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The Fermanagh Trust has provided a funding boost for local history initiative – ‘Battles, Bricks and Bridges’. This project will present many learning opportunities and outcomes for the community – the re-discovery and re-engagement by local people in their shared history, heritage and culture and the exploration and examination of the past through the involvement of young people, professionals and volunteers.
‘Battles, Bricks and Bridges’, developed by the Cleenish Community Association and Killesher Community Development Association, is designed to connect three aspects of local heritage stretching back over many centuries. The first is the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits which occurred locally in 1594 and was the opening salvo of what became known as the nine years war; the second is the largely forgotten industrial heritage of local brick and tile making in Arney and Florence Court which is believed to have started hundreds of years ago; and the third is the recently listed plantation bridge built at Arney in the early 1600s, which is now recognised as the oldest in the county.
Frank McManus, Chairman of the Fermanagh Trust said “We are delighted to award ‘Battles, Bricks and Bridges’ a grant towards the costs of archaeology, brick making and the development of educational materials. It is great to see a project which not only preserves our history but involves the community and educates our young people about the past. As well as that, these three interconnected aspects tie in with local strategies for tourism, economic development, culture, heritage and the arts. I wish all those involved every success”.
The project’s activities will include an archaeological excavation of possible sites of the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuit, which may yield additional information to increase our understanding of this event and period of history. Excavations of an old brickworks and brick makers' cottage will also be undertaken. Education initiatives including the making of a film and creation of a website will help to interpret this heritage for the local community to learn from and enjoy.
You can keep up to date with the project by visiting their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BattlesBricksandBridges