The County Kildare Archaeological Society is the oldest Society in Ireland to have continued under the same name. It has thrived and grown over the past one hundred and twenty years since its foundation on Saturday, April 25th 1891, at a meeting held at Palmerstown House, Straffan, which was at that time the home of the Earl of Mayo.
Much of the success of the Society and some of the principal reasons for its longevity have been due to the enthusiasm and dedication of its members over the years and the simplicity of its structure. Perhaps the most important reason of all was the depth and sustainability of the vision of the Society’s founder members, as recorded by Maurice T de Burgh, Archdeacon of Kildare in the Society’s first journal, Volume I, No 1, Session 1891, the aims of which are equally valid today:
“To collect and to preserve the records and traditions of these memorials of the past, and to present them to all who love archaeology, in a Journal which it is hoped may yet prove a rich storehouse, whence some learned historian may draw his materials for that great desideratum – a complete history of the County Kildare – such is the object – the ambition of the County Kildare Archaeological Society.”
The Society today carries on the work of its founders and is active in the protection and preservation of County Kildare’s rich archaeological heritage.
An interesting programme of outings and lectures is organised each year and the Society’s journal appears every two years.