The definition of Économusée is ‘working museum’- more recognisable as Artisans at work.
The Économusée concept was developed in Québec and involves partners from Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Économusée project provides a network for artisans to develop and combine culture, craft and tourism, creating an economic interacting platform from which these artists can encourage the promotion and development of traditional crafts, involving local communities and creating new job opportunities, in some instances allowing younger family members to share, develop and enhance the crafts and techniques of their ancestors.
In Phase II the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT) launched three Économusée workshops: Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Scullion Hurls in Loughgiel and Steenson’s Jewellers in Glenarm. By visiting the Économusée artisan workshops, tourists and locals will gain an enhanced experience, learn about the history of the craft and the business, the enthusiasm of the artist along with the added opportunity of meeting the artisans face to face and discovering the beauty and authenticity of the products made and sold onsite.
Phase III of the Économusée project began in April 2015 and was funded by Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020.
Between April 2015 and March 2018 Phase III, namely Craft Reach, built on the success and on the experience gained from Économusée Craft International (Phase II) to develop new Economusée artisans in the Causeway Coast and Glens area. There are currently 80 artisans across these 8 countries.
The main objective is to develop services to support and foster local small businesses in order for them to not only survive, but to prosper.
Within Phase III Ursa Minor Bakehouse Ballycastle, Broughgammon Farm, Ballycastle and Hillstown Brewery, Ahoghill were selected in August 2015 to join the Network and were officially launched as an Économusée in 2017.
With financial assistance from both Causeway Coast & Glens and Mid & East Antrim Borough Councils and Tourism NI, CCGHT were able to work with North Coast Smokehouse in Ballycastle and Hot Milk Forge in Martinstown in 2019 to develop them as the seventh and eighth Économusée in N.Ireland.
The eight workshops are open all year round with artisans offering tailored individual and pre-booked group tours and are an ideal suitable wet weather attraction.
Each Économusée artisan has their own story to share; this is illustrated with storyboards, carefully mapped throughout the workshops to capture the journey, the history, craft and skill of the artist.
The Économusée network offer business support and training to help these small rural artisans to grow and maintain a reasonable income from their craft whilst promoting cultural heritage and sustaining traditional skills. Find each of the 8 Économusée artisan brochures here
Nestled among the yellow fields of Oilseed rape in Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will find Broglasco Farm, home of Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil. Behind every bottle is a wealth of history. This local product, grown on the field where the Broighter Hoard was found, along with the colour of the cold pressed oilseed rape gives the product a brand image.
The Broighter Hoard or now more commonly known as the Broighter Gold, is a hoard of gold artifacts from the Iron Age of the 1st century BC found in 1896 in a field close by Broglasco Farm. The hoard included a 7-inch-long (18 cm) gold boat, a gold torc and bowl and other jewellery
At the Broighter Gold ÉCONOMUSÉE workshop, both Leona and Richard work hard all year to produce a premium product. Come and uncover the process involved in the production of the award-winning Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil. Upon your arrival to the Broighter Gold workshop you will see the oilseed rape transformed into a crystal clear golden liquid. Wander through the exhibition area and explore the historical connection to the Broighter Hoard and discover the Characteristics of Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil.
Learn more about the inspiration behind Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil and the local restaurants that use the Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil in their restaurants.
Take home a bottle of award winning Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil and enjoy all the health benefits in the comfort of your own kitchen. Why not treat yourself or surprise someone with a locally produced gift. There is something for all to enjoy.
Monday- Wednesday 10am-5pm
Thursday & Friday 10am-1pm
Saturday- Bookings only
ALL GROUP VISITS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE VIA EMAIL OR TELEPHONE (Fees apply)
Facilities: Parking available, toilets, no pets allowed.
Scullion Hurls is a family run business located in the village of Loughguile, at the edge of the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Scullion family invite you to visit the workshop and experience the craftsmanship involved in hurl making.
On arrival at the Scullion Hurls ÉCONOMUSÉE you will receive a warm welcome from the Scullion family.
Watch Micheál and Denis take the time to produce a Scullion hurl focusing on quality and finally hand finishing the hurl in the Loughguile workshop. Explore the exhibition area to learn about the history of hurling, the process involved in making a Scullion hurl and the family connection behind the business.
