Exhibition on Galway's Big Houses

'East Galway had a larger proportion of such houses than any other county in Ireland'

Ardfry House, Oranmore.

Ardfry House, Oranmore.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC exhibition of Galway's Big Houses - the estates of the landed gentry in Ireland - will be on display at NUI Galway from August 19 to 24 as part of Heritage Week.

It is estimated that east Galway, in particular, had a larger proportion of such houses than any other county in Ireland. The exhibition will see hundreds of photographic images of these houses - some intact, some ruined, some whose memory only exists on the landscape in the form of a map or drawing from an earlier century – on display in banner format in the O’Donoghue Building foyer at the university.

The exhibition is a collaboration between NUIG, the Galway County Council Heritage Service, and the Skehana Heritage Group, which in 2016, began displaying images of some of Galway’s Big Houses.

There will also be facsimile copies of leases, maps, memoirs and marriage settlements from more than 20 landed estate archival collections from the James Hardiman Library’s Archives and Special Collections.

NUI Galway will also host a half day seminar, Galway Estates from the archives, on Saturday August 24, from 9.30am to 1.30pm. It will explore how historians and researchers employ these documents to tell the stories of their families, local areas, landscapes and communities. Admission is free, but advance booking may be required. See www.heritageweek.ie/whats-on/event/galway-estates-from-the-archives

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