Derry City & Strabane - Sion Stables




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Sion Stables

Herdmans Flax-Spinning Mill was built in 1835 by the brothers James, John & George Herdman from Belfast. Sion Mills was chosen as a rural area of high employment and with enormous waterpower. The Herdmans’ vision was to create a moral, God-fearing, temperate, educated, non-sectarian community around a flax-spinning business in the northwest of Ireland which was a prolific flax-growing area.  They built a model village, a school, churches, recreational and sporting facilities and succeeding in creating a community where everyone, of both religious traditions, has lived, gone to school and worked together happily over the past 170 years and 5 generations of the Herdman family.

The museum exhibitions bring alive the stories of the mill-owners, the mill-workers and the production of Irish Linen. Take time to marvel at the sample of the first flax spun in the Mill on 15th November 1835 or explore our extensive collection of linen including the famous William & Mary table cloth. Learn about lesser known uses of linen such as its use in aeroplane wings during WWI. 

Village life plays a key role in our exhibition. Sion Mills has a proud sporting heritage with cricket, bowls, football and tennis all being a part of daily life. The Holme field famously saw Ireland beat the West Indies in 1969 and holds the world record for the longest match ball hit when a cricket ball landed in a trains goods wagon and was transported to Derry…

This is a non-guided facility with an opportunity to view the exhibits at your leisure. Recommended time for the facility is approximately sixty minutes. 

Contact – Celia Ferguson

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