Ballymoney Museum - from Mesolithic to Motorcycles!

After closing its doors 9 months ago, Ballymoney Museum will once again be open to visitors, following a £388,000 refurbishment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The museum is owned and managed by Ballymoney Borough Council and first opened in 1860.  After nearly 150 years, it is now recognised as one of the best provincial museums in Ireland and holds a wonderful collection of artefacts, film and photographs that allow visitors to explore 9,000 years of rich history. 

The exhibition galleries include everything from Mesolithic archaeology to motorcycle road racing and the new displays will appeal to everyone.  Museum staff have been working with internationally renowned design company Haley Sharpe Design, Leicester, and Patton Fit-out, Ballymena, to produce the exciting exhibition area. The museum also features an innovative public information area which will be an essential resource for genealogists, students and local people who are curious about the story of this historic region.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has been involved from the conception of the project.  Their advice helped to guide Ballymoney Borough Council through the difficult process of designing and planning the modern galleries.  Commenting on the new Council facility, Councillor John Finlay, Mayor of Ballymoney, said:
"Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and funding from Council, Ballymoney has another top tourist attraction and we are eager to open the doors and show the world the rich heritage of our Borough.  Council has high hopes for the museum in the years ahead and I am certain it will bring thousands of visitors to our area."

Artefacts which have never been seen before will be along side the curiosities and old favourites that have always fascinated generations of visitors to the museum.  The diverse display includes rare finds from the Bronze Age and Medieval period as well as exhibits associated with the political upheaval of the late 18th century and the United Irish Rebellion.  The museum’s collection of motor cycle road racing artefacts and memorabilia is always popular and reflects the pride of the local community in their international sporting heroes.

A varied programme of exhibitions and events will continue throughout the year as the museum moves towards its 150th anniversary. The opening temporary exhibition, Where Motorcycling Reigns is a must-see attraction and features an amazing celebration of the local riders who became road racing champions. There will also be a special tribute to the late Robert Dunlop who was tragically killed during a practice session at the North West 200 in 2008.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund NI, Paul Mullan said: “Ballymoney Museum houses a fascinating collection that is of regional and national importance.  The new modern facilities, combined with the varied programme of exhibitions will undoubtedly attract both local and international visitors and provide a real boost for local tourism”. 

Ballymoney Borough Council are grateful for all the support they have received over the years from members of the public who have been so generous with their donations of heirlooms and other personal treasures.  The new museum would not have been possible without these contributions, which together form a remarkable collection that portrays the social, political and economic history of the Borough.

Museum opening hours: Monday-Thursday & Saturday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4.30pm. Admission is free. For further information, please see or contact Ballymoney Town Hall, Tel: 028 2766 0230,  Email: Ballymoney Borough Council is a member of the Causeway Museum Service.

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