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Cottages to Castles: Heritage Irish Lace-making & Afternoon Tea

Cottages to Castles: Heritage Irish Lace-making & Afternoon Tea

Join Rosie Finnegan-Bell, a fourth-generation Lace-maker at Killeavy Castle Estate Hotel on the slopes of the stunning Slieve Gullion for a truly special feel-good experience where Rosie will regale you with amazing lace stories from the local area and show you some of her beloved antique lace collection. Under Rosie’s expert guidance, you will have the opportunity to make your very own piece.  Relax and unwind further savouring luxury ‘Afternoon Tea’ .

Rosie Finnegan Bell is a gentle, warm-hearted soul with a BIG lace-making story to tell. As a proud Ring of Gullion, South Armagh native, Rosie and her fellow lace-makers continue a lace making tradition that began in Culloville village almost 200-years ago, garnering a reputation as the King of the Irish Laces and paving the way for the renowned Irish lace-making tradition of Carrickmacross Lace.

Throughout the last century, Culloville’s pioneering role in Ireland’s Carrickmacross Lace making industry has been largely forgotten and Rosie has made it her life’s ambition to change this and to share this intriguing story of female entrepreneurship.  Hear how Ireland’s first purpose-built lace school was founded in Culloville in the early 1830’s.  What began initially as a hobby for the local aristocracy and gentry, swiftly transformed into a thriving commercial enterprise providing local women with their own much-needed income which at the height of the tradition had 600-800 women making Carrickmacross lace in the wider Culloville/Crossmaglen area.  Learn how history disrupted this thriving industry in 1921 when partition separated Ireland into North and South and the impact on South Armagh’s lace-making industry.

Through this memorable, feel-good experience, join Rosie to see how the lace is made before trying your hand at the basic stitching technique to make your very own piece.

Highlights include:

  • Rosie Bell | 4th generation lace maker | champion of the revival of this beautiful traditional craft
  • The Lace | see the artistry of old lace patterns | learn their story | see antique lace samples | try the craft
  • Inspiration |the creative inspiration behind the craft
  • Untold Stories | local women | partition | Culloville | cross border dealing| papal & royal lace commissions
  • Rosie’s Family History | the ‘forget-me-not pattern piece’ | Rosie’s Great Grandmothers lace-maker story
  • Learn the basic techniques |make your own piece

Inclusions:  Tea/Coffee on arrival, Luxury Afternoon Tea, Lace-making Kits

Price – £90

Cottages to Castle Experience Dates: 27th Feb, 12thMarch & 26th March

 For more information and to book online go to:


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Event Details

Cottages to Castles: Heritage Irish Lace-making & Afternoon Tea takes place on February 27, 2022 until March 26, 2022.
It starts at 12:30pm and ends at 5:30pm.

Event Location

Killeavy Castle Estate
12 Ballintemple Road
BT35 8LQ
Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

Quick Contact

Ring of Gullion AONB
Crossmaglen Community Centre,
O’Fiaich Square,
BT35 9AA.

Tel: +44 (0)330 137 4898


Visitor Servicing and Attractions: 0330 137 4046

for any visitor servicing questions.

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