Touring ideas

Ulster-Scots Heritage in Ards and North Down

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Contact details


Bangor, Bangor, County Down,
T: (028) 9127 0069

The Borough is home of the Ulster-Scots with Sir James Hamilton's arrival in the early 1600's

An interactive mobile App, Discover the Ards and North Down, can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes that will take you on a journey of discovery through the two boroughs delving into the rich Ulster-Scots heritage, culture and architecture dating back from the first landings including Tower House in Bangor and the Priory in Ards. In the audio tour you will hear the legends and stories of characters such as the great Betsy Gray prominent in the 1798 Rebellion and poor Archibald Wilson, hung on Bangor Pier for his part in the Rebellion. You will visit sites such as North Down Museum where you can view Thomas Raven’s original maps of Sir James Hamilton’s lands in North Down dating back to the 1630’s and the interactive version of these priceless maps through to grand estates such as Rosemount in The Ards.

This tour of the home of Ulster-Scots in Ards and North Down includes Bangor Abbey,
North Down Museum, Newtownards Priory and Rosemount Estate.

Discover ancient abbeys rebuilt by these Ulster-Scots, monuments from the 1600s, coastlines
where they built harbours and the landscapes they tamed. Visit Bangor Abbey
founded in the 6th century by Saint Comgall and rebuilt by Scotsman James Hamilton in
the 1600s. At North Down Museum 2 learn about the original 1625 Thomas Raven maps
of James Hamilton’s estate, one of the most important early Ulster-Scots artefacts on
public display. Next, visit Newtownards Priory 3, a Dominican friary founded in 1244
with Ulster-Scots connections, before a special visit to Rosemount Estate 4, Greyabbey,
which is only opened by appointment.

By the end of the tour - with its tales of romance, jailbreak and success driven by bitter
rivalry - we hope you’ll agree that North Down and the Ards is ‘the birthplace of the

The App also includes a full range of local visitor information.