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Models of exhibit buildings

The Outdoor Folk Museum has lots of houses for you to explore. You can download some of these exhibit buildings, colour in and build them at home! You can send us photos of your completed models to patrick.mckinney@nmni.com and we will feature some examples on the National Museums website.

Tea Lane

Tea Lane, Ulster Folk and Transport MuseumThe six houses exhibited in Tea Lane are part of a 22-house terrace.  They were originally built around 1828, next to the Sandy Row area, which at the time was a village on the outskirts of Belfast.  The wooden shutters of the houses remind visitors of the original rural location of the buildings. 

The houses were made of poor quality bricks. The rooms were small and the only access to the rear yard and the dry toilet was through the house.  This meant that all rubbish, including the ‘night soil’ from the dry toilet, had to be carried through the home.  By 1845 houses had to have larger rooms and following outbreaks of typhoid and cholera, it was forbidden for new buildings after 1878 not to have a separate access.  All of the cooking was carried out over the open fire in the front room until the introduction of coal gas around 1905.

Today Tea Lane may be visited at the Museum where you can see some of the changes that occurred over time to housing bylaws such as the introduction of running water, the development of the improved access and the working kitchen.

Corner Shop

Corner Shop at the Ulster Folk and Transport MuseumTraditionally the corner shop offered longer opening hours than larger shops and was convenient to where people lived, serving a small number of streets. The shop was often the hub of information and local gossip and the shopkeeper, with his knowledge of the area and its people, could offer all kinds of advice.

This Corner Shop originally stood in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, for nearly one hundred years until it was removed to the Museum in the late 1980s.  The shop sold groceries, confectionery, toys and writing materials.  It also ran a Christmas savings club for its customers.  It closed during the Second World War due to rationing restrictions.  The shop was a family run business, passed from generation to generation and was mainly managed by the women of the family.

Today it once again operates as a corner shop selling traditional confectionary such as bullseyes, clove rock and liquorice torpedoes.

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory at the Ulster Folk and Transport MuseumThe Old Rectory originally came from near Toomebridge, County Antrim. While we do not know the exact age of when the building was constructed, rings from an oak timber taken from the roof helped to fix the date of its building to around 1717.

Reverend Robert McCullagh lived in the property from around 1800. Since then, generations of the McCullagh family occupied the house throughout most of its history.   

Ballyverdaugh school

Ballyverdaugh school, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Ballyverdaugh school, Ulster Folk and Transport MuseumBallyverdaugh National School was built in 1837 and was originally sited near Ballycastle, County Antrim. It is one of the oldest national schools in Ireland.  The school house has two floors, the intention being that female students were to be taught in the upper room and the male students downstairs. In practice, all classes of both sexes were taught by one teacher in the upstairs room.

This national school is now located at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum where it is fully restored and furnished to represent a typical National School of the early 1900s.   

Drumcree Church

Drumcree Church, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Drumcree Church, Ulster Folk and Transport MuseumSt John the Baptist, Roman Catholic Church, was originally situated in Drumcree, Portadown in County Armagh.

It was built in 1783, originally with a thatched roof. This rural church was built to accommodate 2000 worshippers. Inside the church there are 3 galleries with room for worshippers and and an organ. 

The altar sits on the long wall. This beautiful little church was re-erected at the Museum.

Bow-top Wagon

The traditional bow-top wagon was the most simple and common wagon type in Ireland.  It provided both accommodation and a means of transport for Travellers. It is thought to have been brought here early in the 20th century by English gypsies then travelling in Ireland. By the 1930s it had become very popular and remained so until the 1960s when it began to lose out to the motor-drawn caravan.

The wagons were built to be lightweight as they were pulled by one horse.  They allowed people to travel in family groups and to stay on the road all year.  The interior was compact and thoughtfully designed.  Irish caravans were usually colourfully painted rather than decorated with intricate carving which was more typical of English examples.

A reconstructed bow-top wagon can be viewed at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.


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