Ancient Music Ireland are bringing archaeology to life!

Maria and Simon O'Dwyer with Kevin Whately at Drumbest. INBM44-14
Maria and Simon O'Dwyer with Kevin Whately at Drumbest. INBM44-14

On November 3rd, archaeology will be coming to life at Ballymoney Town Hall.

Simon and Maria O’Dwyer of Ancient Music Ireland will be giving a unique performance of musical instruments from prehistory right through to Medieval times whilst tracing their links to mysterious legends and folk tales. The highlight of the evening will be a chance to hear music played on beautifully crafted bronze replicas of the famous Drumbest Horns.

In 1844 four horns were discovered beautifully preserved in bog land at Drumbest. They were made around 3000 years ago by people who lived near to Ballymoney. The surrounding area is famous for some exceptional Bronze Age discoveries such as the Dunaverney Flesh Hook and the Ballymoney Cauldron as well as two more horns at Drunkendult.

For many years, archaeologists and historians were unable to produce a sound from these fantastic instruments. Today, the Drumbest Horns are spread across Ireland and can be found in the Ulster Museum and the National Museum of Ireland.

The final horn is on display at Ballymoney Museum (courtesy of York Museum Trust). In the summer of 2013, the horns became TV stars when featured on ITV’s “Britain’s Secret Treasures.” Actor Kevin Whately, star of detective series “Lewis,” visited Ballymoney to explore the story of these enigmatic artefacts.

Ancient Music Ireland was established in 1988 and is the world’s first institution dedicated to the study, reproduction and exploration of prehistoric musical instruments. Simon and Maria research ancient musical instruments by making exact reproductions using the same measurements, materials and where possible similar manufacturing methods as our ancestors which can then be explored and played.

Tickets are £5 and available at Ballymoney Town Hall.

Drumbest Horn on display at Ballymoney Museum. Admission is free. Opening hours are Monday – Thursday & Saturday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm. For further information contact Ballymoney Museum, Tel: 028 2766 0230 or