Launched in April 2013, Focus on Family’s innovative heritage project (which is all about exploring the Coleraine Plantation story) is now well underway!
Generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, project members are busy undertaking an intensive learning programme whilst simultaneously working their way through a hectic heritage tour schedule.
“Our local heritage tours are geared towards really bringing the Plantation story to life,” said Jane Talbot, the project’s co-ordinator. “During this phase of the project, local historian (the lively raconteur, Dr Bob Curran) is helping us to gain a deeper understanding of the role Coleraine played in the wider Plantation story by taking us to all sorts of inspiring places,” added Jane.
So far, the project team has visited Dunluce, Bushmills, Coleraine town and the Irish Society. They also enjoyed a fabulous visit to the “Project of Plantation” exhibition in the Town Hall. Expertly guided through the Plantation story by Causeway Museum’s John Hamilton, members of the project team consolidated their learning through listening to fascinating stories about the lead-up to the Plantation and beyond.
“We’re also going to the Linen Hall Library in Belfast to view important documents – that’s before going on a tour of Macosquin, Ballykelly, Dungiven and Garvagh where we’ll see the wider impact of the London Livery Companies,” said Sally Cupples (a key project member).
All these activities are building up to one of the most exciting parts of the project : a 3-day trip to the City of London at the end of June.
“We’ve had a great deal of support in organising our trip to London from both The Honourable The Irish Society and the Causeway Museum Service. We’re off to Guildhall, the Clothworkers’
Livery Hall, the Lord Mayor’s Mansion and the London Metropolitan Archives. We’ve had to learn all about how to get documents out of storage at the LMA and how to organise London Guides! London will bring the whole story together for us as we begin to explore the “cradle” of the “the Project of Plantation” and how the links between London and Coleraine are still alive today,” Jane went on to say.
When the group returns from London, they have a full programme of summer and autumn activities to look forward to as they begin work on their book about the Coleraine Plantation.
For more information about the project – or to get involved – visit www.1613andallthat.wordpress.com or email here firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jane, the project co-ordinator, here 028 7032 9550