History steps out: Ballymoney Heritage Open Days launched

Ballymoney Museum.
Ballymoney Museum.

Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA has invited the Ballymoney public to enjoy European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September.

History and culture will be brought to life with over 300 property openings and events. A host of historic buildings will open their doors to the public. This year’s programme features a wide variety of special events such as walking tours, history re-enactments and film screenings. With all events free of charge and many family friendly, everyone can take the opportunity to step back in time.

Locations in the Ballymoney area opening for the weekend include Ballymoney Museum and Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard. From Mesolithic to Motorcycles - Explore 9,000 years of history at Ballymoney Museum. The diverse display includes rare finds from the Bronze Age and Medieval period as well as exhibits associated with political upheaval and the history of the town. There is an exciting exhibit about motorcycle road racing in Northern Ireland and a chance to see the mysterious Derrykeighan Stone. Enjoy a display of cameras from the Corfield Camera Factory and objects relating to the linen industry. Leaflets are available for a tour of the area.

The Church Tower in the Old Church Graveyard has been the symbol of the region for many years and features on it the Borough Coat of Arms. Surrounding it are the graves of generations of Ballymoney families, the oldest discernible headstone belonging to the Camac family (1610). Among those buried here is George Hutchinson, a Magistrate who brought the local United Irishmen to trial during the rebellion of 1798. A guide leaflet is available at the Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall.

Minister Givan concluded: “The weekend is going from strength to strength each year with over 52,000 people turning out last year. Whilst all events are free some require pre-booking. To avoid disappointment check out http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/ehod and @ehodni on Twitter now.”