Collections

Rare Hunger Strike medal belonging to local suffragette goes on display

Mrs Metge The Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum has acquired a rare medal awarded to local suffragette Lillian Metge.  The medal was presented to Mrs Metge in recognition of a hunger strike she undertook in August 1914 while on trial for her alleged role in blowing up the east window of Lisburn [...]

The Digital Wallace: 3D Printing, 3D Scanning and AR Project

Digital Wallace: 3D Scanning, 3D Printing and AR Project Are you aged 16-25?  If so then you’re invited to get hands on with a range of digital tools, including 3D printing, 3D scanning, Augmented Reality (AR) and laser cutting in an exciting new digital heritage project, in conjunction with the Nerve [...]

From the Collection: a view of the River Lagan, Joseph W Carey (1859-1937), ‘October, 1907’

From the Collection: a view of the River Lagan, Joseph W Carey (1859-1937), ‘October, 1907’ Purchased 2017. Joseph William Carey lived for some time at Kilwarlin, near Hillsborough, where his father was minister of the Moravian Church (see our Reformation exhibition for more information on Moravians). A talented illustrator, Carey worked for Marcus Ward and [...]

From the Collections: Flax Medal, Dunbar McMaster, 1903

From the Collections: Flax Medal, Dunbar McMaster, 1903 Hugh Dunbar, W.A. Stewart and John Johnston began manufacturing at the new spinning mill on Mill Street, Gilford, in 1836.   Within two years the firm employed over 200 workers.  Later, a large five-storey complex was added to the works, and by the 1840s the firm began trading [...]

From the Collection: Sister Margaret Johnston, Ballinderry, Memorial Plaque

From the Collection: Sister Margaret Johnston, Ballinderry, Memorial Plaque Although this might seem a little macabre, this Memorial Plaque commemorates Sister Margaret Johnston who dedicated her life to helping others.  Having trained at the Royal Infirmary in Sheffield, Ballinderry-born Margaret Johnston was employed as a district nurse before undertaking church missionary work in Turkey.  At [...]

From the Collection: A rare gold watch presented by the Lisburn Relief Committee 1863

From the Collection: A rare gold watch presented to Capt. Nickerson by the Lisburn Relief Committee 1863 Watch presented to Capt. Nickerson by the Lisburn Relief Committee 1863 Purchased USA, 2017 As a ‘token of their respect and esteem’ the Lisburn Relief Committee presented this gold watch and chain to Captain Moses Nickerson (1812-71), of [...]

From the Collection: Back Lane, Lisburn by Dennis Osborne

From the Collection: Back Lane, Lisburn by Dennis Osborne Back Lane, Lisburn by Dennis Osborne.  This pen and watercolour on cream card sketch is signed by the artist (1963), Dennis Osborne, and shows Back Lane just before demolition and widening.  The Road became Laganbank Road.  It was a narrow laneway between the gasometers and the [...]

From the Collection: ‘Martin Luther, Heretic’, Etching, c.1650

From the Collection: ‘Martin Luther, Heretic’, Etching, c.1650 ‘Martin Luther, Heretic’ Etching c.1650 after Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77) Purchased 2017. This Spanish etching of Luther shows the devil whispering in his ear.  He had been condemned as a heretic – holding views contrary to church teaching – by the Pope in 1521, and ex-communicated. The Reformation [...]

‘Nurses from WW1’ a new publication featuring the museum’s collections

‘Nurses from WW1’ a new publication featuring the museum's collections ‘Nurses from WW1’ a new publication featuring the museum's collections has been published by the Royal College of Nursing, Northern Ireland.  The book features the story of Nurse Margaret (Hessie) Johnston from Ballinderry, Lisburn.  She joined the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service (R) and [...]

BBC Ulster’s Songs of Ulster  – The Wee Weaver, a collaboration 

BBC Ulster's Songs of Ulster  - The Wee Weaver, a collaboration In June 2017  BBC Ulster's 'Songs of Ulster', with presenter Marty Cullen,  travelled to the glens of Antrim to hear emerging traditional singers chant the songs of their locality, including 'The Wee Weaver' by Meabh Meir which was recorded here in Irish Linen Centre [...]

The world of fashion is brought to your fingertips in a new virtual exhibition by Google and the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

The world of fashion is brought to your fingertips in a new virtual exhibition by Google and the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum 3000 years of the world’s fashion is brought together in the largest virtual exhibition of style. The “We wear culture” project by Google Arts & Culture is a collaboration with the [...]

New website commemorating Lisburn and District’s First World War Dead

New website commemorating Lisburn and District’s First World War Dead In marking the ongoing centenary of the Great War (1914-18) the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, in conjunction with local researcher Pat Geary, have launched a free dedicated website (www.Lisburn-and-the-great-war.com) detailing the men from Lisburn and the wider district (from Aghalee to Dunmurry, Hillsborough [...]