Come along and experience the Scullion Hurls production process and learn what inspired the Scullion family to start up the family business producing hurls and more about the local teams that use a Scullion hurl.
Why not explore the gift shop and treat yourself or surprise someone with a Scullion hurl or one of the many craft products made from the surplus ash. These include Cheeseboards, clocks, photo hurls, keyrings, pens and other personalised gift items.
Group bookings should be arranged by phoning in advance.
Facilities: Car parking, toilet, no pets allowed.
Steensons Jewellers are located in the village of Glenarm, nestled in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For three decades the Steensons have been hand crafting their distinctive jewellery in the picturesque village of Glenarm, the first of the Glens of Antrim, along the famous Causeway Coastal Route.
Steensons was established by husband and wife team Bill and Christina Steenson after they graduated in Silversmithing from the University of Ulster. They brought an imaginative and fresh approach to jewellery in Ireland, putting their strong contemporary designs on show and to their delight found that visitors loved them.
Having enjoyed nearly forty years at the bench, Bill and Christina have handed over the reins to daughter Brona . Brona graduated from the Art college and joined the family business as a trainee in 2001. Her passion for strong design and enthusiasm for integrating new technologies with the traditional craft techniques sets her in good stead for carrying Steensons into the future.
From atmospheric landscape pieces in the seventies, bold geometrics of the eighties, minimalist nineties, to the softer organic feel of the new millennium, the ethos of the business remains as strong today as it was then, to be innovative in design whilst producing the highest standard of craft.
Visitors can watch the Goldsmiths at work using traditional techniques and cutting edge technology, forming elegant contemporary designs from silver, gold, platinum and precious gems.
Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the art of jewellery making, the rich historical design heritage, the origins of gemstones, the link to the American hit tv series “The Game of Thrones”and more.
Opening Hours: Monday- Saturday 9am-5pm
Group bookings should be arranged by phoning in advance.
Tel: (028) 2884 1445
Broughgammon Farm located just outside the seaside town of Ballycastle is a forward thinking family farm with a deep rooted
drive for sustainability. It is this ethos that has led Broughgammon to specialise in kid-goat, free range rose veal and seasonal wild game.
These are traditionally craft butchered here on the farm into a range of artisan products. They are available direct from the farm-shop, face to face
at farmer’s markets, from the street food trailer, online, or from restaurants, shops and delis further afield.
It is their dedication and drive to their ‘forward thinking’ sustainable ethos that has made them award winning and brought the ‘farm to fork’ local food experience into the future.
The Broughgammon story began when Robin and Millie Cole took over the farm in 2002, as an idyllic smallholding to retire to. The Coles
built their eco-friendly farmhouse here in 2006. The Cole’s eldest son, Charlie, returned to Broughgammon in 2011 to run the farm
commercially, with the same environmental and sustainable credentials. The farm is still run by two generations of the family – Robin and Millie, son Charlie and his wife Becky.
The Cole family welcome tours and encourage visitors to stop off at their farm to hear what inspired them to produce goat meat and discover the craftsmanship involved in the butchery process.
Shut Weekends and Monday
50 Straid Road,
The Hillstown story began four generations ago. This 150-acre farmland is on a small settlement called Hillstown, where the Logan family have lived and worked for generations.
The family set up the shop here in 2006, stocking it with as much produce as possible from the farm itself. Meat in the shop travels the bare minimum of food miles, as the butchery counter is stocked entirely from the farm. The onsite café also uses farm produce in many dishes. The Logans are keen to keep the business local, and source other retail products in this area. Hillstown also sells its own meat online.
By supporting other local producers, and creating employment in the area, Hillstown aims to bring their community along on the journey. Hillstown’s craft beer business began with Japanese cattle. A tour of the onsite brewery will explain how beef led naturally to beer.
As well as beef cattle, Hillstown farms rare-breed pigs (Saddlebacks, Gloucester Old Spot and Middle White), sheep and free-range chickens. The farm shop also stocks seasonal turkey and duck.
Visitors might also spot the resident llamas. They help to keep foxes away from the free-range chickens’ field.
You might be surprised to find a thriving craft brewery tucked in behind the traditional farmhouse here at Hillstown.
A brewery among the cattle sheds is an unusual pairing, but its the heart of what Hillstown Brewery is all about – creating craft beer that pairs with food.
