Down County MuseumDown County Museum is situated in Downpatrick, roughly 10 miles from Dundrum, County Down. Down County Museum is housed in a restored 18th century prison, which is a destination in its own right. The restored cell blocks contain life-size figures of the prisoners and their jailors representing life as it was when the prison was in use.
Down County Museum is host to a permanent exhibition, Down Through Time, which explores 9000 years of human history in County Down. There is also a programme of temporary exhibitions ranging from the Victorians to local artists.
County Gaol of Down was opened in 1796 and housed many thousands of prisoners until it closed in 1830. In addition to the many prisoners held for minor offences the gaol also held rebels captured after the battles of Saintfield and Ballynahinch. Many hundreds of prisoners were also held before being transported to New South Wales.
Down County Museum is located on the Mall, English Street, Downpatrick. From Dundrum head north to Clough and take the second exit at the roundabout, signed Downpatrick. Continue on this road into Downpatrick and then follow the signs to the museum, which is very close to Down Cathedral.