Latest News & Events

The Irish Agricultural Museum and Johnstown Castle Gardens will be closed today Sun 18 March due to severe weather warning. We hope to reopen tomorrow as normal.

The museum and castle gardens will be closed tomorrow  (Thurs) and Friday. We hope to reopen on Saturday if weather conditions permit.

School Tours

By kind permission of Rathgarogue National School

School Tours

Advance booking essential

Why not bring your class to the Irish Agricultural Museum for a fun and educational visit. The Museum, situated in the former farm buildings of the Johnstown Castle Estate, displays a large and varied collection of artefacts relating to rural life in the past. We have exhibitions and displays relating to: 

Typical kitchen of the early 20th century
  • The Great Famine
  • Village trades and crafts
  • Farming
  • Irish Country Furniture
  • Transport
  • Kitchens through the ages

The History of the Johnstown Castle Estate can be explored through displays at the Museum and through walk through the grounds and up to the Castle. The setting provides an ideal opportunity for children to gain an insight into the contrasting lifestyles of the vast majority people and the highly privileged few.

We can offer specially tailored visits for school groups from Junior Infants to Leaving Cert.

 Prices and facilities 

  • Museum-led session at Museum and / or Gardens – €5.00 per student
  • Self-guided visit to Museum and Gardens  –  €4.00 per student
  • Self-guided visit to Gardens only – €1.00 per student (April to October) 
  • Free admission for teachers / adult helpers 
  • Free car / coach parking on site 
  • Free tea / coffee and cake for coach driver 
  • Discount on hot drinks for teachers / adult helpers 
  • Toilet facilities in both Museum and Gardens 
  • Secure storage for bags and coats etc 
  • Indoor and outdoor spaces for lunch 

Museum-led sessions

Each session lasts approximately 45 mins to 1 hour. Mix and match your sessions from the choice below to suit your own requirements. 

  • Owl Hunt

A fun but thought-provoking hunt around the Museum highlighting a selection of objects. Aimed at 4 to 9 year olds working in small teams with an adult helper. The hunt encourages children to observe, think and talk. There is no writing involved.  

  • Peacock Trail

A fun trail around the Museum aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. The quiz encourages children to identify a range of objects / displays from clues and answer related questions. A small amount of writing is involved. 

  • Red Tractor Quiz

A quiz sheet taking in the whole Museum aimed at students aged from 10 to 15 years. 

  • Treasure Hunt

A fun trail around the grounds which challenges participants to follow directional instructions, test their observational skills, find clues and answer questions. Two hunts are available – a long version taking in the Walled Garden and a shorter (easier) version focusing on the Castle and Lake. 

  • Understanding the Great Famine 

A tour of the Great Famine exhibition and a worksheet designed to enhance understanding of situation in Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. Two worksheets are available – Level One is primarily aimed at 7 to 11 year olds and Level Two is primarily aimed at 10 to 14 year olds. Sessions particularly complement the SESE History strand of the Primary Curriculum for 3rd and 4th Class and 5th and 6thClass. Sessions can, however, be adapted to suit both younger and older age groups and / or different levels of prior learning if required.  

  • Johnstown Castle during the Great Famine

This session works well as an addition to the ‘Understanding the Great Famine’ session. It involves learning about who lived in Johnstown Castle during the 1840s and 1850s and how their lives contrasted with the vast majority of the population of rural Ireland. A lot of building work was undertaken at the Castle during this period, including the development of the lakes and gardens. Children will learn about the people involved in this and have the opportunity to think about life during the period for those who worked on the estate as well as for the Landlords.  The session can be tailored to suit both primary and post-primary level students. If the weather permits this session will take place outdoors around the Castle and lawns. 

  • Johnstown Castle through the Centuries
    Skating on Johnstown Castle Lake, early 20th century

Learn about the history of Johnstown Castle and the Estate from its Norman  origins to the present day. Find out about some of the people who have lived and worked here over the years and about the role some of the inhabitants have played in the wider history of  Wexford and Ireland. This session includes a trail around the Museum, the gardens and the outside of the Castle – unfortunately it is not possible to gain access inside the Castle at the moment.   

  • Working as an Historian

This session explores how and what we can learn about the past by studying objects, pictures, buildings and documents. Children will get an opportunity to be history detectives by deducing facts from a range of artefacts and other sources. The session will encourage pupils to observe, question and touch in order to uncover evidence.  Children can use the skills they have learned in a fun ‘mystery object’ quiz.  

  • Traditional Toys and Games

Children can learn about how children spent their leisure time in the days before playstations, computers and televisions. Children can play with a range of traditional toys and games to gain an understanding of childhood in the 19th and 20thcenturies. Some of the toys and games will be familiar to them – others will not. This is a good active fun session which works well as an ‘add-on’. Session can take place either indoors or outdoors according to the weather.   

Lots of peacocks can be seen around the Castle Gardens

Whatever your requirements we welcome your enquiry and will do our best to accommodate you and your class for a fun and educational visit to the Irish Agricultural Museum and Johnstown Castle Gardens. 

Advance booking essential for all school group visits to the Museum and to Johnstown Castle Gardens

Email us on or call us on (053) 918 4671. We look forward to welcoming you.

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