Rediscovered in 1996, Bagenal's Castle survived enveloped in the premises of the former McCann's Bakery on Abbey Way. The rediscovery has been an exciting opportunity for Newry and Mourne to preserve and restore one of the most important aspects of local heritage. The building is of significant historical interest as original plans and elevations of the building still survive in the National Archives of the United Kingdom. It was also built in the environs of the site of the Newry Cistercian Abbey founded in the 12th Century.
Newry and Mourne District Council have restored and developed the Castle and adjoining warehouse as a new Museum and Tourist Information Centre. This flagship project for Newry and Mourne provides a high-quality, dynamic museum service and acts as a focus for cultural, heritage and tourism activities in the area.
Our rich cultural heritage
Established in 1986, Newry and Mourne Museum aims to provide a dynamic and inclusive recreational and educational resource reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the local area.
The museum's diverse collections currently include material relating to prehistory; Newry's Cistercian foundations; Ulster's Gaelic Order and its relationship with the English Crown; the building of a merchant town and the first summit level canal in the British Isles; the working life and folk traditions of rural and mountain areas; fishing, trade and migration by sea; renowned local personalities and businesses; folklore, storytelling and music; and modern experiences of a Border area. All these aspects of local heritage are explored at through a varied programme of exhibitions, educational events and activities.
Gallery 1 traces the development of the Newry and Mourne area from the first human settlers up to the end of the 16th century. Gallery 2 focuses on the expansion of Newry during the 17th - 19th centuries. Gallery 3 charts the influence of political and economic events on the history of the area and on the lives of local people in the 20th century.
Newry and Mourne Museum was accredited in 2007, under the Museums, Libraries and Archives Accreditation Scheme which sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK.