Orange Order celebrated in new £700,000 heritage centre
A new heritage centre in Limavady will serve as a "magnificent outreach base for Orangeism in the north west", a senior figure in the institution has said.
Orange Order grand master Edward Stevenson was speaking at the opening of the £700,000 facility at the weekend.
The impressive three-storey building includes a museum and features details of the early lodges and Orange halls as well as prominent figures within the institution locally.
Artefacts from 19th century Orangeism, the Home Rule period and both World Wars are among those on display.
Mr Stevenson described the transformation from the old district hall as "truly immense".
"Such preservation of cultural heritage through interpretation and creation of shared space will serve not only to inform, but also demystify perceptions, and create a better understanding of our institution," he said.
"This heritage centre will rightly take its place as part of the growing overall Orange product in Northern Ireland, complementing our now well-established Museums of Orange Heritage in both Belfast and Loughgall.
"It will also serve as a benchmark to our network of Orange halls across Northern Ireland and the border counties, as well as alongside the nearby Apprentice Boys' Siege Museum, promoting the loyal orders more generally in the north west."
Mr Stevenson also unveiled a memorial window in tribute to those Orangemen from the area who died during two World Wars and the Troubles.
Keith Thompson, one of the trustees, said: "This new building represents a major investment and a great optimism for the future."