The Collection, compiled by Hugh Irvine, a teacher in Kilkeel High School, contains c.700 items relating to local social and family history in the Kilkeel area. This includes photographs, postcards, receipts from local businesses, Ordnance Survey Maps, books, newspaper cuttings and detailed notes on family history.
The Hugh Irvine Collection
Born in Belfast in 1930, Hugh Irvine came to Kilkeel in 1953 when he was appointed as a history teacher in the newly opened Kilkeel High School. Hugh developed a keen interest in the history, archaeology, architecture, genealogy and folklore of the area around Kilkeel and the Mourne Mountains. He recorded the results of his research on a series of index cards and built up a large photographic collection focussing on the rural and farming life of the Mournes. After his death, his collection was donated to Newry and Mourne Museum by his family.
What information can you find in the collection?
The collection contains 750 items which relate to the social history of the Kilkeel region. There are some original items in the collection such as the 1854 Poor Law Rate book for Mullartown (Annalong). There are also postcards, receipts from local businesses and newspaper cuttings.
Photographs taken by Hugh Irvine total almost 500 and reflect his local historical interests. Dating from the 1960s to the 1990s they include pictures of streets in Kilkeel and features in the surrounding countryside such as houses, mills and old agricultural implements.
Local history and Genealogy cards
These cards total around 1600 and include information on a vast array of topics linked to Kilkeel. The local history cards include information on occupations e.g. blacksmiths, publicans etc, businesses, place names, roads, nicknames and many other aspects of social history. The genealogy cards contain information on many families in the Kilkeel area. The information for the cards was collated using many different sources such as street directories, newspapers, tourist books, Irish Census, business account books, estate records, Griffith Valuation, Tithe Applotments, 1803 Agricultural Census records, church records and also from Hugh Irvine’s own observations and through his conversations with local people.
The collection is specific to the history, archaeology, architecture, genealogy and folklore of the area around Kilkeel and the Mourne Mountains, County Down.
There are 700 catalogued records, of which there are sub sections, including 1,600 family record index cards.
Newry and Mourne Museum has legal ownership of this collection, but please consult with staff as to matters of copyright.
The collection was donated to the Museum in 2009.