Learning at North Down Museum
School and group visits
Unfortunately, we are currently not taking bookings as we are unable to accommodate group visits.
At North Down Museum, we provide a wide range of activities, workshops and resources for education and community groups, with something to suit every age.
Please note that school and group visits need to be booked in advance to ensure the best experience for everyone and a small fee may be payable for some programmes.
We offer a range of programmes for nursery school children and those at KS1. Just contact our education officer and we can discuss what you need.
Some examples of our sessions include:
- Toys from Long Ago
- Mystery Object
- Winter Stories
Duration: 2 hrs 15mins
Description: Delve into Bangor’s past and learn all about the town’s historic beginnings as a monastic settlement. Using a variety of visual aids to bring the story to life, we have everything from a model of Bangor Monastery and the Bangor Bell, to a copy of the Bangor Antiphonary and a replica monk’s cell.
There’s also the opportunity to dress up as a monk with our range of costumes and you can even try your hand at writing like one, using their special illumination technique.
Duration: 2 hrs 15mins
Description: With Bangor raided by Vikings at least twice back in the ninth century – as documented by the monks in their ancient Annals – a Viking grave was also later uncovered at Ballyholme.
This session subsequently lets you find out more about this fierce warrior tribe and includes the opportunity to make a Viking-inspired brooch, based on the designs of those found at Ballyholme.
Our War Gallery offers a unique insight into this period of history, with a range of materials on display, including Second World War replica objects.
Students can learn all about local man, Barry Bingham of Bangor Castle, who fought in the Battle of Jutland and was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour. The memorial book of local war heroes is also on display, while handling boxes containing an assortment of replica Second World War objects and some originals are available to see and/or borrow.
Show and tell sessions can further be booked to take place at the museum or in your school, with topics including evacuation, gas masks, air raid shelters, the Home Guard and rationing. A DVD made by North Down Museum which includes a touching collection of interviews and images of local residents and places is also available for schools to view.
North Down Museum is keen to work with schools to deliver tailor-made visits relating to the World Wars to suit your specific needs. Just get in touch if you’d like to discuss this with us.
If you would like us to provide refreshments during your school or group visit, please contact the museum café directly on: 028 9127 8050.
Preparing for your visit
We strongly advise that all teachers and accompanying adults visiting the museum with a group read the following guidance notes. This will give you all the practical information you need to ensure that you have an enjoyable and productive visit, including sample risk assessments.
Please note that we do not provide pencils or clipboards, so please remember to bring your own on the day.
We have a number of handling boxes available for schools or groups to borrow for a short period. These include a collection of items which have donated to the museum over a period of years, or which have been specifically acquired for this purpose. All boxes have copies of local photographs available (except for the Vikings!) and are available for the following topics:
- First World War
- Second World War
NB We are currently collecting objects relating to the 1960s.