Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great polar explorer, was born at Kilkea House, near Athy, County Kildare in 1874. Coming from an Anglo-Irish background with a strong Quaker heritage he is renowned for his courage, extraordinary leadership skills and his contribution to geographical discovery during the era of Antarctic exploration in the early years of the 20th Century.
Ernest Shackleton joined Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition 1901 – 1904 and went on to lead three of his own expeditions to the Antarctic. The Endurance 1914 – 1916 expedition has become one of the greatest epics of human survival. While Shackleton did not achieve his ambition to cross the Antarctic he has become famous for his triumphs of honesty and humanitarianism. He died in 1922 in South Georgia, on his fourth expedition to the Antarctic in the ship named Quest.
Athy Heritage Centre-Museum has the only permanent exhibition anywhere devoted to Shackleton. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions, a 15-foot model of Shackleton’s ship Endurance, an exhibition of unique Shackleton family photographs and an audio visual display featuring Frank Hurley’s original film footage of the Endurance expedition. The Shackleton Autumn School was established to commemorate the explorer in the county of his birth. It provides a forum for the discussion of polar exploration and the presentation of artistic work relevant to Shackleton and polar exploration.
Ernest Shackleton Autumn School
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This amazing two floor picturesque exhibition celebrates the 2014-2017, Centenary of Ernest H. Shackleton’s Imperial Tran-Antarctic Expedition. The anniversary will be celebrated through a number of new expeditions, exhibition’s, publications and documentaries. The exhibition is on loan to the Athy Heritage Centre, Shackleton museum in Athy from the world famous Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway, will use the centenary to present a broader story of Shackleton, the much-admired Antarctic explorer, in a special exhibition at the museum and in this accompanying book.
In the exhibition you can read about all of Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions, in addition to his personal life; his voyage on Discovery with Robert F. Scott and Edward Wilson, the successful Nimrod Expedition, the Endurance Expedition and his often-forgotten Ross Sea Party and finally his death during his 1922 voyage on the Quest. The story of Shackleton’s life is fully illustrated with more than three hundred photos and maps from many of the Shackleton archives around the world.
The Shackleton Autumn School is pleased to confirm the provisional details of the 2018 Autumn School
Friday 26th October
Official Opening & Exhibition Launch by Her Excellency, Ambassador Else Berit Eikeland, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland
in Athy Heritage Centre – Museum.
In association with UCL publishers, the Shackleton Autumn School is pleased to welcome back to Athy Shane McCorristine for the launch of his latest work The Spectral Arctic: A History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration. Through new readings of archival documents, exploration narratives and fictional texts, author Shane reveals the hidden stories of dreaming and haunted explorers, of frozen mummies, of rescue balloons, visits to Inuit shamans, and of the entranced female clairvoyants who travelled to the Arctic in search of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition.
Daily Exhibitions – Athy Heritage Centre – Museum
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Bank Holiday Monday 10am – 2pm
10.00am – 5.00pm – “Exploring Shackleton”
The exhibition devised and created by the Fram Museum, Oslo focuses on the life and expeditions of Sir Ernest Shackleton. The exhibition is complemented by artefacts from the Museum’s own and private collections.
10.00am – 5.00pm – “On Thin Ice”
Held in conjunction with the Norwegian Embassy, Dublin the exhibition documents the Norwegian Young Sea Ice Expedition 2015 with stunning images from this unique expedition.
Saturday, 27th October
Lecture Series Athy Heritage Centre – Museum
10.00am “Lessons from the Arctic: How Amundsen won the Race to the South Pole”
11.20 “What the Sea Floor at the Top and Bottom of the World can tell use about the great ice sheets”
12.10 “Solving famous Shipwreck Mysteries”
2.30pm “The Extraordinary Four Antarctic Winters of Argentine Jose Manuel Moneta during the 1920s”
3.50pm “Conor O’Brien: Patriot, Sailor and Adventurer”
A series of short presentations on topics relevant to the Shackleton Autumn School, presented by those with a passion for their subject.
8.00pm Autumn School Dinner in Clanard Court Hotel, Athy Tickets €40
Sunday, 28th October Athy Heritage Centre – Museum
This documentary follows the story of the French Scientist Claude Lorius who has participated in 22 expeditions to the polar region since the 1960’s. Claude is a long time campaigner about global warming and in this elegiac film he reflects on his scientific endeavours including his key work in ice cores. The film was directed by Luc Jacquet best known as the Oscar wining director of March of the Penguins.
Cultural Evening Athy Arts Centre
8.30pm ‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’
This one man show, written by Gail Louw, tells the story of Harry McNish, the carpenter on Shackleton’s ill fated ship, Endurance.
Performed by Malcolm Rennie and directed by Tony Milner
Monday, 29th October 2018
Field Trip Assemble at The Heritage Centre – Museum
10.00am Bus tour through Shackleton country. A Visit to Ballitore and the home of Mary Leadbeater, writer and ancestor of Ernest Shackleton and Quaker Meeting House.