New Exhibition Charts Ulster-Scots Connections

Discover the Ulster-Scots Heritage of the Ards and North Down – tells the story of the settlement of the area by the ‘founding fathers’ of the Ulster-Scots, Sir James Hamilton and Sir Hugh Montgomery, and also puts the spotlight on what life was like for early Ulster-Scots families, documenting historic churches and graveyards, the failed 1798 Rebellion and the abortive journey of The Eagle Wing. Developed by Ards Borough Council in partnership with North Down Borough Council, the exhibition is the product of months of work which began in 2009 when the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, through its Tourism Innovation Fund, supported the two Councils to commission a major research project by The Ulster Historical Foundation. The Ulster Scots Agency has funded the production of the exhibition itself and complementing it will be a new Ulster-Scots Trails Map, featuring three themed driving trails, and an Ulster-Scots Biographies publication, which profiles the major Ulster-Scots over the years and includes a section on researching your own roots – whether in Ards and North Down or beyond. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board and The Ulster Scots Agency respectively have funded the Map and Biographies. “Too often people only associate Ulster Scots with the language, but this exhibition shows the richness of the other aspects of Ulster-Scots heritage and culture in a region which, with Donaghadee as the landing place of Hamilton and Montgomery, is truly where the Ulster-Scots story began” said Councillor David Smyth, Mayor of Ards. Councillor William Montgomery, a direct descendant of Sir Hugh Montgomery whose family still resides at one of the great Ulster-Scots estates, Rosemount at Greyabbey, said: “There is now a tremendous momentum behind telling the Ulster-Scots story in its widest sense. This exhibition really helps to bring the story to life through its vibrant imagery and wealth of detail.” Discover the Ulster-Scots Heritage of the Ards and North Down is on display as part of the Lough Lively festival in Ards Tourist Information Centre, Regent Street, Newtownards from Monday 18th April until Monday 2nd May and at Exploris, Portaferry from Wednesday 4th April until Sunday 22nd May.  The exhibition will then travel to other venues across Ards and North Down. For further information contact Ards Tourist Information Centre, Tel: 028 9182 6846 or North Down Tourist Information Centre, Tel: 028 9127 0069.]]>