Ulster Folk Museum

Basketmaker’s and Fisherman’s Houses

Ballycultra Town buildings 21 & 23

These are original buildings. This row of three houses was originally sited in the townland of Ballyvollen, on the south eastern shores of Lough Neagh in County Antrim.

The houses were all stone built with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls; they date to approximately 1859. They were dismantled and moved to the Folk Museum in the late 1990s.

The importance of this row of rural houses lies in the fact that the core of the structure is an old 1600s oak cruck-framed house. The surviving crucks are rare examples of an English type of construction introduced to Ulster by English settlers during the 1600s.

The large house next to the basketmaker’s workshop is the home of a basketmaker and his family. The house at the other end of the terrace is a fisherman’s home.

The middle house of the terrace contains an exhibition which interprets the buildings, their cruck construction and lives of the people who lived there.

In the early 1900s, one of the houses was occupied by Hugh McGarry and his wife Elizabeth. The couple married in 1905 and they raised their three children in Ballyvollen. Hugh McGarry was a fisherman and boat builder. During the summer months he was also a ferry man, bringing visitors across the Lough to Ram’s island.