A range of free events and open days are scheduled to take place throughout Mid Ulster on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September as part of European Heritage Open Days.
The Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly House in Dungannon and The Bridewell in Magherafelt are among the 300 properties across Northern Ireland which are participating in the annual initiative which will once again celebrate the built, natural and cultural heritage on offer throughout Northern Ireland.
European Heritage Open Days gives people the opportunity to explore the historical treasures available on their doorstep and join in a free celebration of heritage across the country. The public can visit a fascinating range of private houses, public buildings, monuments, churches and gardens, many of which have not been previously accessible.
Events ranging from guided walks, lectures, historical re-enactments, music and family fun will take place at several locations throughout the region to help showcase our rich heritage. Local highlights will include guided tours of Hill of The O'Neill & Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre, Dungannon. Visitors will meet the living history characters and learn more about the ancient site, the story of the Flight of The Earls and The Plantation of Ulster.
At the Bridewell, a familiar historical landmark in Magherafelt, a guided tour will retell the history and folklore of the old gaol and courthouse dating from 1805. It will also include a tour of the old burial ground concealed behind The Bridewell, which dates back to as early as 1425.
For younger audiences, the historic walled garden in Maghera will host a free fun-filled family event with special guests including Mr. Bloom from Cbeebies along with Alice in Wonderland and her friends. Recently awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award, the walled garden stands adjacent to the Church of Ireland rectory, itself a listed Georgian building, and is close to the Christian heritage site of St Lurach’s - a must-see attraction for visitors to the area.
Councillor Trevor Wilson, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council said, “This fantastic celebration of our local heritage wouldn’t be possible without the support and hard work from many individuals, venues, organisations and volunteers, and we are very grateful to all of them for helping to make the 2016 European Heritage Open Days possible. And with so many historic heritage sites and buildings spread throughout the district I would urge people to support the events happening in their community as it’s an opportunity to learn something new about their heritage and history."
He continued, “It’s great that many of these events will cater for people of all ages and with free entry it’s a great excuse for a day out with the family.”
Over 300 buildings and monuments will open across Northern Ireland on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September.
To find out more about other historical monuments and buildings open across Northern Ireland go to: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/loveheritageni/EHOD.aspx