At Down County Museum the rich heritage of County Down is brought to life in fascinating exhibitions, lively events, hands-on activities and award winning education programmes.
The museum is located in the historic buildings of the 18th-century County Gaol of Down. The old Gaol of Downpatrick was was opened in 1796 and until its closure in 1830 housed many thousands of prisoners.
The prison complex covers one acre and contains three main structures. These comprise a cell block to the rear, a central Governor's Residence and two gatehouses flanking the main entrance, all set within a high perimeter wall.
Today visitors to the museum can see one of the most complete surviving Georgain gaols in Ireland. A floor of restored cells conjures up something of the atmosphere of over 200 years ago.
Down County Museum collects, conserves and exhibits artefacts relating to the history of County Down from the earliest times until today.