Join us on a 90 minute walking history tour of Groomsport village which includes Viking raiders, an Irish chieftain, Scottish settlers and the Duke of Schomberg landing on his way to the Battle of the Boyne.
Learn about the voyage of the Eagle Wing which sailed from Groomsport on 9th September 1636 with 140 passengers onboard, including four Presbyterian ministers, and was the first attempt by Ulster-Scots folks to emigrate to America.
You'll also hear about the Presbyterian minister who loved building – first he built a church, then a school, followed by houses for the poor and a house for himself.
The tour also covers the landlords (originally the Maxwells of Finnebrogue, near Downpatrick) who kept changing their family name. We visit the wall which one of them built to stop villagers using the beach.
We will take in some of the important buildings in the village including the Coast Guard's Watch House (1821) and the first lifeboat house in Belfast Lough (1858). Fishermen's cottages at Cockle Row and The Hill are visited. Grander buildings include Groomsport House (1848) and the Parish Church (1841) – which, unlike most Church of Ireland buildings, cannot be dedicated to a saint – and Groomsport Presbyterian Church (1843).
Tours run on Saturday throughout July & Aug and on the 9th & 10th Sept weather permitting
Meeting point- Cockle Row Cottages
The tours are free and have been designed by Discover Groomsport, (a community organisation(and registered charity) which has an interest in promoting the history and the heritage of the village. The tour is based upon a series of papers which are available here.
- All areas accessible to disabled visitors
- Booking Required
Booking is essential.