Eddi Reader’s Rabbie Burns Trip: The Rhythm of the Weavers

A collaboration with the museum and the BBC. Scottish songstress and musician, Eddi Reader is as fascinated with the melodic rhythms of this century-old loom at the Irish Linen Museum in Lisburn as she is with the world and work of The Weaver Poets – Ulster’s own Bards who were linen workers and weavers by [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 25: Hilden in the Snow, Neil Shawcross

Neil Shawcross, RUA, RHA (b.1940), Hilden Mill in the Snow c.1985 Oil on canvas ILC&LM collection 2016 © The artist This picture was inspired by the artist seeing the red brick mass of Hilden Mill vividly set against the white of surrounding snow. Linen thread-making was established at the Plantation, Lisburn in 1784.  By the late-19th [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 24: Corner of Antrim Street/Bow Street in the snow, c.1963

Corner of Antrim Street/Bow Street in the snow, c.1963 Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch if you have memories of the area, or further pictures.

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 22: The Corner House Pub, Antrim Street, c.1960s

The Corner House Pub, Antrim Street, c.1960s, now Midas the jewelers. The famous First World War image of the 11th battalion Royal Irish Rifles outside Tom Oliver's was taken here.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with [...]

Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and the First World War

Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and the First World War In preparing for the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum’s major exhibition ‘The Somme, Our Story’ (opened July 2016), the museum has been conducting research into the men who played for, or had close connections to, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and the First World War (1914-18). To date, [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 21: Fire Authority building, Castle Street

Fire Authority building, Castle Street (demolished c.1983), as viewed from Castle Gardens. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch if you have memories of the area, or further pictures.

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 20: Convent, Seymour Street, c.1960s

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart arrived in Lisburn in 1870s, establishing a convent on Seymour Street.  These building was demolished in the 1970s. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 19: Old Quay Street/Bridge Street junction, photographed from the new Queens Road, c.1983

Who remembers Walter Allen? Old Quay Street/Bridge Street junction, photographed from the new Queens Road, c.1983. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch if you have memories of the [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 17: Bridge Street from the Gasworks, c.1960s

A rare view of Bridge Street from the Gasworks/Back Lane area of Lisburn.  Many of the houses had long, sloping back gardens.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 16: Stannus Place and Hancock Street, viewed from the Queens Road, c.1980s

Stannus Place was a wonderful late-Georgian terrace of six three-storey houses set at right angles to the river.         Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 15: Greens and Chittick’s, Bow Street, c.1990s

Greens and Chittick’s shops on Bow Street, c.1990s,  Chittick's opened in 1931, selling a range of fashions.  It closed in 2006.  Greens have been trading in Lisburn since the 1890s. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 14: The lion of Bow Street above Jordan Bros’ tea house, c.1970s

The lion decorated the shop front of the Golden Lion Tea House, which was established at 59 Bow Street.  The premises were later purchased by John G. Feguson and continued in use as a spirit grocery after its lease to Jordan Brothers around 1950. 

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 13: Bow Street, photographed from Market Place, c.1990s

Who remembers Elmore’s at Bow Street/corner of Market Place?  The business was established in the town in 1896.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch if you have [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 12: St Patrick’s RC church and St Joseph’s Hall, Chapel Hill, c.1990s

The new church was opened on Chapel Hill in June 1900, replacing an earlier building dating from 1786.  The spire was added in the 1930s.  The beautiful late Victorian St Joseph’s Hall was built in 1889, and only replaced in the 2000s. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 11: Haslem’s Lane, with James Street to the right, Smithfield, c.1964

Haslem’s Lane, with James Street to the right, Smithfield, c.1964   The now demolished James Street, where Lisburn Square now stands, just off Haslem’s Lane.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 10: Former Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, Smithfield, c.1970s

Former Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, Smithfield, c.1970s   Now Glasgow’s, this building was formerly Smithfield RIC barracks. There were two other barracks in the town, at the Railway Station and Hillhall.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel free to share [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 9: Terraced shops at Smithfield Street, c.1970s

Terraced shops at Smithfield Street, c.1970s   This row of terraced shops at Smithfield Street is still standing today.  In the 1830s, Smithfield was described as being occupied by ‘several good and lofty houses...with respectable tradespeople’. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 8: Lisburn Swimming Pool at Smithfield, c.1970s

 Lisburn Swimming Pool at Smithfield, c.1970s   The old Cattle Market has been replaced with the Lisburn swimming pool, which opened in 1970 and closed in 1999.  If you look closely, the row of terraced houses can still be seen in Lisburn Square, although much altered. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 7: Smithfield, Lisburn, c.1960s

