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Larne Museum & Arts Centre is housed in the former Carnegie Free Library building in Larne.
Built in 1905, this historic building opened its doors to the public in 1906 following financial assistance from the American millionaire and philanthropist Mr Andrew Carnegie. In 2005, to commemorate its centenary year, the building was restored and renovated, retaining many of its original features. The building is also now home to Larne Art Club and Larne Drama Circle.
The Main Gallery hosts permanent displays reflecting the agricultural, industrial, military and maritime history of the area. Larne is a principal gateway into Northern Ireland and the strong maritime links of this east Antrim coastal community are portrayed through a variety of exhibits relating to the first roll-on, roll-off ferries, the Royal Navy and the Princess Victoria disaster. Larne’s rural hinterland, which includes two of the nine glens of Antrim, is well represented in the museum’s folk life display. The War and Conflict section hosts objects from the Home Rule Crisis, Larne Gun Running and the First and Second World Wars. Visitors can access accounts and memories of local people through oral history listening posts and can also browse through photographs in a digital community archive.
The ‘John Clifford Gallery’, named after the first curator of Larne & District Historical Centre, plays host to a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These can include in-house or touring exhibitions and exhibitions by local groups and individuals.
The museum is managed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and forms part of the Mid and East Antrim Museum & Heritage Service alongside similar local museums in Ballymena and Carrickfergus.
- Guide dogs permitted
- Toilets for disabled visitors - Adapted unisex toilet on ground floor.
- Open Mondays
- Picnic Area - Enjoy a picnic at our picnic table which is located within the Sensory Garden at Larne Museum.
- Accept coach parties
- Event venue - Larne Museum produces a busy programme of events throughout the year including talks and children's activities.
- Lift/Elevator - Access to first floor via lift or stairs.
- Toilets - Toilets on both floors. Adapted unisex toilet on ground floor.
- Wi-fi available
Parking & Transport
- Off site parking - Car parking is not available on site. Pay and display car parking is available opposite the building in Fairhill Car Park on Victoria Road. Other nearby pay and display car parks are situated on Agnew Street, Narrow Gauge Road and Riverdale. Nearby free car parks are situated in Exchange Road, Bridge Street, High Street, Inver Road, Narrow Gauge Road and Riverdale.
- Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors - With the kind permission of our neighbour, Gardenmore Presbyterian Church, visitors to Larne Museum & Arts Centre, with mobility issues, can now use the Church car park to avail of a new gateway which provides level access to the museum path. Please contact us in advance if you would like to use this facility.
- Station nearby - Larne Train Station and Larne Bus Station are within 10 mins walking distance of Larne Museum & Arts Centre.
- All major credit/debit cards accepted
- Free (parking charges may apply)
- In town/city centre
- Indoor Attraction
- Non smoking establishment
- Of historic, literary or architectural interest - Larne Museum & Arts Centre is housed in the former Carnegie Free Library building which is now a grade B1 listed building, of historic and architectural interest. It was designed by Nicholas Fitzsimons, who also designed Smiley Cottage Hospital, and is an example of Edwardian 'free style' architecture.