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The Lost Palace of Lixnaw

The Lost Palace of Lixnaw’ project stood out in the Kerry Municipal District Creative Communities offerings in 2019 giving an insight to both new generations and old on the lost history of a golden age in Lixnaw’s illustrious past, the project used artforms of drama, theatre, storytelling, video and craft making to retell Lixnaw’s 18th Century history.

Lixnaw Court and Demesne, including canals, Deer Park, gardens, avenues orchards, village and general built landscape rivalled the best in Ireland and London at the time. The Lost Palace project provided a platform of discovery and engagement with heritage for the local and wider Kerry community. Through the creative process there was a raised awareness of the history of Lixnaw as well as the animation of the rich heritage of the area.


In terms of clear engagement groups, schoolchildren had strong participation levels and the local population, most of whom didn’t know of the history, become hugely invested in the project.


The project created wide intergenerational engagement opportunities and included collaborations with a drama facilitator, costume designer, a film-maker, local community groups and the schools.


The project had great intergenerational aspects and included learnings around the history of place, it’s landscape, build infrastructures and people.

Creative practitioners working with children to devise scenes and characters from the period resulted in filmed performances as a way of understanding their history in a new way.


One of the highlights of the projects was the production o 3 re-enactment videos with the children covering the many different aspects of the history of 18th century Lixnaw.

As well as the school children and their parents the filming also engaged with people in the townlands around Lixnaw who formed part of the audience as the scenes were filmed.


‘The Lost Palace’ theme had a strong legacy in capturing the imaginations of local and arts practitioners alike and extended into a number of other projects including:

  • Alison Mac Cormaics ‘Inventory of Everyday Objects’- a craft and inventory initiative to give a sense of time in history for future generations
  • Lisa Fingleton’s Swimming Flagstone initiative that looks at biodiversity, food, sustainability. A project that considers changes across generations and times
  • Architecture Kerry 2019 overlap- a hugely successful county wide initiative around the built environment and cultural heritage with a strong representation from Lixnaw and North Kerry.

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