Craigavon Historical Society

Craigavon Museum Services is an accredited museum under the jurisdiction of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

About us

Museum Services

The objectives of Craigavon Museum Services are to collect, conserve, interpret and exhibit artefacts which illustrate the social and industrial history of the Craigavon area in order to promote understanding and enjoyment of Craigavon's heritage.

The museum staff, consisting of a curator and museum outreach officer, are based at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island.

The museum is responsible for a number of facilities in the Craigavon area:

  • Local History Library in the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
  • Barn Museum in Tannaghmore Gardens
  • Moneypenny's Lock on the Newry Canal
  • Annagh Meadows Pillbox in Portadown.

Local History Library

The local history library is housed on the top floor of the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island (BT66 6NJ).

The library has a wide range of rare books, journals, maps and photographs of the local area available for reference

Reference resources include:

  • Over 2000 books on local and Irish history
  • A Quaker library containing 700 volumes from the Ulster Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
  • A Methodist Library collection containing over 1,500 volumes
  • Ordnance Survey maps of the Craigavon area dating from the 1800s
  • Extensive photographic collections of the Craigavon Area

Opening Times:

Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm, all year round. Note: It is advisable to make a prior appointment before visiting by ringing (028) 3832 2205.

Admission: Free


Barn Museum

Housed in an old Victorian barn, this is an accredited museum that accommodates five galleries depicting rural life in County Armagh.

Each gallery contains an exhibition on a different area of rural life; such as dairying and washing, blacksmithing, haymaking and linen weaving.

The museum is situated in Tannaghmore Gardens (BT66 6RU) which also incorporates a children’s play park, animal farm, maze and walking trails.

Opening Times: Sundays, 2pm to 5pm, April to September

Admission: Free

Additional opening for group and school visits can be booked all year round by prior arrangement with the Museum staff. There is a charge for guided tours. Please contact the Museum at (028) 3831 1669 for further information.

Moneypenny’s Lockhouse

Moneypenny’s lockhouse, stables and lock chamber are situated along the Newry Canal towpath (BT62 3RS).

Moneypenny’s lockhouse, named after the last lockkeepers to live in the house, has been beautifully restored. The gable end of the house includes a display on how the Moneypenny family would have lived in the 1800s.

The stables, formerly the place of rest for the horses which pulled the boats along the canal, are now home to the Moneypenny’s Blacksmith Workshop. The blacksmiths provide metalworking classes and demonstrations to the public. To book a session contact Jonny Kerr at: 07979 149165

Opening Times:

Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 2pm – 5pm, April to September.

Admission: Free

Additional opening for group and school visits can be booked all year round by prior arrangement with the Museum staff. There is a charge for guided tours. Please contact the Museum at (028) 3832 2205 for further information.

Please note that part of the Lockhouse is a private residence. There is no parking available at Moneypenny’s Lockhouse. Access is via the Newry Canal towpath from Portadown or Knock Bridge.


History to Take Away

We have a variety of themed loan boxes available to hire for a two week period. Each box contains original and replica objects from the Museum’s handling collection and a folder of suggested activities. They are ideal for hands-on classroom learning, reminiscence projects, residential homes and community groups.

Loan Boxes available include:

  • School and Childhood
  • Homes in the Past
  • World War 1: A Soldier’s Life
  • World War 2: 1940s
  • Earning a Crus: Work in the Past
  • Highdays and Holidays
  • In Style
  • Toys and games
  • In Good Health

Exhibitions and events

The museum runs varied exhibitions and events programme throughout the year at its facilities and in venues across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area. Contact the museum for full details on their current events programme.

Contact Us

If you have a query about donating objects to the museum, a local history enquiry or have any other questions about the museum service please contact us at:

Craigavon Museum Services
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Oxford Island
BT66 6NJ

Telephone: (028) 3832 2205


Schools Learning Programme

Craigavon Museum Services offer a range of curriculum linked outreach programmes that can be delivered in the classroom. Each programme is supported by the provision of a variety of original and replica artefacts to encourage ‘hands on’ learning in the classroom. Programmes currently available include:

Toys and Games
(Foundation & Key Stage 1)

In this hands-on lesson children are allowed to handle and play with a range of vintage wooden, tin and clockwork toys. Throughout the lesson children are encouraged to think about the differences between old and modern toys. This lesson finishes with an old fashioned magic lantern show.

A ‘Toys and Games’ loan box is available for hire to support this lesson.

World War 2: Life on the Home Front
(Key Stage 1 & 2)

In this interactive lesson children are brought back in time to experience life on the Home Front during World War 2. Through the use of objects and role play, children will learn about life in the local area during the war, with air raids, evacuation, rationing and civil defence all covered.

A ‘1940s’ loan box is available for hire to support this lesson.

World War 1: A Soldier’s Life
(Key Stage 1 & 2)

An eye-opening lesson which provides an insight into the life of a soldier during World War 1. Through artefact handing and role play, children will experience the recruitment test soldiers had to pass to join the army, the training they underwent and the horrific conditions of trench warfare. The importance of nurses and medicine are also examined.

A ‘World War 1’ loan box is available for hire to support this lesson.

The Archaeology of Early Settlers
(Key Stage 1 & 2)

How do we know about the past? In this lesson we reconstruct the life of the early settlers of the stone-age from the remains they have left behind. Through a series of practical workshops children will find out about archaeology, the lives of the hunter gatherers of the Mesolithic and the introduction of farming during the Neolithic.

Please note a charge applies for all outreach sessions.

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