Bog Butter find in Poll a'Chapaill Bog

Declan Varley (first appeared in the Examiner on 20th May, 1999)

Children from Barnaderg NS in May 1999 with Bog Butter found in Poll a'Chapaill bog
Photo: https://www.pcl-eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=03butter

Is Ancient Bog Butter good enough to eat?

Children from Barnaderg National School ..tested a 300-year-old lump of bog butter that was found by turf cutters in May 1999 (photo above). The lump looked, smelled, and felt like butter, but the kids said it wasn’t very tasty.  “We’ll probably bring it to the school for awhile,” said Barnaderg’s principal Sylvester Cassidy. “It will be a novelty, but eventually it will start to melt and smell and then have to be thrown out.” Maybe they could pour it on some 300-year-old baked potatoes.

Who needs a fridge for butter when there’s a bog nearby

Turf Cutters churn up a taste of the past, though it’s well beyond its sell-by date.  A group of schoolchildren have volunteered to be the custodians of a five stone lump of butter, buried on a bog over 300 years ago.  The butter was discovered yesterday in the Poll na gCapaill bog near Barnaderg in Co. Galway by turf cutters Tom Burke and Vincent Roche. According to one historian, it was traditional for butter to be stored in the bogs because of the great preservative qualities of the high acid soil.  Now the find, the largest of it’s kind in the West, is to be preserved by the local schoolchildren, for a few months until it starts to melt.

Children bring along sliced pan to test butter!!

Yesterday, the school children, from Barnaderg national school, were brought along by principal Sylvester Cassidy for a look at the largest lump of butter they had ever seen and they jokingly brought along a sliced pan in the hope that some of it could still be used. “The men who found it have given it to us and we are going to get it examined to determine its exact age,” said Mr. Cassidy.  “It was in a wicker basket and an outer layer of bark was placed around it by the people who put it there. We will probably bring it to the school for a while. “It will be a novelty, but eventually it will start to melt and smell so it will have to be thrown out then,” said Mr. Cassidy.  He said the butter was not edible but still retained its buttery smell and texture and was extremely cool and hard.

For more information on bog butter, follow the link below:

http://www.pcl-eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=03butter

This page was added on 27/08/2017.

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