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New exhibition highlights ancient links between Wales and Ireland

10 Aug 2023 2 minute read
Arddangosfa Portalis Display

A new cross-border visitor experience will explore the earliest connections between Ireland and Wales dating back to 10,000 years ago.

The free and accessible resource has opened at Ceredigion Museum and explores evidence of life dating back to the Mesolithic.

Working with six coastal communities, the Portalis transdisciplinary pilot project developed the permanent visitor experience in partnership with Ceredigion Museum.

It features a display of Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts from Ceredigion and unique storyboards that explore early connections between Ireland and Wales.

Carrie Canham, Ceredigion Museum Curator, said: “I’m delighted that the legacy of the popular Portalis temporary exhibition is now available in our Archaeology Gallery.

“In addition to the permanent display, we have new educational resources for schools that includes VR headsets for pupils to explore a recreation of a Mesolithic settlement.”


Councillor Catrin M S Davies added: “The sea is a hugely important element for the people of Ceredigion and has been throughout the centuries and to have an exhibition that celebrates the connection the sea has given us with Ireland is a wonderful thing.”

The project was supported with €1.5m funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme.

Joy Rooney, Portalis Senior Responsible Officer and Design Lead, Lecturer and Researcher in Design, south east Technological University, said: “This permanent new resource for our six coastal communities and their visitors helps tell the story of our uniquely significant new data and will help raise awareness of and interest in protecting our coastal cultural and natural heritage in the challenging times ahead.

“SETU are developing further funding pathways to help ensure pilot project outputs are sustainable and underpinned by further research.”

Entry to the Portalis permanent visitor experience at Ceredigion Museum is free, with no prior booking required.

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Ceris Hughes
Ceris Hughes
8 months ago

I started learning Welsh and Irish during lockdown, and it helped me see the British Isles as a collection of nations linked by the Irish Sea at their centre, rather than as a London-centric place where nothing significant ever happened in the peripheral regions beyond the southeast of England (as I’d been taught in school).

George Thomas
George Thomas
8 months ago

Excellent stuff. International nation building!

8 months ago

These “links” are highly exaggerated. All designed to blur the lines as to what belongs to whom.

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