All pupils from 1st – 6th class traveled to the Museum of Country Life located in Turlough outside Castlebar on the 6th of April. Beside the Museum, there is a round tower which dates back to Viking times. This perfectly in tact round tower is unusual as there was a church built onto it.
Turlough House located in the grounds of the Museum was the ancestral home of the Fitzgeralds. The Museum of Country Life has exhibitions and displays over 4 floors covering all aspects of rural life with a vast collection of tools, vessels and implements.
The first exhibition was a family and Tom our tour guide told us all about their clothes. Men wore woolen jumpers dyed from natural plants such as onions etc. These jumpers still contained some of the natural oil found in sheep’s wool which made them kind of waterproof but not great for washing. Shoes worn were made from seal skins or leather and were called pampooties.
Next we looked at some of the utensils and vessels common to every home such as the tin jugs for collecting milk, the big wicker baskets for potatoes and a cow stamp made in timber. This stamp was used on the butter so when people took their produce to the market, you could identify who made the butter by the stamp on the butter and choose the best butter!
On the next floor there was the old fashioned shop, a collection of old bicycles and the tin collection. Beside the tin collection was the farriers display with a huge bellows and anvil. Other interesting displays included the hearth in the homestead complete with the all the old pots and skillets.
We had a look at the farming tools including how hard they worked at cutting and rearing the turf. All the old ploughs and feed troughs for animals, all the fishing equipment such as lobster baskets made from hand made us realise just how important the land and sea were for people and how they depended on it.
Pupils from 4th – 6th class completed a workshop on from farm to food. They looked at a variety of different foods and tested them to see if they were alkaline or acid. They used litmus paper and iodine to see if the foods contained starch. We predicted what would happen, tested the foods and recorded our results. Then had a look at the new food pyramid as we are encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables and of course all the sweets treats and fizzy drinks are still in the Not needed for Good Health category!!
Take a look at the photos from our trip to the Museum of Country Life