Elements of Dublinia - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 6th April 2016

Clongowes Wood College SJ

Last Monday (4th April) the boys of Elements together with our history teachers Mr Garry Corcoran and Mr Colm Maloney and Mrs Eileen Lumb visited ‘Dublinia’, a history exhibition on Viking and Medieval Dublin…

First we went into the area that focused specifically on Viking Dublin, where we saw a viking grave, a house and pictures of what Dublin looked like as a small viking village in the eighth century. We also looked at what a viking might need in his lifetime and what he would be buried with on his departure – such as his weapons, horses and jewellery.

Next we moved onto the medieval section where we saw how Dublin had developed into a big town and trading hub. It had two big cathederals, one within the city walls (Christ Church) and one without (St. Patrick’s). The city had a population of about 15,000 people and was still a lot smaller than the Dublin we know today. We then viewed a medieval fair and saw what sort of games, food and other goods would be on offer. It was great fun as all the stuff was interactive including looking at different medicines and throwing fruit at a man in the stocks!

Bring out your dead!

After that we went into some detail about the Black Death and other diseases of the time like leprosy. These severe diseases killed millions around the world, causing death in a few days. They were a side effect of having many people in cramped unsanitary conditions. Speaking of conditions we then went and saw an exhibition showing a medieval house and street which we liked a lot because it was like you were in the house and on the street and you really believed this is what a medieval house looked like.

We briefly looked at trade and ships before moving on to the third and final section, which was all about archeology. We saw what goes into an archaeological dig and saw the body of a Viking that was found in 2007. We were told how to date a body and to do other things such as reconstruct a dead man’s face and figure out a body’s gender!

Finally we went across the road to visit Christ Church Cathedral for about twenty minutes, which included a ten minute prayer service. This concluded a fantastic day out and a really enjoyable experience, which we would highly recommend.

Luke Johnson and Michael Spillane (Elements)

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