Permanent Exhibition - Harvests from Land and Sea
Down County Museum has one of the most significant collections of farming artefacts in a local museum in Ireland. The objects held by the Museum range from large pieces of machinery such as a reaper and binder and a Ferguson tractor, to small hand tools.
The collection includes ploughs, harrows, drills, rollers and grubbers, potato diggers, hay rakes and turners, grinders, churns, incubators, carts, traps, slipes and even farm gates. Some of the most important items include a wooden plough from the Mournes and County Down trottle cars.
In addition to the farming collection the Museum also holds a number of objects related to the fishing and fish processing industries in County Down including a Murnin built boat.
Until 2015 many of these objects could not be exhibited due to space restrictions but a new permanent gallery now provides an extensive display of farming and maritime objects on the ground floor of the extended and refurbished cell block.
The gallery tells the story of how the farming and fishing industries have developed over time and how our landscape, culture and identity have been shaped by those working on the land and sea. With sections on seed crops, root crops, livestock farming, farming in the modern age, food processing and fishing as well as information on the history of agriculture in County Down from earliest times to today the exhibition presents a comprehensive and fascinating account of our most important industry.
The display of large objects accompanied by evocative images and oral accounts of farming life make a dramatic impact in a new purpose built gallery while the adjoining store which houses the rest of the Museum’s agricultural collection can be visited by appointment.
In addition to the objects collected from County Down farms and homes, the Museum’s photographic collection includes hundreds of images of farming and fishing ranging from images of ploughing fields and harvesting crops to sea fishing and processing herring. The photographs represent the region from Lecale to the Mournes and include images of families at work, threshing groups, agricultural students and people attending market and fair days. They date from the late 19th century to the 1980s. Many of these photographs are on display in the gallery.
Groups can book special tours of the exhibition and see other farming and maritime related objects in the collection. Contact the Museum on 028 4461 5218 for more details.
Below: Scything, Pat Hudson Collection.