Smithfield, Lisburn, c.1960s   Standing in Market Street/Linenhall Street this view of Smithfield (now the site of Lisburn Market/ back entrance to Green’s) shows the Victorian terraced housing that once dominated this area.     Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum’s collection.  Feel [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 6: A rare view of Linenhall Street, looking towards Market Street

A rare view of Linenhall Street, looking towards Market Street   This rare view shows a shirt factory on Linenhall Street, located right next door to Coulsons and across the street from the town’s historic brown linen hall.   Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 5: Corner of Market Street and Smithfield

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 5: Corner of Market Street and Smithfield This photograph, by John Press shows the corner of Market Street and Smithfield, where McCalls stands today.  It's taken from the junction of Linenhall Street, right outside the historic Brown Linenhall (now the Post Office).  Note the very trendy 1970s white boots! [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 4: the Island Spinning Mill, Lisburn

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 4: the Island Spinning Mill, Lisburn. We have a real treat today, two unusual views of the Island Spinning mill.  Opened in the 1860s, the mill produced linen thread for over 120 years, only ceasing production in the 1980s.   Now demolished, the sites is now home to Lisburn & [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 3: Back Lane

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 - Day 3: Back Lane Back Lane ran from (today's) Governors Rd to Hill Street, at an angle to Bridge Street and Barnsley's Row.  The town's gasworks were on one side of the street.  Photograph by John Press. Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 2: Piper’s Hill Looking Towards Hill Street

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 - Day 2: Piper's Hill Looking Towards Hill Street   This photograph, by John Press, looks across to Hill Street from Piper's Hill/Market Lane. On the right it the partially cleared site of the world-famous Coulson's Damask factory, on the left is Barnsley's Row.  Dates from the mid-1960s. Does anyone know [...]

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 1: Hill Street Looking Towards Piper’s Hill, Lisburn

Lisburn Advent Calendar 2016 - Day 1: Hill Street Looking Towards Piper's Hill, Lisburn Each day this Advent, we will be sharing a different image of Lisburn and district from the museum's collection.  Feel free to share them with your friends and family, and get in touch if you have memories of the area, or [...]

‘Colin Mountain from Hillsborough’ by Basil Blackshaw, Lisburn Museum 2014

‘Colin Mountain from Hillsborough’ by Basil Blackshaw, Lisburn Museum 2014 Medium: oil on canvas, Size:45 x 44.5 cm. (17.7 x 17.5 in.) ‘Colin Mountain from Hillsborough’ by Basil Blackshaw was an oil painting by one of Ireland’s finest  artists and was presented to the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum in 2014. The generous donation [...]

Lisnagarvey Transmitting Station 80 Year Anniversary (BBC) Collections

Lisnagarvey Transmitting Station 80 Year Anniversary This year we are celebrating the Lisnagarvey Transmitting Station 80 Year Anniversary. Located in the civil parish of Blaris , the tower is actually situated in the townland of Magherageery, and not Lisnagarvey.  The townland of Lisnagarvey, which Lisburn derives its name from,  is actually in the centre of Lisburn city.   [...]

‘Thundery Showers, County Down’ by Terence Philip Flanagan

'Thundery Showers, County Down' by Terence Philip Flanagan As featured on ArtUk's website,  'Thundery Showers, County Down' by Terence Philip Flanagan (1929–2011) is held in the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum's collection. Painted in 1965, this oil on canvas was gifted to the museum on 1996. T. P. Flanagan T. P. Flanagan is considered [...]

Guest Post: History of Castle House, Castle Street, Lisburn.

Guest Post: this post was written by Alison, a 6th year student from Wallace High who spent some time in the museum in January 2016 on work experience.   The original castle of Sir Fulke Conway began construction in 1622 and was in the style of a manor house. During the 1660s and 1670s further work [...]

Researching Damask: A visit from the Winterthur Museum, Delaware

Researching Damask Our Curator, Brian Mackey, with Linda Eaton, John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections & Senior Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum, Delaware, who visited the museum recently. Linda is researching linen damask made for the American market, and had the opportunity to explore the museum's internationally-significant damask collection. Brian Mackey, [...]

Damask banner woven for the Philadelphia exhibition 1876, Bessbrook spinning co. Ltd, c.1876

Philadelphia exhibition 1876: Woven Damask banner Woven to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the declaration of independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this banner features a scene from Benjamin West’s famous depiction of the Quaker William Penn (1644-1718) signing a peace treaty with the Native Americans.  Note the text below Penn: ‘The Only Treaty Never [...]

New Book: The Chemistry of Textile Fibres

New Book: The Chemistry of Textile Fibres A new publication on the Chemistry of Textile Fibres featuring material from the museum's collections has been published. This is the 2nd edition of Mather and Wardman's seminal text, revised and updated. The publisher's blurb: Textiles are ubiquitous materials that many of us take for granted in our [...]

