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The Origins of Northern Ireland

From Plantation to Present Day

From Plantation to Present Day

about this session

Key Stage 3 | Areas of learning: Environment & Society: History, Language & Literacy, Citizenship, Personal & Mutual Understanding, Media Awareness| Topic: Plantation, Partition & Political Consequences | Session Type: Route-based

Uncover the origins and evolution of Northern Ireland through this guided tour of Hillsborough Castle.  Intrinsically linked to the politics of the day since it was built as a fort to garrison the road to Dublin, changes in the use of Hillsborough Castle mirror those in the political landscape of Britain, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. From Georgian family home with political ties to America, to Victorian family home with political and royal connections, to Government House, official royal residence and location for key political negotiations and agreements, Hillsborough Castle provides the perfect space to explore the consequences of plantation and partition and their ripple effects to the present day.

In this session pupils will explore these changes in the political landscape of Ireland/Northern Ireland through the changes to Hillsborough Castle and have the chance to investigate how some of these key events were represented in the press of the time through political cartoons.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Learn about events leading up to the Partition of Ireland e.g. Plantation.
  • Learn about some of the consequences of Partition and how these can be reflected in the changing use of Hillsborough Castle.
  • Learn about the changing role of Hillsborough Castle from Georgian family home to Government House, political building, and multi-purpose heritage site.
  • Learn how to interpret political cartoons and analyse their meaning.
  • Learn about Northern Irish history from partition to present day, and how this has shaped their own identities by exploring the microcosm of Hillsborough Castle’s development and evolution over time.

National Curriculum links

This session supports:

  • Development of historical enquiry skills.
  • Development of critical thinking skills.
  • Students to investigate the short and longer-term impacts of the Partition of Ireland up to the present day.
  • Investigating and evaluating the power of the media in their representation of significant historical/political events and how history can be selectively interpreted.
  • Understanding how historical events in Northern Irish history have shaped our culture, lifestyle, and identity.
  • Development of speaking and listening skills and presenting a persuasive argument.
  • Students working together, to find answers, reach a decision, and present their findings.

Booking Information

Thursday only
10.30, 13.00

75 minutes

Up to 30 students


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