Ardess Heritage Weekend

(Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th Sept ’17)

Ardess Parish Church had a very busy weekend as it participated in two days of tours, launched an innovative phone app and held a Commemoration Service to honour those buried in the adjacent Famine Pit. 

The Church has a remarkable history going back to the fourteenth century and a Heritage Lottery grant has helped essential repairs to be carried out to the fabric of the church. This has led to a meaningful community outreach that has involved the wider community including the chapel in Ederney. The Famine Graveyard holds bodies from all communities and following a refurbishment at the time of the Millennium is a popular place for people to visit.

Mindful of the growing number of visitors a new tourism training course was established to train up ten tour guides to World Host standards who were on hand over the European Heritage Open Days to show visitors around.

A new phone app (as part of the Heritage Lottery Activities) was launched that provides an historical overview of the Church and the graveyard and includes a new musical composition putting Jim Ledwith’s poem ‘Ardess Sorrows’ to a haunting Irish melody. The app can be scanned at the Ardess phone box and at the famine pit site so it can be listened to whilst touring the site.  You can also listen to the words of this (together with pictures added) on the YouTube video that was also created (see below).

One of the highlights of this very busy weekend was the Service of Commemoration held on Sunday evening. With music provided by Fermanagh Choral Society and a selection of readings and reflections the evening brought a busy weekend to a close.