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Spring Lambs in the North Sperrins near Feeny, which means woody place.


If you have family roots in the Northern Irish countryside there can be very few whose ancestors were not engaged in the toil of the land in some form or other. The landscape provides good, fertile ground for arable farming and livestock.

Before the onset of the agricultural revolution, it was common practice for most families to keep a few animals and to grow sufficient food for their own requirements. Most people lived in simple thatched cottages with one or two room. Life was tough among these rural communities, living on small farms demanded hard work and plenty of endurance. Money was short, emigration a constant factor.

There are some excellent farming and rural museums that will offer an insight into the life of a tightly-knit farming community. Below are some suggestons.


Places To Visit

Ardress House, Portadown, Craigavon

Ardress is nestled in the apple orchards of County Armagh and offers afternoons of fun and relaxation for everyone. Built in the 17th century as a farmhouse, Ardress was remodelled in Georgian times.

Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Holywood

Step back in time and uncover a way of life from 100 years ago. Explore thatched cottages, farms, schools and shops as you wander through the beautiful parkland of the Folk Museum and step aboard majestic steam locomotives in the Transport Museum.

Patterson's Spade Mill, Templepatrick, Ballyclare

Listen to the hammers, smell the grit, feel the heat and witness the thrill of the only surviving water-driven spade mill in Ireland.

Did You Know?

Ancestry Links

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland