Workhouse Museum to close in April

Derry’s Workhouse Museum is to close next month.

The facility - which is based in the Waterside Library building at Glendermott Road in the city’s Waterside - is to cease operating on April 5 next.

It was last month that Derry City Council agreed not to renew the lease for the museum.

A Council spokesperson told the ‘Journal’ this week: “The decision was made in view of ongoing health and safety issues with the building and decreasing visitor numbers.”

The Council official also revealed that savings from the termination of the lease would be put towards the new Maritime Museum planned for 2017/18.

One member of the public, who visited the venue this week, said: “It seems such a shame that, just after City of Culture year, one of the city’s museums is being closed - and apparently in such a quiet manner.”

The Derry Workhouse first opened in 1840, closed as a Workhouse in 1948 but continued to be used as a hospital until 1991.

A group of local historians managed to save some of the original Workhouse building from demolition and this is where the museum and the Waterside branch library are currently housed.

The Museum, which occupies two floors of the old Workhouse building, opened in 1997.

The building is said to be of great historical interest and legend has it that a number of ghostly residents haunt both the building and surrounding area.

The venue currently hosts the ‘Atlantic Memorial’ exhibition which focuses on the role played by Derry in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

There are also artefacts relating to workhouse life, 19th century poverty and the Famine.