The Skibbereen Heritage Centre

The Skibbereen Heritage Centre


Comprised of two separate exhibitions about the Famine and Lough Hyne, this is an educational place to start your visit to the area.

The Famine Exhibition is a self-guided walk through various displays and audio visuals about the history of the Famine. Over one million people perished from starvation and disease, during a time when the entire population of Ireland was just 8.5 million. Potatoes were the dietary staple for poor families, with a household of eight eating 25 lbs of potatoes per day. When the crop was attacked by the fungal disease phytophthora infestous from 1845 to 1851, the lack of food had a deadly effect on the country. What people had been eating with milk, salt fish, or alone was rendered inedible. The government initiated food aid in 1847 and the international community sent funds to help start soup kitchens, but this did not stop the deaths.

Lough Hyne is Europe’s first Marine Nature Reserve. See a film about the history and folklore of this rare sea lake, located just 3 miles west of Skibbereen.

How to get there

By car:

From Bantry, travel south on the N71 to Skibbereen. Centre is located in the town center.

From Cork, travel south on N71 to Skibbereen. Centre is located in the town center.

By bus:

See website for all current travel details and restrictions.

Opening times

Mid Mar – May: Tue – Sat: 10AM-6PM

Jun – Mid Sep: Daily: 10AM-6PM

Mid Sep – Oct: Tue – Sat: 10AM-6PM

Nov – Mid Mar: by appointment


Old Gasworks Building

Upper Bridge Street

Skibbereen, Co. Cork

Tel: (0)28 40900



My experience

A very comprehensive look at the Famine. I like the phone booths. I picked up the receiver and listened to the words of a person from that time, while watching a fully costumed actor play the part on a TV screen.


Written by Liz O' Malley - Summer of Travel 2007


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