So how did the Museum come about?
The Martello tower stands on the site of a former motte castle of the St. Lawrence Estate. It is also said to have been the site of the original Howth Castle. The museum gets its name from a comment made by the late Seán Lemass (former Taoiseach) while visiting the radio studios of Radio Éireann in Dublin. He referred to the radio service as “the old hurdy-gurdy” as whilst on his visit to the studios the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (then known as the Radio Éireann Light Orchestra) was tuning up… and the sound was reminiscent of a ‘hurdy-gurdy’.
The museum first opened in 2003, Pat Herbert, the curator, had been looking for a suitable premises to display his vast collection of radios, gramophones and other radio-related paraphernalia. Fingal County Council offered the recently refurbished Martello Tower to Pat for use as a museum. Pat maintains the museum as a labour of love. It is not run as a commercial enterprise. He enthusiastically gives of his time voluntarily, purely for the pleasure and enjoyment he derives from it. He is joined in his efforts by a team of volunteers, who all provide tours and introductions to the collection.
From May to October the museum is open daily
11am until 4pm.
During the months of November to April
the Hurdy Gurdy is open only on
Saturday & Sunday 11am until 4pm.
Admission is charged to Adults & Students/OAP’s, but children are admitted free.
Click on the map to enlarge
To see more pictures of the museum and its collection see here.
Check out this excellent video for a ‘flight’ over Howth that includes our Martello Tower.
To contact the museum email: firstname.lastname@example.org