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Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Parochial hall

Ballycultra Town building 37

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This is a replica building. The foundation stone of the original hall was laid in 1899 and it was completed in 1900. St Patrick’s Hall, Shore Street, Portaferry was built as a Parochial house for the Roman Catholic parish of Ballyphillip, County Down. The original is a listed building and remains in situ.

Funds for the new hall were raised at concerts and dances in the old school hall.  Collections were also made after Mass at local Catholic churches.

The hall was the venue for a very wide range of social events. It was the centre of social activity for the Catholic population of the area for many years. Plays were also performed in the hall by both drama groups and touring companies. Local ‘feis’ competitions were also popular arising from the Gaelic revival of the 1800s.  They included competitions in traditional music, Irish dancing and recitations in the Irish language.

In the 1980s the Museum was searching for a building to provide both a recreational space alongside its students’ residential accommodation and an extra exhibition area. St Patrick’s Hall, Portaferry was suitable in terms of date and architecture.  It was also an appropriate building to place beside the existing St John’s Catholic Church, from Drumcree, and the Parochial House from Newtownards

Look at the Irish name on the front of the hall. Written in Gaelic font, translates as “St Patrick’s Hall”.