Newry and Mourne Museum will host its annual Autumn Lecture Series during the month of October. The theme of the series is Landownership in South-West Down and it aims to look at the people, the places and the events that shaped the area since the Plantation of Ulster. An excellent line-up of speakers has been arranged and it promises to be of interest to a wide ranging audience. 

Narrow Water Castle was built in the 1560s for an English garrison to protect an important crossing point at the head of Carlingford Lough.
Narrow Water Castle was built in the 1560s for an English garrison to protect an important crossing point at the head of Carlingford Lough.

The first of three lectures begins on Thursday October 2nd at 7.30pm, with Professor Raymond Gillespie, Lecturer at NUI, Maynooth. 

Professor Gillespie will examine how County Down was different in the seventeenth century. The county was not part of the Ulster Plantation scheme and therefore its landowners were not constrained by the rules and regulations that were set down. This lecture explores the problems of survival and failure of landowners, with the social consequences of the distribution of power in South Down, over the seventeenth century.

On Thursday October 9th at 7.30pm, Dr. Olwen Purdue, Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Queen’s University, Belfast will examine the experience of the Big House in South Ulster during the turbulent period from 1880 through to the early twentieth century. 

Focusing on a number of large estates in Armagh and South Down, the talk will explore the challenges faced by the landlord class over the period as a combination of tenant agitation and government legislation led to the loss of their political and economic ascendancy, the break-up of their estates and, in some cases, the destruction of their country houses.

The final lecture takes place on Thursday October 16th at 7.30pm, by local historian Hugh McShane. This presentation illustrates the history of Warrenpoint, a fascinating example of a town that grew to become a popular holiday and tourist destination, a significant international port, and a thriving community. 

Hugh will tell the story of the economic, social and political history of Warrenpoint, and the role played by leading figures who helped shape its identity, drive its development and establish it as a major influence in South Down and beyond.

Admission to each lecture costs £3 and tea/coffee will be provided. As seating is strictly limited booking is advisable. 

If you require further information or would like to book a place please email or phone 028 3031 3173.

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