Situated in the heart of County Kildare the Curragh is a truly unique landscape. The circumstances by which this remarkable natural feature was created are fascinating and the combined forces of humankind and nature have shaped the Curragh over many millennia. What has resulted is an exceptional array of flora and fauna which is of international importance.
The Curragh team adopts a proactive approach towards conservation and towards sustainable methods of racecourse and gallops maintenance. Over a long period of time, the Curragh team has created significant areas of biodiversity and natural habitats for birds and animals – “Brown” areas . This has been achieved by not cultivating or mowing these areas and by leaving them in their natural state.
The Curragh’s wintering population of the protecte Golden Plover
The protected Golden Plover species are attracted to the Curragh Racecourse because of their ability to observe any predators from safe distances on the open plains and because of the supply of food available – largely invertebrates that occur in large numbers because of the natural state of the Curragh sward (it is not ploughed or fertilised and the grass cuttings are left to be absorbed back into the earth). Their countries of origin include Scandinavia and Iceland.
Crafted with the help of local historians and expertsand narrated by actor Gerry O'Brien, The Story of the Curragh audiobook helps to tell the story of this remarkable landscape. You’ll find chapters on the physical geography, flora and fauna, archaeology, history, folklore, myths and legends, the military history, the equine industry and more.
The free audioguide can be downloaded from Abarta Audioguides at the following link: www.abartaheritage.ie
The free audio-visual guide can be downloaded from www.guidigo.com at the following link: www.guidigo.com
What to expect?
The Story of the Curragh guide helps to tell the story of the rich and varied heritage and history of The Curragh, an area of immense environmental, archaeological, historical and cultural significance.
Physical Geography of the Curragh
Hear how the Curragh was formed at the end of the Ice Age
Flora and Fauna of the Curragh
Discover the unique flora and fauna of the Curragh
The Archaeology of the Curragh
The wealth of archaeology around the Curragh show its importance over millennia
Myths and Legends of the Curragh
The abundance of archaeological monuments in and around the Curragh is certain evidence of prehistoric human activity. Myths and legends that have been handed down across the centuries, as well as written evidence from early documents, provide some clues as to the nature of this early society.
History of the Curragh
Due to its strategic importance, the Curragh of Kildare has a complex history
From the 18th century onwards, the Curragh became home to regular military activity
Grazing on the Curragh
The Curragh has a long and unique history of being commonage pastureland
The Equine Industry
Since time immemorial, the Curragh has found favour with the equine fraternity.
Recreation on the Curragh
Although best known as a centre of horse-racing, the Curragh has provided a location for many other recreational pursuits over the years. As far back as the 1660s, Thomas Monk, referred to it as “a place naturally adapted to pleasure”.
A Curragh Miscellany
There are many other fascinating strands to the story of the Curragh explored.
This guide was made possible thanks to the invaluable work and input of Bridget Loughlin, AJ Mullowney, Hugh Crawford, Des Travers, Padraig Clancy, Matt McNamara, Guy Williams, Mario Corrigan, Mary O' Connor, Comdt Mick Moore, Cllr. Fiona McLoughlin Healy, Mark Weld, Reggie Darling, Fintan Darling and Fred Bradley.
The audioguide was written by Dr. Conor of Abarta Audioguides and narrated by actor Gerry O'Brien. It was recorded by Abarta Audioguides at Bluebird Studios, Castlewarden, Kildare, by sound engineer Declan Lonergan and producer Róisín Burke.
The Story of the Curragh audioguide has been funded by Kildare County Council in partnership with The Heritage Council and is an action of the County Kildare Heritage Plan.