The White House Heritage Centre
School Education Programme

Welcome to The White House

The White House has stood quietly in Whitehouse Park witnessing the changes of the past four hundred years Including the development of its near neighbour Belfast. It has seen the growth and demise of the local textile Industry and the changes from a rural landscape to an urban townscape. It has had many uses over the years as well as periods of neglect and dereliction. It has been a dwelling house, farm outbuildings, a Gospel Hall and now has a new role as a vibrant heritage centre.

The White House Is the oldest building in Newtownabbey. Records show that this fortified dwelling or bawn was built sometime during the 16th century. Its most famous visitor was probably King William III who landed at Carrickfergus on the 14th June 1690 at the start of the Williamite/Jacobite Campaign. His army landed at the ancient quay near The White House and set up camp, William rode from Carrickfergus along the strand to The White house where he met with his military officers.

The Exhibition at the White House aims to tell the story of this wonderful old building and highlight its place In the history of Newtownabbey, and indeed the history of Ireland.

The White House Education Programme aims to support the Northern Ireland KS2 and KS3 Curriculum by providing a range of practical experiences and learning opportunities.

Whilst mainly focusing on 'The World Around US' at KS2 and 'Environment and Society' at KS3, the programme will also Integrate learning across the other curriculum areas making relevant and appropriate connections wherever possible.

By engaging in active learning contexts, children will also have opportunities to develop:

School Visits
Educational visits to the White House will be supported by a pre-visit unit available from this site.

Learning Intentions are central to the pre-visit unit and are specified for each activity. Teachers may choose to adjust and adapt these learning Intentions to suit the learning needs of their students. The pre-visit unit provides a mix of information and activities which will enable students to engage with the history and location of The White House before their visit. There are options for differentiated activities within the unit and teachers are welcome to adapt materials themselves.

"This was a fantastic educational experience for my class" Year 7 - Whitehouse Primary School

Curriculum Links

During their visit to The White House, students are learning:

• to ask questions and respond to questions and to contribute comments
• develop thoughts, feelings and opinions
• share Ideas and respond to them
• to observe and engage with visual information sources- both moving and static.

The World Around Us
During their visit to The White house, students are learning:

• about the impact of people over time on a place H
• that some buildings have been used in the past for different purposes H
• about the ways people may conserve and change the environment, especially when preserving a building like The White house G
• that buildings need conservation/preservation H
• how the materials in a place influence the buildings H
• how the use of materials relates to their properties S&T.

H - History, G -Geography, S&T-Science and Technology.


Whitehouse Education Leaflet (the above information in download/print format)

Booking Forms:

School booking form School booking form


Education Officer Bio


Members area (username and password needed):

Click here to enter the pre-visit area


For Smaller coaches via the northern entrance of Whitehouse Park, beside St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church. Parking is available at the White House.

For larger coach parties via Macedon Point, in Hazelbank Park, and walk via Gideon’s Green.

A member of the White House can meet visitors at Macedon Point and start the tour from there. The White House stands on the foreshore of Belfast Lough

The White House
Whitehouse Park
Co. Antrim
BT37 9SQ

Chicester Castle Castle Lugg Carrickfergus Castle


Should you have any queries please contact our education Officer, Mary Watson via email or telephone:

Telephone: 028 9080 1690

Subject Specific Skills
During their visit to The White House, students are learning:
• how evidence is used to find out about the past (in particular, the story of the Williamite/Jacobite campaign and the importance of The White House in the early history of Plantation in Ulster).
• how to begin to distinguish fact from opinion
• how to appreciate different points of view
• how to interpret maps, plans and diagrams.

Post Visit Follow Up
Following your visit, you may decide to follow up with an extended unit related to the visit or supporting another curriculum area.

Opening Times
School visits will normally be accommodated
during the mornings and will have sole use of The
White House.

£2 per child, teachers will go free. There will be gifts on sale and we would ask that spending is limited to £2.00 per child.