forces marching from Dublin to relieve the garrison at Enniskillen castle. The battle was the first engagement of what subsequently became known as the Nine Years War between the Gaelic chieftains and the English, which culminated in the Flight of the Earls in 1607 and the Plantation of Ulster. The rich culture and folklore of the area was also uniquely documented in the 1970’s by the ethnographer Henry Glassie in his books including Passing the Time in Ballymenone.

Two community associations from both sides of the river have come together in a bid to rediscover, celebrate and bring back to life some of this rich social, historical and cultural heritage. Through “Battles, Bricks and Bridges” local people from both Killesher and Cleenish will work with funders, local government and statutory agencies and partners to carry out a range of activities linked to the project including:

• professional community archaeological digs to identify and uncover the battle site and old Arney village;

• Moulding and firing Arney brick again using traditional methods and materials with young people and volunteers;

• Working with agencies to refurbish the old bridge;

• Engaging with local schools through a history and heritage education programme.

Interested? Register your interest: Battles, Bricks and Bridges Volunteers