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Donegal Historical Society Museum

Located in the Franciscan Friary in Rossnowlagh, this free museum contains a fine array of artefacts associated with County Donegal, from pre-historic times up to the 20th century. It is one Ireland's most popular small museums, receiving over 10,000 visitors a year. Artefacts include

  • Archaeological finds from both the Stonge Age and Bronze Age, such as ancient encrypted stones, and early hunting tool heads.
  • Items from the medieval period, known as the "penal times", such as a beautifully crafted Penal Cross, a hand-carved wooden cross that was used for personal prayer
  • Weapons from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including a gun that was used to murder Lord Leitrim in 1878, in one of Ireland's first and most notorious uprisings against the powerful landlord gentry
  • A copy of the Annals of the Four Masters, the 17th compilation all of Ireland's history, which was created in Donegal by a Franciscan Friar and three other scholars
  • A "famine pot" -- a cast iron pot that was used to distribute soup to Ireland's poor and hungry during famine times, as part of the Soup Kitchen Act in the late 1840s. Despite how degrading it was for many Irish people to queue for daily rations of soup from what was regarded as the British oppressors, these soup pots kept millions alive during the Great Potato Famine.
  • Old provincial banknotes from the bank of Ballyshannon

Official Site


Rossnowlagh Friary. Image: John Armagh

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