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19 May 2022

Heritage project helping schools explore local history

Scale models of local sites will go on display next month in Maghera.

Heritage project helping schools explore local history

Pupils at St Brigid's PS Mayogall enthralled by the models.

A County Derry heritage centre has come up with an innovative way of helping local school children engage with the history on their doorsteps.

Maghera Heritage Centre is planning an informal launch event on July 27, at which they will showcase the 'Heritage on Your Doorstep: Exploring Maghera' exhibition.

The group received £9,900 in grant funding from the Community Heritage Fund to create a series of scale models of local megalithic tombs.

Also included in the exhibition will be prepared information panels, a short film, presentation and educational material.

The models have been sent to a number of local primary schools for display in the lead-up to next month's showcase event.

St Brigid's Mayogall principal, Mary O'Kane, said children had been so enthused by the models that they went to see the sites themselves.

“The children were so engaged with the models, that a number of families have now visited Tirnoney, Knockoneill and Tamneyrankin to see the heritage sites for themselves,” she said.

“I'd like to thank Maghera Heritage Centre for allowing the school to exhibit the models to the pupils. They proved an excellent learning resource for even the youngest children.

“The 1:50 scale models allowed the children to appreciate abstract historical concepts after seeing the concrete examples.

“It was a wonderful way for the children to appreciate the wealth of history and culture that we have in South Derry.”

The grant has been provided by the Department for Communities (DfC) and administered by the Heritage Lottery to make local heritage more accessible to the community.

Paul Mullan of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said there was a wide range of projects.

“Our local places have become more important than ever throughout this pandemic, and through this fund, we hope to encourage people to get to know their local heritage that bit better,” he said.

“We're delighted to see a diverse range of projects which will make a huge impact on many communities across Northern Ireland.”

A spokesperson for Maghera Heritage Centre said they were grateful to receive the funding.

“We are grateful to the Department for Communities and The National Lottery Heritage Fund for providing this funding,” they said.

“Thanks to this grant, we can now reach out to new audiences in our community and help them to better understand the heritage on our doorstep.”

More information on the Maghera Heritage Centre can be found by visiting their Facebook page or their website.

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