Heritage 2017-05-10T14:29:31+00:00

Festival Heritage


Celtic heritage stirs our imagination. Ancient sites reveal their mysteries reluctantly. The Celts have left a rich legacy of traditions.

Celtic heritage can’t be fully conveyed in here. We have attempted only to give a very brief introduction to Celtic culture and explain how a town in northern New South Wales became synonymous with Celtic history.

Celtic History

Scholars can’t agree on many of the facts of Celtic history. According to some, what we now call Celtic culture dates back to 1200 BC. Interestingly, this culture developed outside of the areas we now regard as the Celtic nations, in a broad band that stretches from modern eastern France to Hungary and Slovakia.

Over the next few centuries Celtic culture spread east to Romania (with an enclave in central Turkey), west to the Atlantic coast, down to the Iberian peninsula and up into Britain and Ireland.

With the expansion of the Roman empire, Celtic culture largely disappeared from its central European birthplace. The Celts were now restricted to Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany. The culture lives on in these areas, most notably in the languages – Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx and Cornish.

All of this is confused further by the fact that the word Celt is only a fairly recent invention, dating from the 18th century.

For a general introduction to the Celts, you could start with Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts
To see Celtic culture come alive, come to the annual Australian Celtic Festival, naturally.

Celtic Nations Flag
Map of Celtic Nations

Glen Innes

The Glen Innes region is widely known as Celtic country. But how did this come to be?

The area’s first settler was Archibald Boyd, a barrister from Selkirkshire in Scotland. He established what is now called Stonehenge Station in 1838.

He was soon joined by other settlers from Scotland. People such as William Vivers from Dumfriesshire who settled on the massive Kings Plains Station estate that covered close to 30,000ha.

His grandson, Dr George Vivers, wished to create a little piece of Scotland in the Australian bush and so built a castle on the property – which is still there today.

Glen Innes got its name from another Scot, Archibald Clunes Innes, who arrived in Australia in 1822. The town of Glen Innes was gazetted at the height of the gold rush in 1852.

Today, Glen Innes citizens cherish the area’s Celtic heritage. A group of locals established the Australian Standing Stones, based on the megalithic structures found in the ancient Celtic world. They are unique in the southern hemisphere and have been officially recognised as the national monument to Australia’s Celtic pioneers. It’s only natural that the Stones are the venue for the annual Australian Celtic Festival.

Year of Brittany Galicia & Asturias
Flags of the Celtic Nations