Lisburn heritage sites to open to the public

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A number of historic buildings in Lisburn will open to the public on Saturday September 12 as part of European Heritage Open Day.

Amongst the buildings being opened for the occasion will be First Lisburn Presbyterian Church.

Based in the heart of the city centre, First Lisburn recently underwent major renovations to bring it up to date for congregations in the 21st century.

The newly-designed, spacious, flexible sanctuary retains much of its original architecture, decorated gallery and magnificent stained-glass windows, including The Resurrection Window, a memorial to the 1981 bomb blast in the town.

The congregation began in 1688 in a wooden structure in Longstone Street with the installation of its first minister, the Reverend Alexander McCracken. This building was destroyed in the Great Fire of Lisburn in 1707.

The present building was built in 1710, rebuilt in 1768, enlarged and remodelled in 1873 and 1970, and again remodelled and restored between 2013 and 2015.

During the Open Day visitors will have the opportunity to follow a self-guided Church Trail, view rolling pictorial presentations of the history of the church and the recent renovations, listen to a live organ recital, browse early marriage and baptismal records, and enjoy refreshments on offer in the new contemporary Coffee Dock in the Welcome Area,

R Space Gallery in Castle Street will also open with a special installation, which is making a welcome return to Lisburn for one day only.

David Littler’s sample of the sonic landscape of the linen industry settles in R-Space once again. During the Open Day visitors can meet the artist, hear the sounds and feel the textures.

This sonic installation curated by artist David Littler first came to Lisburn in February 2015.

Uniting the sounds of machines and production with the songs and stories of people involved in linen production, the exhibition explores the sonic landscape of the industry in Lisburn and the Lagan Valley.

David Littler is a founder member of sampler-cultureclash – an international collective of sonic and digital artists, textile makers, and traditional and electronic musicians. His work focuses on creating social spaces where people can to come together to share, make, invent and perform.

This exhibition was supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland when it was first shown at R-Space in February-March 2015.

The exhibition will be open from 11am until 5pm on Saturday September 12 and admission is free.

There will also be a special evening performance from 7.30pm-9.30pm with David Littler, Jason Singh and Maurice Leyden.

Tickets for the evening performance are priced at £5, including a complimentary drink, and are available from R-Space or Eventbrite.