IRISH LINEN CENTRE & LISBURN MUSEUM
‘Making of a Town: 17th Century Lisburn’ tells the story of the foundation and early history of Lisnagarvey (Lisburn). Under the stewardship of the Conway family, and their agent George Rawdon, the ‘wild and barbarous’ land of Killultagh (south Antrim) was transformed, and the town of Lisnagarvey was established. Formally laid out in a plan in the 1620s, the town was settled by an influx of English and Welsh planters, and the right to hold a weekly market was granted by Charles I in 1627. Although looted and burned during the 1641 rebellion, the town thrived in the 1650s, and the hugely-influential Anglican Bishop Jeremy Taylor moved to the area, under Lord Conway’s patronage, in 1658. His presence was influential in Charles II granting a charter in 1662, which not only elevated the town’s church to the status of a diocesan cathedral, but offered the right to elect representation to the Irish Parliament.
Lisburn, as it was now known, continued to grow throughout the second half of the 17th century, gaining increasing importance as an ecclesiastical and military centre. Although linen weaving was an established part of the town’s commercial life, this was strengthened in the 1690s by the settlement of Louis Crommelin and the French Huguenot community.
This exhibition celebrates the rich history of the Lisburn area, and the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bishop Jeremy Taylor.
Situated in Lisburn’s 17th century Market House, this permanent exhibition features the story of the Irish linen industry from earliest times and includes skilled demonstrations of hand spinning of flax and hand loom weaving of fine linen cloth on original looms. Visitors can see the finest costume, dress and household linens dating from a past when Irish linen from Lisburn was known world-wide.
The Society meets in the Assembly Room at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of the month, September – April. New and current members are made very welcome.
The recently restored historic gardens, dating from the 17th century, are open from 8.00am – 8.00pm daily from April - September, 8.00am – 5.00pm October - March. Guided historical walking tours of the gardens in Castle Street, starting at the Museum and lasting approx. 1 hour, are available free of charge. These must be prebooked (min. of 5 people) and the times and further information are available from Museum Reception staff.
ADMISSION FREE TO ALL EXHIBITIONS
9.30am –5.00pm Monday – Saturday
Tel. 028 9266 3377