Clandeboye Reading Party - 'History, Heritage and Place'
In September 2017, students and staff from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast spent three days at the Clandeboye estate engaging in discussion and activities on the themes of war, commemoration, identity, memory, place and history.
Upon our arrival, Lady Dufferin took us on an interactive tour of the estate, where we were challenged to think of new ways to engage schoolchildren with its history and landscape. In the evening’s panel discussion, Guy Hayward (British Pilgrimage Trust) advocated modern forms of ‘pilgrimage’, Ciaran O’Neill (TCD) questioned the nature of public history (Ciaran's paper is available here) and John Horne (TCD) laid out the challenges of war commemoration.
On the second day, Guy led us on a 10 mile ‘pilgrimage’, where we explored the Clandeboye estate’s First World War connections and visited historical sites such as Helen’s Tower and Bangor Abbey.
On the final day, we collaborated with the Aspects Festival to provide a World War I and II Roadshow at Clandeboye Courtyard, aimed at schoolchildren and members of the public. We collected oral history interviews, showed WWI newsreel footage and heard a range of talks from academics, students and poets. Lady Dufferin closed the event with a fascinating talk on the history of the estate and her vision for its future.
We wish to thank all involved for making it such an enjoyable and stimulating event. Special thanks to Jane Ohlmeyer and Patrick Macfarlane for their exceptional organisation skills, and to Lady Dufferin and the Clandeboye staff for their kind hospitality.