Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Hand and Pen Orange Hall

Rural Area - Discovery Farm 52

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This is an original building. The Orange hall was built in 1884 and came from the townland of Corbeg, Silverstream, County Monaghan. It was dismantled and moved to the Folk Museum in 1995.

The hall was built on land provided by Mr Wilfred Garland, a local farmer. His farm was known locally as the ‘Hand and Pen’ farm. This distinctive name comes from an old shop which once stood on the spot and had a painted sigh showing a hand holding a quill pen writing in a ledger.

This small country hall was used by the Hand and Pen LOL (Loyal Orange Lodge) no. 597 for its monthly meetings and social events. Although the lodge had been in existence from at least 1843, the hall was constructed in 1884 as shown on the date stone on the hall’s front gable. The hall’s layout is typical of small country Orange Halls of the period.

The hall was also used for social occasions such as dances and evenings gatherings. After the annual 12th July parade the lodge members were usually treated to a dinner and perhaps a dance.

On the 12th July 1931, the Orangemen of the county assembled in Monaghan for the annual parade. It was the last they were to hold in the county. As a result of IRA opposition to the Orange order in August of that year, no marches were held in Counties Monaghan and Cavan after 1931.

In the early 1900s the Hen and Pen lodge had about sixty members on its roll. By the 1980s only a handful of members remained due to Protestant migration from the county.

The hall was donated to the museum in 1989. The donation letter was signed by the Lodge Master and County Grand Master.

Look at the simple nature of the furnishings and layout of the hall is similar to many other rural Orange halls in rural areas.