The Buildings of County Mayo touring photographic exhibition will be on display at the North Mayo Heritage Centre, Crossmolina, between 9th and 31st October.
Organised in collaboration with Mayo County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Buildings of County Mayo puts on display images of the built heritage of County Mayo over the last four centuries.
From its showing in Belleek Castle, Ballina – from 14th July to 11th August – this captivating exhibition moves to the North Mayo Heritage Centre on the grounds of Enniscoe House in the shade of Nephin Mountain between 9th and 31st October. The venues which have been chosen for the exhibition are themselves special examples of architectural heritage in County Mayo.
Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.
The Buildings of County Mayo exhibition is inspired by the survey of the built heritage of County Mayo, undertaken as part of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH). This is the largest survey to date of the architectural heritage of County Mayo since 1700, and some of its highlights are presented within this exhibition.
Some of Mayo’s rich architectural heritage over centuries – in towns , villages, and around the countryside – includes elegant country houses from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, old mills, thatched cottages and bridges.
Our built heritage includes important public buildings such as churches, courthouses, and market houses, maritime structures such as lighthouses, coastguard stations, piers and quays.
These structures of built heritage might be noteworthy for their architecture, history or archaeology. They may have artistic or cultural interest or may call our attention for their scientific, social or technical significance.
We have just to look around us, in our towns and in the countryside, to see beauty in the designs of buildings and in their structural and architectural features such as window frames and sashes, doorways, tilework (inside and outside) and so on. In some cases, these works of beauty have been sites of lives lived, of work or landmarks simply passed by every day. Their designs are part of our experience of our lives, as we live them in proximity to these places and buildings.
Or maybe some of these structures have been standing alone for a long time, uninhabited. Sometimes a stunning architectural feature hides behind closed doors – sometimes a work of beauty is on an external wall plaster on the second storey of a building and we may not notice it, if we do not look up.
Although we see some of these buildings frequently and know some of them intimately, do we know how they came into being? Who designed them? Why this design? Why were these colours chosen? How have they interacted with their environment?
However, some of us might know the identity of the craftsmen who built and designed the buildings. We might know where the stone came from, who transported it. We might understand the techniques that had to be mastered when it came to building these structures.
As we linger on front of some of the images in The Buildings of County Mayo exhibition, we have the chance once again to appreciate the craft and the imagination that were employed in these buildings, some of which were for practical purposes, storing grain, an ice house…and so on. We can come to treasure some of these places as solid, sturdy or graceful structures in our local landscape. These buildings, which form part of our experience of our place, of our cultural heritage and of our mental landscape, are preserved and celebrated on paper in these images in the Buildings of County Mayo Exhibition at the North Mayo Heritage Centre this October.
The North Mayo Heritage Centre has been selected to host this exhibition as the Centre demonstrates conservation-led adaptive re-use of historic buildings and continues to demonstrate their potential to become integral parts of the Crossmolina community.
About the North Mayo Heritage Centre
One of the most special things to do in Crossmolina, the North Mayo Heritage Centre aims to preserve and promote the precious heritage of the North Mayo region. It is located on the grounds of Enniscoe House and gardens, close to Crossmolina, and a short distance from beautiful Nephin Mountain.
The Heritage Centre is home to a museum and a Family History Centre (it provides genealogical research for parishes in the northern part of Mayo). There are three charming gardens and a looped walk. The Organic Garden is a jewel of the Centre.
There is a rich catalogue of exhibitions for 2017, which are unmissable cultural experiences. They provide an opportunity to understand our heritage and ourselves, local and visitor alike, in a greater roundness.