Having diversified meat production to include one premium food, wagyu-style beef, Hillstown now produces two artisan products – beef and craft beer.
The link between the two products might not be immediately obvious! Why would a beef farmer need great volumes of beer? The answer is simple – to produce the finest quality wagyu-style beef.
Please contact the brewery to arrange your tour
The Ursa Minor story began on the other side of the world. Founders Ciara and Dara O hArtghaile discovered delights like sourdough loaves and friands while living for a year in New Zealand. They returned home to Ballycastle determined to keep those tastes alive. Inspired by New Zealand’s café culture, the duo set about bringing fresh, seasonal bread and sweet bakes to Northern Ireland’s north coast.
Both are self-taught bakers. Dara learned how to create sourdough by trial and experimentation, investigating flavour combinations to feed to friends and family, until he felt he had mastered the craft. Before founding Ursa Minor, Ciara had been baking all her life at home with her family. She now specialises in sweet bakes, in particular her adored friands, first tasted in New Zealand.
This husband and wife team, Dara and Ciara, were both raised on the north coast. They looked to their home town of Ballycastle when they became serious about their potential artisan bakehouse.
The duo founded Ursa Minor in 2014, producing small batches of hand-crafted bread and patisserie.
The bakehouse is a lifestyle business for the couple, involving extended family and the local community. Keen to keep the business on a sustainable scale, the finished products have very low transport miles and are exclusively available in this area of the north coast.
Ursa Minor, which is Latin for little bear, refers to the name the couple gave their son before he was born. Naming the bakehouse in his honour hints at the family roots of this artisan business.
The name also reveals the couple’s starry hopes for the business. Ursa Minor is a constellation that includes the brightest star in the sky – the North Star.
Tuesday- Saturday 10am-4pm
45 Ann Street
Tel: 004479 5519 2389
Ruairidh Morrison & Melanie Brown met each other half way around the world in New Zealand. Ruairidh is from the Scottish Hebridean Isle of Islay, visible from the coast here, and Melanie is from Ballycastle.
They instantly saw in each other a fellow soul from the ancient sea-faring Kingdom of Dalriada, which encompasses the North Coast of Co. Antrim, the Scottish Islands and part of the Scottish mainland. Both share a deep sense of belonging to its breath-taking landscapes and an appreciation of the simplicity that can be found here (if you know where to look).
They made a conscious decision to return here to be closer to family and to raise their children. They saw it as the perfect opportunity to start our own business and bring something new to the area.
Ruairidh always had a notion he’d like to have a salmon-smoking business. It seemed like the obvious next step after managing salmon farms in Scotland and New Zealand, followed by time working in a fish pathology laboratory. He learned how to smoke food in New Zealand where it is relatively common. Enthusiastic friends and dinner guests encouraged him to believe that his home-smoked salmon was worth selling. So, North Coast Smokehouse was born!
Generally open weekdays—sometimes out collecting fish or making deliveries so please ring ahead to avoid disappointment. (Weekends by appointment)
Tours and workshops by appointment.
Please contact us to arrange your visit or check our website for details of events.
3/61 Leyland Road
Tel: +44 (0)78 3540 3340 / +44 (0)78 3540 3339
Hot Milk Forge is a Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing School based in Glenravel, the gateway to the infamous Glens of Antrim. Following years of travelling and working abroad Eamon Higgins, a renowned artist and blacksmith returned to his family’s farm to establish the forge in 2003. Hot Milk Forge runs evening, weekend and day classes in basic to advanced Artist Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing. Evening classes are open to everyone above the age of 16.
Participants are encouraged to learn the traditional skills not just because the celebration of wrought iron work is a worthy idea but also because only blacksmithing can introduce you to the full potential of steel as a creative medium. At Hot Milk Forge blacksmiths weld with fire, not electricity. Imagine making your own fire side set, wrought iron gate, gifts for your partner, sculpture…. the list goes on.
By Appointment only,
Weekend, Day and Evening Classes in Black/Bladesmithing and
Bowmaking can be booked via the website www.hotmilkforge.com
22 Lisnamanny Road, Martinstown
Ballymena BT43 6QH
For more information on the Économusée project, the project partners and the Économusee artisans worldwide visit www.economusee.eu