You can discover the history of Athy from its Anglo-Norman foundations, to the involvement of Athy men in World War 1, which unfolds in an exciting mixture of sound and vision. Also, discover the effects of the 1798 Rebellion, and the Great Famine on Athy and its people and find out about the Quakers of South Kildare and the Kellyites of Athy. Here you can enjoy the thrills and spills of the 1903 Gordon Bennett motor race, which took place on a circuit around Athy.
Follow the exploits of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The museum is home to the only permanent exhibition devoted to the Kildare born Polar explorer. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions, a model of Shackleton’s ship Endurance and an audio visual display featuring Frank Hurley’s footage of the Endurance expedition. Visitors can relax in the 30 seated audio room and view original film footage.
The Shackleton Autumn School was established to commemorate the explorer. Renowned as “The Polar School”, is held annually on the October Bank Holiday weekend.