Part of the history of Bellaghy has been set in stone in the new building under construction to showcase the life and work of the late poet and Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney.
Part of the old basalt stone wall which surrounded the site where the £4M project is being developed by Mid Ulster District Council, had to be removed, but the stone was conserved and has been re-incorporated into the façade of the building.
The painstaking work to salvage the basalt and cut the stone to fit the building was well worth the effort, according to Chair of the Council, Councillor Linda Dillon:
“The old stone wall is such a feature of the village. By integrating the basalt into the building, we are literally cementing a piece of the built heritage of Bellaghy into a facility that will celebrate Seamus Heaney, who was himself so influenced and inspired by the place and the landscape in which he grew up”.
“The stone masons’ craft and skill is impressive and they deserve great credit for the impressive results”.
The new centre will open in summer 2016 and will bring together an interactive exhibition, using the latest touch screen, video and audio technology, with a 160-seater theatre and performance space, learning zones for children and adults, as well as community space.