European Heritage Open Days in Lurgan

European Heritage Open Days in Lurgan

You can visit Oxford Island on the South Lough Neagh Tour

Jonathan McNabb


Jonathan McNabb


Thursday 2 September 2021 15:00

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is inviting everyone to get involved with the 24th annual European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) taking place from the 6 - 12 September 2021.

The event will celebrate local architecture, history and culture – which can be enjoyed in Lurgan!

This year’s EHOD event has been extended from the usual weekend to a full week of online events, with access to heritage buildings on the weekend of 10–12 September.

Over 250 heritage buildings will be opening across the Province during the weekend free of charge.

A number of these properties are not normally open to the public, so EHOD offers an opportunity for everyone to explore many hidden treasures.

Lurgan Heritage Collective

The Lurgan Heritage Collective, a new partnership of local groups interested in preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Lurgan, will be providing numerous tours around the town in support of European Heritage Open Days on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12.

There are a total of nine tours with full details below.

Brownlow House - Admire the grandeur and enjoy the history of Lurgan’s grandest building. Join David and his team on a tour of this wonderful building and enjoy the history of, not only the building, but also the family who lived there. Tours hourly, 10:00 to 15:00 Sat & Sun. 

The Kingdom of Trees – a tour of Lurgan Park. Join Paul for a walk through the history of the Trees in our Park. Hear the folklore and legends and learn how they were essential to our ancestors in every aspect of their lives. Tours available on Sat & Sun 11:00 & 13:00. Meet at the gates of Brownlow House.

Lurgan Town Tour #Love Lurgan – Take a walk through the town centre with Donagh while he tells the stories of the many interesting buildings and characters of our town – from history to the present day – including some personal stories of growing up in Lurgan. Sat & Sun 10.30 and 14:30. Meet at front of Brownlow House.

AE Russell Walking Tour - AE George William Russell, was of the greatest influences on this Island, fell in love with beauty of the Towers & Parklands of Brownlow Demense, recalling later that his first vision came about at the age of four. On our tour you will see the local places of AE’s childhood and learn of the Man known as the father of three generations of Ireland's greatest writers and the inspiration for Mary Poppins. Sat & Sun 10:00 & 14:00. Meet at front of Brownlow House.

Military Connections Tour - Hear the stories of the brave men and women from our community who gave their lives in two World Wars. We visit the Lurgan War Memorial and then individual tours of both Shankill and Dougher Graveyards. Sat & Sun 10.00. Meet at War Memorial. The tour moves on to Shankill Graveyard for 11.15 and then on to Dougher Graveyard for 13:00.*

Shankill Graveyard - Lurgan’s oldest graveyard is one place where we can all stand together. It is the final resting place for people of all faiths, Protestant, Roman Catholic and Dissenter. Join us on our popular tour and hear about the lives of the families who lived here and the impact they had not only locally but globally, meet the legendary Marjorie McCall and see the world’s shortest epitaph on Sat & Sun 11.15 (part of Military connections tour); general tours 13:30 and 15:30. Meet at Deans Walk gate.* 

Dougher Graveyard - In 1800, William Brownlow gave the Roman Catholic community a mill-warehouse for worship which was soon converted into a Chapel and later the Dougher graveyard. On the tour you will encounter a lot of surprising local & international stories of those interred here, many of whom had also families interred in Shankill graveyard. Saturday 10am and Sunday 5.30pm; part of Military connections tour Sat & Sun 13:00*

Aghacommon Walking Tour - Martelle and Angela welcome you to Aghacommon, (Translated from Irish as “the field of the hurleys”). Starting at “The Corner House” – the self-proclaimed heart of the village – we will visit a few of the village’s notable buildings charting its history from a small, poor, rural community to a thriving and popular village. Following this we will visit Tannaghmore Gardens, established as part of the New City of Craigavon – we’ll cover the origin of the land the garden was built on and how the “New City” developed over time. Sunday 12:00-13:00 meet at Corner House.

South Lough Neagh Tour - Angela, Martelle and Paul welcome you to the southern shore of Lough Neagh. We’ll visit Oxford Island, a thriving and popular marina developed as part of the New City of Craigavon. We will travel along the shore of the Lough and visit what was once a very popular day out for local families. Here you will hear some of the legends of the Lough and how the area has changed and developed over time. Finally we will visit the site where the Upper Bann River enters the Lough. We will hear about the little hand-pulled ferry that crossed the river joining two communities across the water. Sunday 12 Sept 17:00. Meet at Corner House (minibus leaves from Brownlow House 16:50).

*Mini bus at Brownlow House can take you to Shankill, Dougher or Military Connections Graveyard tours*

Speaking at the launch, Minister Hargey said: “The European Heritage Open Days theme this year ‘Inclusion – Exploring our hidden history together’ is about celebrating inclusiveness and diversity, a chance for everyone to appreciate the wonderful shared cultural heritage right on our doorstep.

“European Heritage Open Days remains a continued success due to the efforts of a wide range of communities and individuals which help deliver a largely volunteer-led programme.

“EHOD is for everyone - as the theme this year reflects - and I would urge people to take a look at the e-brochure and events listings and plan out your EHOD experience.”

Whilst all events are free many require pre booking.

For more information check out Discover Northern Ireland where you can download the EHOD brochure and view the listings of the range of events and activities on offer for you to enjoy right across Northern Ireland.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest updates on the ‘Lurgan Heritage Collective’ Facebook page HERE.

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