Exhibition (April 2015) – The ‘dreaded peninsula’: Lisburn and district men at Gallipoli, 1915

Exhibition (April 2015) - The ‘dreaded peninsula’ April 25th (Anzac Day), marks the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign, a series of disastrous allied landings in, what is now, modern-day Turkey during the First World War (1914-1918). Turkey’s entry into the war had cut off the supply route between Britain and France and their ally Russia [...]

BBC’s Imagining Ulster, featuring material from the museum’s collection

BBC's Imagining Ulster, featuring material from the museum's collection Did you see William Crawley's fantastic Imagining Ulster?  Recently featured on BBC One NI, the show: "explores some of the social, cultural and political influences that have shaped aspects of identity in Northern Ireland. It looks at how Ulster has been a meeting place between different [...]

From the Collection: Royal Irish Rifles ‘Brodie’ Helmet

Royal Irish Rifles 'Brodie' Helmet Taken from our collection, this Royal Irish Rifles 'Brodie' Helmet - named after its designer John Brodie - was donated by Mr J A Anderson.  It belonged to Corporal James Anderson (1895-1945), originally from Boardmills but later Belfast, who fought in the Great War with the 1st Battalion of the [...]

Exploring Lisburn’s History: Cardiff, Landlords and Patronage.

Cardiff and Lisburn Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Cardiff. As I explored the city, particularly the castle, I noted that both Lisburn and Cardiff have similar histories. For example: 1. Both have histories that can be traced back to the First Millennium, and beyond. Lisburn, and its name, owes much to the [...]

The Irish Volunteers at Christmas (1914)

The Irish Volunteers at Christmas (1914) Formed in November 1913, the Irish Volunteers were, in part, a nationalist reaction to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).    The Volunteers, with Eoin MacNeill acting as a figurehead, although they were largely controlled by the secretive Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), who would later launch the Easter Rising in 1916.  Bulmer Hobson (1883-1969), [...]

History Ireland Magazine: Mrs Metge, the Suffragettes and the bombing of Lisburn Cathedral!

The November/December issue of History Ireland features an article from our Research Officer Ciaran Toal on local suffragette Lillian Metge and her attempt to blow up Lisburn Cathedral in the fight for women's suffrage.   The article brings together primary and secondary research and not only examines the events surrounding the August 1914- bombing of [...]

Guest Post: Glenmore Bleach Works and Glenmore House

Glenmore Bleach Works and Glenmore House Guest Post: this post was written by Callum, a year 12 student from Laurelhill Community College who spent a week in the museum on work experience.  Fantastic job Callum! Glenmore House was originally called Lambeg House, one of the original owners of the house was Francis Seymour, 1st Viscount Conway. [...]

Basil Blackshaw, Eamonn Mallie and Lisburn Museum’s lastest acquisition

Eamonn Mallie at Lisburn Museum To mark the recent presentation to the museum of Blackshaw’s ‘Colin Mountain from Hillsborough’ (c.1970) by the Lisburn Historic Quarter Arts Group, Eamonn Mallie, the organiser and editor of the publication ‘Blackshaw’ (2003) was invited to give a guest lecture on the artist.  To a packed Assembly Rooms on October [...]

Museum Accreditation: Lisburn Museum

Great news for the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum: our Museum Accreditation has been renewed! What is Museum Accreditation? The Accreditation Scheme The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. There are currently just under 1,800 museums participating in the scheme, demonstrating their commitment to managing collections effectively for the [...]

‘Riverland – The River Lagan’, featuring photos and videos from the museum’s collections.

'Riverland - The River Lagan' The BBC's new series Riverlands explores Ireland's waterways, and in the first episode 'The River Lagan' the show features pictures videos from the museum's collections.  Special attention is given to the Lagan's role in supporting the linen trade, including: Lisburn's canals, Barbours' Hilden Mill and the retting dams and ponds [...]

Lisburn’s Republicans: the Irish Volunteers

Lisburn's Republicans: the Irish Volunteers The Museum's latest exhibition was recently featured in a piece in the Andersonstown News. The Irish Volunteers uniform is featured in a section on Ernest Blythe, the Magheragall-born Protestant, Irish republican, and Gaelic-language enthusiast.  For more information visit 'Lisburn, 1912-1914' .  

The Art and Science of Linen (featuring the museum’s collections).

The Art and Science of Linen The Art and Science of Linen from Alex May on Vimeo. “The Art and Science of Linen” is a video artwork created by artists Anna Dumitriu, Alex May, and microbiologist Dr John Paul, with sound by Martin A. Smith. It looks at the whole ecology of linen production from [...]

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