Skibbereen Heritage Centre
Skibbereen Heritage Centre
4.5
Monday
10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 18:00
Thursday
10:00 - 18:00
Friday
10:00 - 18:00
Saturday
10:00 - 18:00
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About
Skibbereen Heritage Centre's Great Famine Exhibition tells the poignant story of this pivotal period in Irish history. Skibbereen became notorious as one of the worst affected areas in all of Ireland and this tragic era is now brought to life via the latest multimedia technology. Walk or take a virtual tour of sites associated with the Great Famine that still exist today including the mass graves where almost 10,000 people are buried. At Skibbereen Heritage Centre you can also discover the unique nature of Lough Hyne, a salt-water lake just 5km from Skibbereen which is Europe's first Marine Nature Reserve. Find out about the history, folklore and formation of this renowned natural phenomenon with a multi-lingual audio-visual display and follow with a trip to the lake and follow the Knockomagh Wood Nature Trail which overlooks the lake. Skibbereen Heritage Centre also offers a genealogy service for the greater West Cork area, an archaeology trail, a gift shop, reference library and a great welcome!
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  • FoxWynne
    County Cork, Ireland210 contributions
    An hour well-spent!
    This museum, though small, looks extensively at the causes and effects of the Irish Famine, with particular emphasis on the impacts in the local area. I was surprised at the depth of detail, especially the interlocked causes of the Famine - the museum didn't pander to any simplified explanation, nor did it lay the blame in any particular camp, and did a fantastic job of illustrating the points with interesting examples (written, documentary and through artefacts). The museum also has a very natural flow, which helps direct the visitor, and nicely covers both the background and the aftermath of the Famine years. Unfortunately, the Irish version of the Jeremy Irons video does not actually have Jeremy Irons speaking in Irish, it's merely subtitled. The accompanying Lough Hyne video is definitely worth seeing, especially if you're planning on making a trip down to the lake itself. The staff are friendly, the space is bright and there is a lovely view over the Ilen (spend a couple of minutes on the terrace). When we visited, it was during the easing of the initial lock-down, and, given the restrictions, the museum was very well-equipped for visitors, with disinfectant available at the entrance and beside each interactive exhibit.
    Visited September 2020
    Written 4 December 2020
  • don
    3 contributions
    Great community resource
    The heritage center was a fantastic experience. Immediately on arrival the staff were very friendly and informative giving clear instruction as to how the exhibition was to be best experienced. The audio resources gave some interactivity and prevented losing interest from constant reading. The lighting and display cases were very well designed, the view of the workhouse from one of the windows was very moving and brought great reality to the exhibit which was further developed by the walking trail app which exposes people to the whole town. I hope there is further investment and the heritage centre is allowed develop into different eras of Skibereens history.
    Dear butters_elmo, Thank you so, so much for your kind review - such positive feedback means the world to us. Sincere thanks from all of us at Skibb Heritage Centre ....
    Written 29 September 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2020
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 September 2020
  • Ratchm
    Kildare, Ireland34 contributions
    A worthwhile visit
    This is an amazing place for the history of the famine in Skibereen and Ireland. It answered a lot of questions I had. It is a tough visit in some ways, but the information is so accessible. It’s tough because of the subject matter. The staff were so friendly and helpful. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s not suitable for young children. The video of Lough Hyne is interesting but would have liked more detail on the actual flora and fauna rather than those that have researched it.
    Dear Ratchm, Thanks so much for your kind review - we really appreciate such positive feedback. We also hear you on the need for more detail on the flora and fauna of Lough Hyne. We tried very hard to work with the marine scientists to come up with a presentation suitable for the 'general reader'. But - to be honest - we got lost in the scientific detail ourselves so then decided to use the underwater footage of species, the Lough Hyne Habitats panel and the underwater sounds recorded at the Lough to cover that aspect of the Lough. There is a book on display at the Centre too called 'Lough Hyne from Prehistory to the Present' which has a chapter with more detail on the species and their habitats that also has some spectacular photos. If you are in the area again, please pop in and we'd be delighted to show that to you... Meanwhile, thanks so much again for your feedback and for taking the time to write the review. Kind Regards from all of us at Skibb Heritage Centre
    Written 29 September 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2020
    Travelled solo
    Written 3 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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4.5
392 reviews
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kawh
sebastopol, ca960 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
This will educate and enlighten you in such a meaningful way. Displays are easy to understand and really give you a sense of what the Irish people have gone through. Definitely worth a stop in this town to visit this heritage center.
Written 22 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fran M
3 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Not much in Skibereen but this museum will make you stop
And think. If you don’t know much about the potato famine you will learn a lot here.
Written 21 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul L
11 contributions
Jul 2023
Two wonderful exhibitions about Skibbereen. Great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Wonderful staff who also help with genealogical queries.
Written 26 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison L
10 contributions
Jun 2023
The most harrowing museum. Absolutely a must on all visits to Ireland. (The staff were fantastic by the way.) After visiting the famine exhibition in the former workhouse of Skibereen I felt (as an English person despite my Irish ancestry) immense shame and horror. I also saw hope in the action and kindness of individuals at that time. (I could not understand how ppl were now holidaying and eating and socialising in a place that had seen such horrors).
What would be great and really means access for all - is if the museum could get funding from the national tourism board/department, for Irish Sign Language in vision and captions on all videos and a video of ISL with captions for the deafened, hard of hearing and deaf people who do not sign for all the audio clips (I interpreted for my husband who is deaf the audio of the court cases where a six year old girl was on trial in Galway for stealing one turnip).
The exhibition on the Lough was great too and extremely useful for a later kayak trip on the lough as again no access for deaf ppl.
Written 10 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ronwynp
Gonubie, South Africa36 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
Stopped here as hubby had to make a call.

