The Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid features galleries showcasing an impressive collection of fascinating artefacts of both local and national significance, alongside an exciting range of changing exhibitions.
The use of interactive media brings history to life - as visitors are enticed to step back in time in a multi-sensory experience - while adjoining displays of artefacts are complimented by dramatic images of the local landscape. Together they provide an all-encompassing evocative experience.
The Museum features a varied range of events and exhibitions throughout the year. Also on offer are curriculum-linked programmes focusing on early man in Ireland, the Victorians and the Second World War. These interactive sessions provide engaging and enjoyable experiences for children, bring history to life in a memorable way. Other programmes, for people of all ages, are developed in line with visiting exhibitions.
All year round
Mon-Fri 10.00am - 5.00pm
Sat 10.00am - 4.00pm
Public/Bank Holidays - check local papers or ring 028 2563 5900
Social History Collection dating from the late 19th and 20th centuries reflecting the history and heritage of the Borough of Ballymena and the wider Mid-Antrim area. The Museum's History Gallery features material from the collection on display reflecting the collection's strengths and significant material loaned from National institutions. The Museum's Atrium space boasts a 14 metre high 'collection wall' where tiles illustrating objects from the Museum's reserve collection can be explored through a touch screen interactive. A range of outreach and education programmes provide access to the collections.
Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Social History, Religion, Photography, Music, Literature, Law and Order, Land Transport, Industry, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology, Agriculture
Key artists and exhibits
- Braidwater Spinning Mill Roll of Honour
- Braidwater Mill photographic archive
- Brotherhoods material
- 1 January 2000 — 1 January 2020 *on now
The History Gallery offers intriguing and revealing themes that explore identity, people and place. The gallery tells the story of mid-Antrim from earliest times to the present day, wrapped in its national and international context.
The use of interactive media brings history to life - as visitors are enticed to step back in time in a sensory experience - while adjoining displays of artefacts are complimented by dramatic images of the local landscape. Together they provide an all-encompassing evocative experience.
The story features historical highlights including the archaeology of prehistoric times and the turbulent medieval period - revealed through fascinating material from the Ulster Museum and the National Museum of Ireland. 'The Distant Past' gallery reflects early human settlement in mid-Antrim and will feature a fascinating range of prehistoric artefacts on loan from Ulster Museum. 'Shifting Frontiers: Mid-Antrim AD 500 - 1500' explores the medieval history of the region through a range of artefacts on loan from the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.
Other highlights include a model of the Clough Castle in the 1480s and an audio-visual presentation showing how this strategically important site was part of an evolving network of castles in north east Ulster. One of the fascinating items being loaned by the National Museum of Ireland is a medieval dagger found at the site.
The Museum also traces the theme of war and conflict from the seventeenth century to the two World Wars of the twentieth century. The social and industrial history of mid-Antrim also features strongly through a range of personal stories. Many local people will remember the Braid Water Mill and Phoenix Weaving Factory, along with local shops like Morrow's and Simon McCrory's, all of which feature in the new gallery.
Interactive Collection Wall
- 1 January 2000 — 1 January 2020 *on now
Visitors begin their journey when they enter the Museum Atrium, a dramatic fourteen metre high space that contains a number of special installations that are designed to introduce themes of people and place, along with the role of the collection in reflecting local history and identity.
The centrepiece is a 11m x 17m Collection Wall featuring a representative selection of artefacts in the collection. The stories behind these objects can be explored through a touch screen interactive terminals in the atrium.
Museum Exhibition Programme 2015
- 8 October 2014 — 1 November 2015 *on now
January - mid February: A Boy from Browndodd Hill: Rural Life in 1940's Co Antrim
mid February - mid March: gallery closed (Ballymena FEIS)
mid March - mid April: Annual Northern Ireland Photographic Exhibition
May-August: Gallipoli James Hughes, photographer (Great War exhibition)
May-June: Building Legacies (Charles Lanyon)
September - October: Irielands Eyes (photographic exhibition)
September-November: Answer The Call (Great War posters)
December- February 2016: Maurice Orr
December: Ways of Seeing (Community based project)
- Any age
Ireland’s Eye Photographic Exhibition
- 10 September — 23 October 2015 *on now
Selected photographs by Robert John Welch who was the leading photographer in Ulster during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Answer the Call: First World War Recruitment Posters
- 10 September — 28 November 2015 *on now
These powerful original posters illustrate various aspects of the drive for recruitment during the war and include a range of visually-exciting calls for civilian support for the war.
Ways of Seeing, A Sense of Place
- 10 December 2015 — 6 February 2016
A touring exhibition highlighting the development and delivery of the Mid Antrim Museum Service community engagement initiative.
The exhibition is twofold, showing art works principally from the 19th and 20th century’s from the MAMS collections on the theme of built heritage and the ‘sense of place’ evoked within community groups through engagement with these works.
The community engagement, statistics, achievements and contributions will all be outlined with an overview of the project aims, objectives, outcomes and outputs.
Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council in partnership.
North of Myth & North of Home
- 10 December 2015
A print exhibition featuring work from internationally renowned Canadian artist Joyce Majiski and local artist Maurice Orr.
Canadian born Joyce's work can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, The Banff Centre for the Arts, as well as in several private collections. Maurice Orr, who previously exhibited Screaming Silence of the Wind in conjunction with Mid-Antrim Museum in 2011 as a recipient of Cultural Olympiad funding in 2011, had been inspired by Joyce’s work when he spent time with her in her hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon, in 2013. He approached the museum to explore hosting a joint exhibition. The museum is delighted to be part of this collaboration.
Spooky Storytelling, Museums at Night
- 31 October 2015
Storyteller Liz Weir will be telling tales of local folklore, myths and legends in the museum galleries on Halloween night
Early Man and Materials
Key Stage Two programme lasting 1 & 1/2 hours.
This interactive session uses museum objects, activities and role play to explore how Stone Age man (and woman) lived interdependently with his environment, used the materials available to him and adapted over time.
How to obtain
Ring Noreen on 028 2563 5925 or email noreen.mullan@ballymena.
Any session, any term, any time! This programme is available throughout the academic year.
Cost: £1.50 per pupil.
Rationing and Raids
Key Stage One, Programmes lasts 1 hour & 15 minutes
This interactive session explores the local Home Front during the Second World War. Pupils experience the sounds and emotions of the Belfast Blitz from the safety of an Anderson Shelter. As the sirens roar and the bombers fly by, pupils discuss their feelings, emotions and the practicalities of staying in teh shelter.
The secont part of the session allows pupils to explore the theme ofrationing through hands-ons activities.
1-29 Bridge Street
028 2565 7161
028 256 35029