Discover Coalisland’s industrial past with exciting new website

A new website is being launched by Lough Neagh Partnership to help people learn more about the industrial past of Coalisland and East Tyrone.

The website provides free access to videos, podcasts, booklets, plays, educational resources and useful links which explore themes such as coal mining, canals, potteries, weaving factories, spinning mills and other aspects of the rich heritage of the area.

In addition, the impact of these industries across the centuries will be investigated by studying the local landscape and placenames.

The new website is part of the wider work of the Lough Neagh Partnership, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested over £2.5 million in since 2014.

Fireclay works, Coalisland Picture credit: Image Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Visitors to the website can find out the story of the coal and fireclay mines, such as those at Annagher, Cratley, Congo and the Derry Pit and there’s also a selection of lesson materials for schools.

If you’d like to know about the Coalisland Weaving Factory or Roan Spinning Mills there are newly written booklets with plenty of facts and illustrations and you’ll also find links to interesting material on other websites.

Over the next few months, Craic Theatre will be creating a series of video performances of original short plays, which have been specially written to feature stories about the working lives of local people.

There’s also podcasts on place-names and a page with information on how to apply for a heritage training bursary scheme, or maybe for training if you’d like to be a tour guide, or details about taking part in an online craft workshop.

Conor Jordan, chair of Lough Neagh Partnership, said: “This region has a unique past and is a fantastic opportunity to tell that story in a way which is dynamic, educational and entertaining.

“We intend to add more and more material to the website in the coming months and we believe it will be an invaluable resource for all the community.

“It will also be an enduring legacy for our project Coalisland & East Tyrone – Historic Manufacturing Base of Mid Ulster and we are very grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mid Ulster District Council and all the partners who are supporting this innovative project.”

Paul Mullan, director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund added: “We are delighted to support the ongoing work of the Coalisland & East Tyrone - Great Place Scheme and Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership programme.

“This new website is a great opportunity to explore the unique industrial heritage associated with Coalisland and east Tyrone.

“We know that giving people a chance to have a closer understanding and relationship to their heritage reaps many benefits, and this is something we are proud to fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, even more people will have the opportunity to learn about the rich natural, built and industrial heritage of Lough Neagh and the surrounding area.”

If you’d like more information about and Coalisland & East Tyrone: Historical Manufacturing Base of Mid Ulster, please contact Keith Beattie, industrial heritage officer, Lough Neagh Partnership, email: [email protected] or telephone: 07546 672804.