The Nautilus Centre overlooks Kilkeel's busy and picturesque fishing port and houses the Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre, Kilkeel Visitor Information Centre, Tracing Your Mourne Roots Exhibition and the Mourne Seafood Cookery School.
Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre
This is the focal point of the building and tells the story of the local fishing and maritime heritage, with touch screen technology. There is also a reconstruction of a wheelhouse where children both young and old can have a go at being a skipper and learn about life on board.
The “Anna” skiff is also on display, which was the pride of the herring fleet when Kilkeel was also home to tall ships that carried granite and grain to ports all over the UK and Ireland. Whatever the weather you can sit and enjoy panoramic views of Kilkeel harbour.
The Families at Sea exhibition is a great way to trace your relatives, with the fishing and maritime histories of over 20 local families on display. There are over 100 photos and details on display of those registered who were connected to fishing or were mariners at the beginning of the 19th century.
There is also a gift shop which has a range of nautical gifts, oils, scarfs and jewellery.
NEW Tracing Your Mourne Roots Exhibition
This Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to showcase the history and heritage of Kilkeel and the wider Mourne area from 1800 to present day. Separate exhibitions will demonstrate what life was like in Mourne throughout different time periods. The current exhibition on show looks at Mourne in the WWII era and explores the old US Aerodrome at Greencastle.
The project is also currently gathering information on local graveyards within Kilkeel to create an online database which will allow you the chance to access the information to find out if your relatives are buried in the area. To view the list of names please visit: www.tracingyourmourneroots.com
Lift and Stair access available.