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Did you know that Ireland is home to the smallest doll in the world? Or where to go to find out if you’re related to the ancient kings and queens of Ireland? If not, you’re not alone!
Our recent research has identified that one in four Irish people have visited more landmarks abroad than in our own fair isle, so to celebrate International Museum Day on Monday May 18th, we have put together a guide to unmissable museums around the country, and their most unusual artefacts!
The Little Museum of Dublin- Christy Brown Collection
Think holding a pencil with your foot might be hard? Well try writing letters, poetry or even drawing nude sketches. World-famous artist and writer, Christy Brown’s fancy footwork is waiting for you at the Little Museum of Dublin. If this doesn’t gather some footfall, we don’t know what will!!
Cork Butter Museum
Every Irish mammy knows that a good ‘sangwich’ isn’t complete without a heaping spread of melty gold. The Cork Butter Museum celebrates all things butter and dairy in early Ireland, with displays of traditional butter making equipment, and melt-in-your-mouth demonstrations of home butter making.
Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood, Enniskerry
This one is for the family, but especially the smaller members- Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood boasts the world’s smallest doll, perfect for just a teeny-tiny bit of fun. But if that doesn’t float your toy boat, scale up the excitement with Ireland’s largest period doll house- where admirers can hang up their plastic hat and just relax.
Kerry County Museum- Hair hurling ball
Calling all sports fans- this one is for those who enjoy the odd bit of GAA, but be warned- the exhibition can get a little bit hairy. The Kerry County Museum is host to a traditional hair hurling ball, which dates back as far as 1278. The ancient sliotar, made from both cow and horse hair, is probably not something you’d want the kids playing with in the garden, but your dog might like it!
Medieval Museum Waterford- King Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance
Stuck for style ideas for your wardrobe this summer? Well take a page out of King Henry VIII’s scroll, and check out a serious piece of royal headwear. We predict King Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance, styled by the Medieval Museum of Waterford, to inspire 2015’s hottest new head-fashion trend. The velvet hat, embroidered with a Tudor rose on the top and daisies on the brim, is the only piece of Henry VIII’s wardrobe to survive anywhere in the world. We’re just waiting to see which A-list celeb will be inspired by the piece for the next red carpet event!
National Transport Museum, Howth
Ever heard of a Leyland Beaver, Leyland Hippo, or Dublin’s flying pig? We know what you’re thinking, but these ancient beasts can’t be found in any natural history exhibit. No, these are just some of the beautiful old vehicles on display at the National Transport Museum in Howth. You won’t need a deLorean to go back in time to see these antique passenger, emergency and even military vehicles, dating back as far as 1883! Just hop on a train to Howth and journey to the past.
Galway City Museum- Welby Mark VI revolver
For those fans of a good war story, the Galway City Museum has recently become the proud conveyer of a Welbey Mark VI revolver. This is no ordinary hip cannon, however - the standard British Army issue gun, which dates back to World War 1, was actually captured by Irish Volunteers from British soldiers at a social event in Galway! So embrace your rebellious side, and join the ranks at Galway City Museum to check it out.
Glasnevin Cemetry and Museum – Geneology Centre
Why not delve into the past at Glasnevin Cemetery’s Genealogy Centre, where you can research your relatives and find out more about your family tree. Here you will find a great resource to explore your ancestors, with records dating back to 1828. Who knows, you might even be related to one of the ancient kings and queens of Ireland!
If you are planning a trip to visit any of the above museums, why not consider an overnight stay in one of our centrally located hotels in Dublin, Galway or Cork and really make a trip out of it!
Main image: William Murphy The Little Museum of Dublin/ CCBY (image has been modified)