The small village of Knockcroghery in County Roscommon, has been famous for almost 300 years for making clay pipes (dúidíns). In the late 1800s, the entire village was involved in the industry. The pipes played an integral part at funerals and wakes, while some people used them as a way to show their political alliances. Production of clay pipes ceased abruptly in 1921 when the village was burned down during the War of Independence.
Today, with original moulds from the late 1800s, Ethel Kelly makes clay pipes using the same techniques favoured by the pipe makers centuries ago. Watch as traditional craftsmanship is used to create an authentic Irish pipe. Learn about this interesting facet of Irish heritage through photographs and artefacts in the visitor centre, located in the original site of the last pipe factory.
- Learn about the history of clay pipes.
- See pipe makers use original casts and techniques to make clay pipes.
- Discover the significance of clay pipes in Irish culture.
- Pick up a gift at the gift shop.
Learn about Ogham, the ancient Celtic script found carved on stone throughout the Irish landscape and see it painted onto paper by artist Ethel Kelly at her studio in Knockcroghery, County Roscommon.