The visitor centre at Tarbert Bridewell would be delighted to help you organise a school trip where students can test their 5 senses, take in a visit to a historical courtroom & prison cell, catch a glimpse of a fairy, explore the wood spirit faces, learn about Blacksmiths in a bygone era, look for birds in the bird hide and take in a tour of one of Ireland’s foremost lived-in homes from the 1700’s, Tarbert House. All with the aid of a tour guide to aid your trip around the town and explain the sights and sounds of Tarbert. Trips can be tailored to suit various age groups.
Tarbert Bridewell was built in 1831 and for more than 100 years it served as a Courthouse & Jail. The Bridewell incorporates prison cells, exercise yard, keepers quarters & courtrooms.
Local magistrates dispensed justice and guilty offenders served time in cells under the watchful eye of the resident keeper. Students can experience what life was like in a court room as scenarios are enacted, and then they can complete an age appropriate quiz and have tea/coffee/snacks.
Tarbert House is on the road to Tarbert Island Car Ferry and is among the most unique survivals of early 18th century domestic architecture in Ireland. Even more extraordinary in historical terms is that it remains in the continuous ownership of the Leslie family, having been built by John Leslie in the early 1700’s and it has remained the Leslie family home to this present day. Located in ancient parkland, many of Tarbert House’s original internal features and decorative forms survive and testify to the importance of this house in Ireland’s architectural heritage. The building is still preserved in its original form with furniture and pictures from the same period.
A short walk along the ‘Island Road’ will introduce students to a magical fairy trail on the John F. Leslie Woodland Walk. Our fairy folk have lived in the woods for thousands of years! The fairy village is the highlight of the trail where students can ask the fairies to take away their worries at the Worry Plaque and post notes & letters to the fairies in the fairy post box. Please find enclosed our fun fairy trail map.
The playground has different forms of recreational activity to suit all age groups – including swings, slides & a climbing frame to name a few.
Sensory Garden & Bird Hide
Students can stimulate their 5 senses at our beautiful sensory garden, and directly across the road is a Bird Watch Hide. Follow the avenue to the bird hide where students can take in picturesque views of Tarbert bay, the majestic river Shannon, Leslie’s Wood and the county of Clare. The daring American naval hero John Paul Jones eluded two pursuing British warships in these waters during the American War of Independence 1775-83.
Students can take in the faces of our wood spirits at Forge Park and be regaled with stories of how local Blacksmiths plied their trade in centuries gone by.
Tarbert’s Historical Illuminated Bronzes represent key historical eras along this section of the lordly Shannon Estuary. They follow a loosely chronological time-frame, representative of major historical periods, reflective of the religious, political, military and commercial life of the region.
Tarbert Community Centre
As our Irish weather is changeable the community centre in Tarbert may be booked as a back -up for indoor events if required.
Tarbert Bridewell Visitor Centre (068) 36500 (or email using the form below) would be delighted to welcome your school to Tarbert and provide information, maps & paths to take in the best sights Tarbert has to offer.