Milford House Museum

 

Future Plans for Milford House

The Milford Buildings Preservation Trust has exciting plans to secure the future of Milford House. The Trust fully appreciates that Milford House and the legacy of the Mc Crum dynasty of national and international importance both historically and moreover architecturally. Milford House has the power to captivate the public in the same way that Titanic has, there is no other place like it! The rural unspoilt setting of the grounds combined with the fact that is only two miles from the ecclesiastical city of Armagh and in close proximity to the republic of Ireland and Belfast makes Milford House an ideal location. It is clear there is huge public demand for access to Milford House and both the house and gardens have potential to provide a valuable public amenity. The Trust plan acquire Milford House and to make it an important tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, that plays a key role in the local and national economy. It is fully appreciated that since the closure of Milford factory in 1980 that Milford village has gone into rapid decline and that Milford House is essential in regenerating the area.

The restoration and regeneration of Milford House will once again put Milford on the map. The project will be sustainable and a social enterprise. The ethos of the Mc Crum family was always strongly cross community and in keeping with this, the Trust (as with all aspects of our work) will use it as a place for peace and reconciliation.

The Trust believe strongly in preserving the unspoilt and tranquil nature of Milford House and any plans will ensure that the house estate preserves the integrity of an historic country house. The project will:

  • Ensure Milford House is publicly accessible
  • Secure its future long-term through a financially economically viable project.
  • Maintain the historical integrity of Milford House through the commercial exploitation of the property.
  • Promotion of Milford House and the Estate as a high quality destination within Armagh City and District Council, providing a valuable catalyst for tourism regeneration in the region;
  • Educate people of the historical heritage and social history of the area.
  • Guarantee the long term future of the collections.
  • Reduce the number of listed buildings at risk in Northern Ireland through its restoration
  • Provide exciting opportunity for people to develop traditional skills through restoration.
Milford House open to public:

It is planned to open the following rooms as part of the guided tour- Entrance Hall, Study, Library, Front staircase hall, Dining room/Drawing Room, back staircase, original kitchens, domestic quarters (including maids bedrooms and Housekeepers apartments), a MHS dormitory and one of the master bedrooms.

  • The Milford House collections will return to their rightful place where they came from.
  • Securing the most interesting areas of the house to bring to life the world of Milford House when it was a family residence and also home to the Manor House School.
  • The rooms open to the public will be presented as a welcoming family home and not a stuffy static museum. Visitors can relax sit down and handle the collection.
  • Rooms will be accurately furnished and restored. Some when the family lived there and others when it was home to Manor House School. Thus providing a chronological tour of the house.
  • These rooms can be used for events/functions.
  • There will be a live in custodian for security and moreover to ensure Milford House is once again a residence.
  • Archives will properly be accessible for consultation
  • Provision for exhibitions and space for education
  • Proper space for visitors to explore the importance of linen manufacturing and hydraulics at Milford.
  • Proper visitor facilities including toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing facilities.
  • Exciting annual programme of events.

The rest of the house will be leased out for mixed use including conference facilities and venue for events. This will include provision of tearooms/ restaurant. This provides employment, economic regeneration and income to ensure the maintenance of the property.

Pleasure Gardens:

Will be fully restored based on photographic records and open to public. This will include restoring the floor tiles where the peach house (conservatory) formerly stood. Interpretation panel on fountain and peach house.

The Lake:

It is anticipated in time to reopen the lake which is currently filled in. In the short term the Trust plan to reinstate the walk round the lake and provision of signage for trails. Providing walkways for the public who walk in the Milford area. The boathouse will be open to the public as part of this. Ensure bluebells, flora and fauna which grow round pathways are protected.

Wildlife:

Ensure bird and wild animals which reside in the grounds are protected and have safe environment in which to live.

Walled gardens, stables and coach house:

The Trust is exploring a number of options for the use for the walled gardens, coach house and stables. We are currently seeking partners in this aspect of the project.