Ulster Folk and Transport Museums

Ulster Folk Museum

Ulster Folk Museum – Picture by Which Museum

The Ulster Folk Museum and the Ulster Transport Museum are situated in Cultra, Northern Ireland, about 11 kilometres east of the city of Belfast.

Set in over 170 acres of rolling countryside overlooking Belfast Lough, you can chat to a costumed visitor guide, admire traditional crafts and meet farm animals.

The Folk Museum tells the story of life in early 20th century Ulster. A bygone era is recreated in a rural landscape of farms, cottages, traditional crops and local breeds of livestock.

Created by an Act of Parliament in 1958, the Folk Museum was created to preserve a rural way of life in danger of disappearing forever due to increasing urbanisation and industrialisation in Northern Ireland.

The site the museum occupies was formally the Estate of Sir Robert Kennedy, and was acquired in 1961, with the museum opening to the public for the first time three years later in 1964.

In 1967, the Folk Museum merged with the Belfast Transport Museum (located on Witham Street in the city), to form the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

Ulster Transport Museum

Ulster Transport Museum – picture by “Visit North Down and Ards”.

In 1993, the Transport Museum moved into new Rail and Road Galleries in Cultra, close to the Folk Museum site. The galleries were subsequently expanded in 1996.

In 1998, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum merged with the Ulster Museum and the Ulster-American Folk Park to form the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, now National Museums Northern Ireland.