Newgrange Currachs - 36 foot craft under construction

Newgrange CurrachWicker 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 open seas.

Newgrange Currachs are building 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.

Getting Involved

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 it.

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 wind breakers.

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.

CurrachHazel frame of the 36 foot currach with Newgrange in the background.

Boyne Valley Private Day Tour

Boyne Valley Tours
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