The Ballance House, the headquarters of the Ulster New Zealand Trust, is a restored 19th century heritage house in the tranquil rural countryside of Glenavy. It was the birthplace of John Ballance (b.1839) who went on to become the 14th Premier of New Zealand (1891-93); the first Prime Minister to successfully pioneer votes for women, 25 years before it was achieved in the UK. There is a blue plaque onsite commemorating John Ballance. Our guided tour will introduce you to our rejuvenated exhibition, featuring not only the story of John Ballance, but also other prominent people such as William Massey of Limavady, PM of New Zealand during WW1 and inspirational stories of local people. You will also see historical carved Maori artefacts and early photographs that showcase a unique cultural heritage. The Trust focuses on the history of relationships that exist between the province of Ulster and New Zealand. A story of restoration from the 1990s with a focus on preserving original features and a repurposing of original stones. The authentically restored 19th century Parlour will take you back in time with only natural light, open fire and oil lamps. The largest library in Ireland of New Zealand oriented books. Ulster rural life with original 19th century farming equipment, including a horse-walker. This unusual location can be visited during our public opening hours and is available to book for organisational events, group visits, private family events, meetings, workshops etc at any time of year.
The Ballance House & Tea Barn is open to the public on Sunday afternoons, 2 - 5 pm, from April to September. A visit includes a tour of the restored 19th century Parlour, the New Zealand Story 'Half a World Away From Here' Exhibition and our new 19th century Farm Machinery Display.
Book your visit at www.theballancehouse.com
April – September, every Sunday, 14:00 - 17:00
Group Tours can be booked all year round
Family occasions, meetings, workshops can be booked all year round
Special opening can be requested