While the programme will evolve for West Cork Stone Symposium 2020 (27-29 March) the 2019 programme will give you a good sense of what goes on!
Our intriguing programme was packed with opportunities for you to work alongside amazing craftspeople, acquiring skills that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Talks by archaeologists and sculptors, as well as demonstrations by carvers and blacksmiths were offered during the weekend too. And there was great music and craic to be found in the village pubs each evening!
Tickets for individual dry stone walling workshops and stone carving workshops, as well as other events in 2020, will be available in our online shop from September 2019. Workshops run in parallel each day. You can download the 2019 programme here.
Friday 22nd March 2019
Visit Durrus Cheese
FOOD EVENT | Sarah Hennessy | Durrus Cheese Dairy, Coomkeen, 10:30am-12pm |Buy ticket (€10) Booking Essential
Durrus is home to one of Ireland’s most famous and tastiest farmhouse cheeses. Visit the dairy in Coomkeen to see cheese being made. You’ll learn about how place, sea air, and a family business create distinctive and award-winning flavours here on the Sheep’s Head peninsula. And of course you’ll get to taste Durrus too!
Uncovering the Past: Unearthing a 5,00-year-old Passage Tomb
TALK | Dr. Clíodhna Ní Lionáin | Philips’ Green Centre, Durrus, 5:30pm |€5 on the door (free to workshop attendees)
Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin of University College, Dublin – a familiar face at the West Cork Stone Symposium! – will talk about the fascinating process of uncovering a 5,500-year-old passage tomb at Dowth Hall in the heart of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage site in Co Meath.
Saturday 23rd March 2019
Stone Carving Workshop |SATURDAY – SOLD OUT 9:30am-4:30pm (Durrus)
Learn to be a Blacksmith|One-day course [Saturday only] €180 Includes lunch & fire tools/decorative items you produce| 10am-5pm (Durrus)
Watch a Blacksmith at Work
DEMONSTRATION | JJ Bowen | Outside Philips’ Green Centre, Durrus | 12pm & 3pm.
The acclaimed Sheep’s Head blacksmith JJ Bowen will show us how he makes chisels and other items using traditional blacksmithing skills. JJ will also be unveiling a very special work – integrated into the wall at the Muintir Bháire GAA Club over the weekend (time tbc).
Guided Walk (Coomkeen, Durrus)
1pm Registration at Philips Green Centre €10 (adult) €5 (child) NB: Not suited for pushchairs or small children | Short car pooled drive to departure point | Cars will leave Philips’ Green at 1:20 prompt. | Please wear suitable footwear.
Charlie McCarthy will lead a guided walk on the Sheep’s Head close to Durrus, including spectacular views from the ridge and insights into local history and geology. A walk with Charlie is not to be missed!
Call or text 086 303 0991 to reserve a place.
Sculpting the Sculptor: Creating a Bust of Seamus Murphy
TALK | Nigel Baxter | Philips’ Green Centre, Durrus, 5:30pm |€5 on the door (free to workshop attendees)
The English sculptor Nigel Baxter will talk about his project to create a stone bust in tribute to the sculptor Seamus Murphy – a homage to the Cork craftsman and his legacy. The crowd-funded project, which saw Nigel work on the bust in the Crawford Gallery in Cork, is a wonderful testament to the traditions and connections that link generations of people who create with stone.
Sunday 24th March 2019
Sacred Stones and the Cult of Sun Worship
TALK | Professor William O’Brien|€10| Buy tickets [limited availability – booking essential] | 3pm-5pm (Ballycommane House)
Professor William O’Brien of University College Cork will give an open-air talk at Ballycommane, just outside Durrus, to explain the story and significance of its boulder-burial site and pair of standing stones.
Check out details of great places to stay, places to eat, walks and other activities on the website of our award-winning local tourism co-op!