20 Mid Ulster Properties Participating In European Heritage Open Days in September
From 10th to 11th September, properties across Mid Ulster will open their doors for free as part of European Heritage Open Days, an annual celebration of local architecture, history, and culture.
A total of 20 properties will offer free entry across the weekend, with many also enhancing the visitor experience with living history tours.
Among the more unusual is a tour of The Bridewell in Magherafelt, where visitors will be brought back to experience the building’s original use as a courthouse and gaol in the early 1800s, and have the chance to see the original cells and participate in activities in the exercise yard.
Visitors will travel back in time too in Ballygawley at the family home of the Simpsons, the ancestors of Ulysses Simpson Grant, General and 18th President of the United States of America, where the history of the period will be re-created in costumes and stories.
Walking in the footsteps of those emigrants who left Maghera and famine stricken Ireland on the Emigrant Walk up Carntogher Mountain is another history-filled experience, as is the Famine and Folklore tour by Friel’s in Swatragh, where visitors can see an original and authentic famine pot and taste the nettle soup served to the starving.
The open days are a once-a-year opportunity for curious families, architect lovers, and heritage enthusiasts to explore buildings and exclusive sites that are rarely open to the public.
The chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Córa Corry said:
It is so great to see so many properties from right across the Mid Ulster area participating in such an open and accessible weekend of events, offering us all, locals and tourists alike, an opportunity to see and experience some more unusual places. I encourage everyone to take a look at what’s on offer and enjoy some of the unique experiences, particularly the living history tours.
The 2022 theme “Sustainable Heritage: Learn Use Enjoy” encourages us to consider the environment and its impact on our heritage, and how we conserve our built and cultural heritage to develop a more sustainable future. It also provokes us to value the natural world and landscapes around us, climate change impacts every part of our lives and we all have a responsibility. There are a number of organised events highlighting the theme, with much to discover about our sustainable heritage.
In Northern Ireland, European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) are run by the Department for Communities with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
To see a list of events in the Mid Ulster area visit the Discover Northern Ireland website.