Killybegs, Donegal, Ireland
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 4¾ Hours
Meals not included
Situated on the banks of the River Erne in Northern Ireland, Belleek first started producing fine porcelain china in the middle of the 19th century. Young apprentices and capable workmen were to be found locally but Robert Armstrong, a company partner, knew that the pottery's success hinged on talented craftsmen and experienced potters, so he sought them in England. Offering high wages and a better lifestyle, he brought back 14 craftsmen from Stoke-on-Trent to produce high quality domestic ware -- pestles, mortars, washstands, hospital pans, floor tiles, telegraph insulators and tableware. Making porcelain took advantage of the area’s available mineral wealth. Visiting Belleek today is like taking a step back in time, as the methods and techniques developed by the very first craftsmen are still followed.
A presentation in the audiovisual theater takes you through the production process before your guided tour begins. Walk through the casting, fettling and flowering workshops to see how craftsmen design, mold and shape the parian. Learn how the intricate strands of the basketware are woven together using techniques passed down from generation to generation. You will see how tiny petals, stems and twigs are created by hand and discover the secret that gives Belleek Parian China its distinctive pearly glow.
Pass through the furnace area and ends in the painting rooms where the delicate colors of nature are artfully applied.
Afterwards, visit the showroom to purchase a memento of your visit form the fine array of Belleek’s products if you wish.
Drive through the countryside of both northern and southern Ireland to return to Donegal, stopping in Donegal town for some free time.
From Donegal, you will drive back to Killybegs and return to the ship.