Over the weekend we took the opportunity to visit the F.E. McWilliam Gallery in Banbridge as we were on a trip up north to visit the hubby’s family. The gallery is situated just off the first exit into Banbridge as you travel on the Motorway from Dublin to Belfast, making it really easy to stop over, coupled with the fact it has a great café and tourist information centre on location.
Celebrating the work of Banbridge born sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, (1909 – 1992), the gallery was built in 2008 to house the contents of his studio and numerous sculptures, which his estate bequeathed to the council in Banbridge after his death.
The gallery also houses current exhibitions which are listed on their main website https://visitarmagh.com/places-to-explore/f-e-mcwilliam-gallery/
McWilliam’s sculptures are on display in the purpose built garden. His studio sits as the centrepiece to the space, having been recreated to house the contents of his original studio in London. Inside there are a multitude of small sculptures; while next door you can see a recreation of his workspace and the tools he used to create his work.
Even in the rain the sculptures are stunning, each occupying their own space, divided by box hedges and defined pathways.
If you don’t fancy braving the rain, the floor to ceiling glass windows in the cafe over look the sculpture garden, creating the illusion of being in the garden, while sipping your coffee.
A well conceived and executed space to visit on many levels, from a local café to a tourist stop over, which is easily accessible. A definite must visit if you are near Banbridge.