Primary schools from across the Borough have been taken back 10,000 years to the time of Ireland’s first settlers through a series exciting outdoor workshops.

Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust supported volunteers from Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group (MDHG) to deliver a Schools Day event last month at Coleraine’s historic Mountsandel site. The event was supported by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museums Service and aimed to help educate local pupils on Mountsandel’s special history.

As the earliest known site of human settlement on the island of Ireland, Mountsandel is arguably the most important archaeological site on this island. Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group aim to increase awareness of the site, and to work with partners to better connect communities and young people to their rich heritage.

Around 50 pupils from St. Patricks and St. Brigids Primary School, Ballycastle and Dunseverick Primary School were able to learn more about how Ireland’s first settlers lived when they arrived at Mountsandel 10,000 years ago. Interactive workshops on hunting and gathering, foraging, stone tool making and hut making were delivered by expert facilitators.

Liam Hickey, Chair of MDHG and Coleraine Rotary Club member, said: ‘Our volunteers are passionate about Mountsandel’s unique history and see the potential for this heritage to make a substantial contribution to the regeneration of Coleraine town and to the economy of the wider Borough. We have a real gem on our doorstep which is both overlooked and underutilised. The time has long come for us to start making the most of Mountsandel’.

For more information on Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group follow their Facebook page. Also follow Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust and Coleraine Rotary Club Facebook pages for information on more free events and opportunities. Visit NI Archive for Museum Services resources and to download your free copy of MDHG’s Salmon People fictional booklet inspired by Mountsandel heritage.

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