Friday 7 September 2012

Heritage Open Weekend in Northern Ireland

Wellbrook Beetling Mill, Cookstown
Doors will be thrown open this weekend across Northern Ireland with the arrival of Heritage Open Days Weekend. This popular celebration of built heritage gives the public a chance to see inside many buildings from cottages to castles and private homes to Parliament Buildings that aren’t usually open to the public.

Two burial grounds that are normally open only by appointment will be open for visitors as part of the local programme.

Clifton Street graveyard was first opened in 1797, and contains the graves of many notable families, including the Dunvilles, the Sinclairs and the McCrackens. It's at Henry Place, Belfast BT13 1AD. Open 10am-4.30 Saturday and Sunday.

Friar`s Bush Graveyard
is Belfast`s `official` famine site. It is thought to be the city`s oldest Christian burial ground, and contains the mass grave of hundreds of victims of Belfast`s cholera epidemics. Entry into the graveyard is through an arched gothic gate lodge, built by the Marquis of Donegall in 1828 on Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Open 1-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the other Open Days in Northern Ireland that caught my eye:

Armagh Gaol: Building dates from 1780. Closed in 1988. This may be one of the last chances to see inside before it gets turned into a luxury hotel and spa. The Mall, Corporation, Armagh. Open 12noon-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Moyallon Quaker Meeting House: One of the oldest Quaker Meeting Houses in Ireland. Has historical burial ground beside it. 117 Stramore Road, Moyallan, Gilford, Portadown, BT63 5JZ. Only open Saturday.

Wellbrook Beetling Mill: Oldest surviving water powered linen beetling mill. If your ancestors worked in the linen industry or produced flax, this is a great place to visit. Wellbrook Road, Corkhill, Cookstown. Open Day 2pm-6pm on Saturday. (On Sunday, although open, normal charges will apply.)

: A day of tours, talks, exhibition and performance. Visitors will get a behind the scenes look at what PRONI does, and a flavour of the records held. At noon, visitors will also have the chance to meet Lord Carson, as actor, Paddy Scully, performs a one man performance in the building. Free. Bring photographic id. Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

Full programme in Northern Ireland.