Restoration Project of Irish Famine Wall

Galway, Ireland

Experience hosted by John

  1. 90 mins
  2. Hosted in English

What you'll do

We'll make a short quarter mile hike to the location of an old estate wall that was built by over 200 men during the hardship of the Irish potato Famine in 1847.

Standing at almost 3 miles long and enclosing over 300 acres, this unique Famine landmark was commissioned by the kindly local landlord, to provide work for his starving tenants as their potato crop failed. They were paid a penny and a turnip a day for building the wall before many emigrated to North America shortly thereafter from ships leaving Galway Bay as the Famine worsened.

Over the course of your 100% outdoors experience you will learn the stone building techniques required to restore this part of Ireland's heritage to its former glory. And in concurrence with Galway being designated as the European Capital of Culture 2020, this experience allows you to actively participate in saving a cultural reminder of the Famine from disappearing from the landscape.

Afterwards, all participants are invited to sign the restoration ledger, that together with the section of wall you build, enables you to leave a lasting record of your efforts in restoring this part of Irish history, as well as leave your own lasting imprint on the Irish countryside...that will stand for centuries after you return home!
Other things to note
Dress for rainy weather just in case!
You will be under the friendly supervision of my father and I.
Taxi costs approx 35 euro from Galway.
Buses leave regularly from the city to Claregalway which is nearby. The website www.getthere.ie gives times of all public transport all over Ireland.
We'll make a short quarter mile hike to the location of an old estate wall that was built by over 200 men during the hardship of the Irish potato Famine in 1847.

Standing at almost 3 miles long and enclosing over 300 acres, this unique Famine landmark was commissioned by the kindly local landlord, to provide work for his starving tenants as their potato crop failed. They were paid a penny and a turnip a day for building the wall befor…

What's included

  • Equipment
    Steel toe capped boots
    Thermal socks (if desired!)
    Thermal water...

Meet your Host, John

Host on Airbnb since 2018
  • 7 Reviews
  • Identity verified
My father and I have been building natural stone walls without cement all our lives. I am an active member of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland and have been involved with many stone restorative projects. County Galway where I'm from, is one of the few Irish counties where each field is enclosed by traditional Irish stone walls.

It is our long term aim to restore an 8 foot high stone wall that was built during the Great Famine in 1847.

This estate wall represents one of the few remaining visible traces of the potato Famine that exists in the country today, and bears silent witness to the most catastrophic event in Irish history, when over one million died and one million emigrated to the new world in America.
My father and I have been building natural stone walls without cement all our lives. I am an active member of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland and have been involved with many stone restorative projects. County Galway where I'm from, is one of the few Irish counties where each field is enclosed by traditional Irish stone walls.

It is our long term aim to restore an 8 foot high stone wall that was built during the Great Famine in 1847.

This estate wall represents o…
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app. Learn more

From $63/ person

$63 per person

Where you'll be

Guests start at a local farmhouse and walk a quarter mile to the site of the wall to be restored.

You will be shown how to select and lay each stone. I'm confident that after a short period you'll learn the ancient Irish craft of building walls without cement!

Buses leave regularly from the city to Claregalway, which is nearby. The website www.getthere.ie is best for checking out public transport.
A taxi costs approx 35 euro from Galway.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 7 reviews.

Beth
July 2021
What an amazing experience with John, the most lovely of hosts. We learned so much by "doing" with this Famine Wall Restoration. We felt as if we were a part of preserving an important history of the land and people. The setting was spectacular and John's stories, teaching ability and lovely personality just made it an experience to never forget. We will be back...
Gerard
August 2020
This is best Airbnb experience I have ever done!! It combines so many things. It is a physical activity, it is creative, it is a mental challenge and above all it is historical. So many people were affected by the Famine. And its effect has echoed across generations and many lands. It feels wonderful to give something back by helping restoring this Wall. The pride that you feel when stepping back to see the work that you have done, honouring those who have gone before us is simply incomparable. It is not often that one can be confident, as in this case, that your days work will outlive you. The time with John flew, he is a true gentleman and raconteur. I simply say to all that are curious about this activity to do it.
Clark
January 2020
This was such a unique and special experience. John’s passion for the wall and maintaining history is evident. John and his dad welcomed us like family and were so easy to get along with making us feel comfortable as soon as we arrived. My wife and I speak of this experience as one of the highlights of our trip to Ireland. Being the first Aussies to help John restore the wall was quite special. We highly recommend this experience! Thanks John!
Adam
January 2020
Simply put, this is a totally unique experience. Learning about the wall building is one thing, but to build part of a historical wall yourself is a totally immersive experience. Gives you a tremendous appreciation for history and the ancestral people, and a feeling of being a part of history yourself. John is a terrific guy with a deep knowledge of both the history and the technique. It felt as authentic and personal as any experience I've done. Fully recommend, and great value too!
Phillipe
December 2019
Great unique experience and sense of accomplishment afterwards. Cool to be the first name in the book of the wall restoration participants that John asked me to sign afterwards!
Mariea
January 2020
What a unique experience ! I thoroughly enjoyed it

Choose from available dates

1 available

Things to know

Guest requirements

Guests ages 12 and up can attend, up to 5 guests total.
All participants must wear a protective face covering and practice social distancing.

What to bring

Outdoor Clothing

Cancellation policy

Cancel up to 7 days before the Experience start time for a full refund, or within 24 hours of booking as long as the booking is made more than 48 hours before the start time.