Fernhill: the people’s museum

Published in Issue 2 (Summer 1997), News, Volume 5

Fernhill House is a community museum which explores the history of the Greater Shankill and tells the story of the people from the early nineteenth century to the present day. The museum is primarily concerned with the social and industrial history of the Shankill, the tradition of military service and aspects of cultural identity. The process of collecting, recording and researching these themes will be an ongoing integral part of the museum’s work
The development of the Shankill was closely related to the industrial development of Belfast, when thousands of people moved into the area to seek employment in the new mills and factories. Northern Ireland’s major assets were the skill and determination of its people. The Shankill made quite a significant contribution to the workforce in the mills, shipyards and engineering factories such as Mackie’s. The people of the Shankill also played a prominent role in some of the key events which affected Irish and world history, for example the Home Rule crisis and both World Wars. In 1914 of the 760 men who volunteered from the area only seventy-six were to return.
The museum, established through the efforts of the Glencairn People’s Project, features exhibitions on ‘The Story of the Shankill’, Industrial Life’, ‘Orangeism’, ‘The Home Rule Crisis’, and ‘The First World War’.
Enquiries: Glencairn People’s Project, Glencairn Road, Belfast BT13 3PT, tel: (01232) 715599, fax: (01232) 715582.

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