Newgrange Currachs - 36 foot craft under construction
currachs were the most likely method for human expansion along Western Europe's
Atlantic coast in prehistoric times. Built of hazel rods, it is possible to weave a 6 foot currach for trapping salmon on
inland rivers to 7 benchers which had crews of 15 men to journey on the
a 36 ft craft, and hope with the input of similar minds to recreate the lost
portions of this ancient puzzle, as they attempt to voyage from
Spain to Ireland, across the Atlantic, in a craft that would have been in
existence around the 3,500 BC or the period when Newgrange was being built.
The driving force behind the project is Claidhbh Ó Gibne an artist whose
workshop and home are located on the banks of the Boyne at Newgrange.
An opportunity to experience the use of Stone Age materials and methods in
reconstructing an ancient craft. Join the weekend volunteers at the workshop in
Brú na Bóinne, and to give a hand; weaving the sail, carving the oars and
helping to finish the currach to be ready to set sail early this summer. All you
will need is a sleeping bag and a small donation towards food for the weekend.
Update - April 2010
Well after a week of north east winds and snow flakes the size of jelly fish
sticking to the window, keeping the head down eventually paid off. The legs of
the tripod mast sit into the skin from the legs of the cow, which in turn are
attached to an ash pole, that is held in place between the oar locks on both
sides of the currach. A leather strap holds it to the floor. The 3rd leg of the
tripod sits into a cone of bark tanned hide which is bound to the thwart above
Update - March 2010
We worked on the sail and managed to complete the 12 feet of weaving, with
the help of Sos and Tommy. So we hung her up to have a look, sure it wasn't long
before the kids spotted it in the garden and began inventing their own fun! We
have a very large hide streched on a frame at present which, when dry enough,
will be cut into wide belts and slipped down through the weave on the sail as
Update - February 2010
Our First Volunteer Weekend got off to a great start, Padraig arriving down on Friday
evening (all tha way from the Banner County) and was eager to get working almost
right away! The next day the weather was bitterly cold, but didn't stop more
arriving bright and early. By 10:00am we were well into it, working on the sail!
Tommy and 'Sos' arrived from Navan and our own reliable Andy came also! The lads
worked right through until almost 16:30, and managed to weave about 4ft of the
12ft sail!! Well done everyone.
frame of the 36 foot currach with Newgrange
in the background.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.