The Governor’s Residence is one of three key 18th-century buildings of this former County Gaol, which now houses the collections of Down County Museum.
Through the grant, the Governor’s Residence building was made fully accessible, ensuring open access for all visitors. Issues with internal and external stairs were addressed, and a lift was fitted to improve access.
The building contains the museum’s permanent collection, Down Through Time, in which 1,200 items relating to the history of County Down are displayed. This collection was conserved and displays improved through the grant.
The Down Through Time exhibition contains audio points providing oral histories and information on key events in local history, such as the 1798 Rebellion. There is also a digital map of Down, allowing visitors to explore the area. The museum holds film screening events, in which films are projected from the Governor’s Residence onto three screens. A new ‘unlock the past’ leaflet was produced, outlining the key thematic elements of the Exhibition.
In 2009, Down County Museum was highly commended in both the local authority museum and exhibition categories of The Heritage Council and Northern Ireland Museums Council Museum Awards.