I was so pleased I went in.

The centre is so well laid out and explains the famine history thoroughly.

You can read the history or do the audio option.

The pictures are surreal - hard to believe the town actually survive
Written 1 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol K
3 contributions
Jun 2023 • Solo
This was an amazing, educational, and even more importantly, enlightening center. I think a place that everyone should visit to learn the more unknown elements of the Great Irish Famine.
Written 23 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LaJarrie
Southampton, UK437 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
We took a wrong turning,and went past by mistake. Some errors have a purpose, and we decided that we couldn’t go past without finding out more about the Irish famine. Thought provoking and informative, we learnt a lot. Difficult to describe the visit, as it was both riveting and horrendous. We were really pleased that we both are of Celtic origins, as you need to sneak in and not admit to having any links with England. The history, and the response of the English landlords, politicians, government ministers, clergy etc to the appalling events are utterly shameful. We heard part of a guided tour presentation, which made the visit even more interesting, and tragic at the same time. We have seen a plethora of flags flying in Ireland… Canadian, NZ Australia, American, EU were in abundance, also the Welsh dragon and the Saltire, but no Union Jacks…we wonder why!
Written 22 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas J
1 contribution
May 2023 • Couples
Extraordinary visit. We were fortunate to take a tour with Terri Kearney, expert historian & gifted storyteller. She gave a moving, detailed, vivid account of this devastating era of Irish history. The center itself has wonderful exhibits, beautifully done. could have spent hours here —- highlight of our visit to Ireland. GO!
Written 22 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MRichardson2014
Lake of Bays, Canada924 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
Through a combination of audio and visual displays, this exhibition focusses on the history of the potato famine in West Coast and Skibbereen in particular. The stories are harrowing andbring to life the hardships experienced and the different impacts of the family. The staff are friendly and helpful. As an added bonus there is an fascinating documentary on Lough Hyne, a marine nature reserve that is close by.
Written 7 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andreamccarthy152
Belfast, UK20 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
Excellent interactive explanation of the reason why the potato blight had such a devastating impact on the Skibbereen area. Takes about an hour
Written 22 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SKIBBEREEN HERITAGE CENTRE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Skibbereen Heritage Centre

Skibbereen Heritage Centre is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 - 18:00

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