The Museum of Country Life is located in Turlough Village, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of Castlebar, County Mayo in Ireland. Founded in 2001, the museum is part of the National Museum of Irelandoch is the only national museum outside of Dublin. [2] The museum exhibits the lifestyle of rural Irish people between 1850 and 1950, and it is in the grounds of Turlough Park House. There are displays about the home, the natural environment, trade and craft, communities, and works on land and water.


Turlough House designed by Thomas Newenham Deane, who also designed the Kildare Street branch of the National Museum of Ireland. [2] It was built from 1863 to 1867, and was owned by the Fitzgerald family Turlough. [3]

In 1991, the house and 36 acres purchased by Mayo County Council. The house was renovated and an adjacent museum building was built, and Country Life Museum opened in September 2001. [2] The upper floor of the house used as an office by the museum staff, and the ground floor is on show to the public.

National Museum of Ireland and the Museum of Country Life has undergone a reduction in funding from € 19m in 2008 to less than € 12m in 2014. Although there were preliminary plans to close part of the museum’s branch or initiate an admission fee, as of 2014, these plans has not entered into force. [4] [2]


The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitions, including:

  • Michael Davitt exhibition , an exhibition to celebrate the life of Michael Davitt, founder of the Irish National Land League. [5]
  • The Cross Cong, a 12th-century processional cross which allegedly contains a piece of the True Cross, and is considered one of Ireland’s most important medieval art treasures. [6] Cross held vidCong Abbey in County Cong until 1839 when it was given to the Royal Irish Academy and then the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. [7] [8] in 2010, the cross was returned to County Mayo to be displayed at the Museum of Country Life for a year. [6] [9]
  • Power and Privileges: Photographs of the Big House in Ireland 1858-1922., An exhibition depicting the life of the gentry and their servants, [10]
  • The Coggalbeg storage room, a Bronze Age gold collar and records unearthed in a bog near Strokes 1945. The tax had been stored in a pharmacy safe until the safe was stolen in 2009. The contents of the safe, including gold objects that was probably overlooked, were found in a container. [11]


  1. Jump up ^ Mark O’Regan (25 November 2014). “History number of visitors to the National Museum”. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  2. ^ Jump up to: abcd . Edwin McGreal, Neill O’Neill, Aine Ryan (9 September 2014) “Fear of the future Turlough Museum”. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  3. Jump up ^ “Turlough Park, Turlough, County Mayo Buildings of Ireland: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage” Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  4. Jump up ^ “Extra € 2m funding of state cultural institutions.” 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  5. Jump up ^ Bernie Byron (16 December 2006). “Davitt Davitt grandson visiting the special exhibition”. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  6. ^ Jump up to: ab “Cross Cong to be transferred to Mayo”. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  7. Jump up ^ William Robert W. Wilde (1867). Lough Corrib, its beaches and islands: with notices of Lough Mask. Dublin: McGlashan and Gill. p. 192nd Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  8. Jump up ^ Hall, Mr & Mrs SC (1843). Ireland: its landscape, character, and c. III . England: How and Parsons. p. 368th
  9. Jump up ^ Edwin McGreal (5 April 2010). “Cross Cong” a symbol of what we can achieve “.” Retrieved 5 August, 2016.
  10. Jump up ^ Ken Sweeney (23 December 2011). “Shooting reveals contrasting lives in Ireland Real Downton Abbey”. 5 August, 2016.
  11. Jump up ^ “Gold hoard thrown skip appear”. October 20, 2011. Retrieved 5 August, 2016.