here to wait for a tour. Tea and coffee are also available. It is a
discussion area for before and after tours and can be used for social
The cottage and its contents offer the backdrop to hear of
life as it was from the 1870s to 1970. The parts of the cottage and
how they evolved, all the items stored, the large hearth, the stones
on the floor, the bed in the wall, ... By the time you leave you will
have a richer view of life as it was in passed times.
New Family House
This was built in 1970, much larger than the original cottage,
three bedrooms, with no taxes on the windows.
This picturesque, freshwater lake is home to mallard and teal ducks,
moor hens, swans and otters, a tranquil setting for visitors to enjoy.
"There are about ten acres. Up till the mid 80's we
were farming ten milk cows and feeding 250 pigs. We no longer farm
commercially. We feed a few cattle, a few sheep, a few pigs and poultry–ducks,
geese, turkeys, chickens–all of which are free range. And we
grow our own vegetables without using commercial fertilizers, aiming
to be self sufficient for ourselves. Any surplus food is sold off
to the visitors going through the center and also at country markets."
The Social Hall is used as a social gathering place for functions,
dancing, ceol agus craic. The walls are decorated with murals
illustrating the happenings of the year from cutting of the turf,
thrashing the oats and barley, digging the spuds, saving the hay,
to going to mass on Sunday and not forgetting the Fair Day in the
town of Swinford
A new room at the Centre dedicated to mark the Centenary of the Maypole colliery tragedy of August 1908 at Wigan in Lancashire, UK. Of the 75 men who preished, many were from Mayo, south Sligo and Roscommon in Ireland. See old mining equipment as well as a tapestry with a roll call of the dead embroidered by a descendant of one of the victims. Two large murals, one of Wiggan and one of Mayo adorn one wall. Other items portray schooling and insrtuction of the past century.
These, made by local students, are
models of housing, farming methods used in this area by historical ancesters,
from stone age, to bronze age, to medieval times, as evidenced in areas
within the county of Mayo.
Re-Creation of the Parish Community
This display shows parts
of a community dependent on each another for survival through the barter
and meitheal system. This display includes: a small room–with
details of the story of our clothing–and household articles. As
well, there is a cobbler's shop, a collection of artifacts from the
area, agricultural implements, and more. Items come from the local area
gathered to preserve and illustrate the everyday life here in the west
of Ireland. You will even get a glimpse in the distilling of the mountain
dew in the sheebeen.
the Parish Community:
After the battle of the diamond in Derry in 1795, many Catholic and
Protestant families came and settled in this area. Many of the families
were millers, spinners and weavers. They brought with them the ability
to process flax on a commercial basis. The linen was taken in and sold
in the markets in towns: Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.
century saw many of the girls educated by the nuns, in spinning, weaving,
knitting and crochet. Government subsidized that effort, families buying
spinning wheels and looms, and by the 1950s, knitting machines. When
our clothes became worn, mother cut out the good pieces and made blankets
for our beds. Sheets, pillow cases and much of our clothes (shorts
and underwear) were made from flour bags, many boys and girls sporting
the brand name "Purity" or "Cock of the North" on