Seamus Heaney Home

Seamus Heaney HomePlace Secures Sandford Award

Seamus Heaney HomePlace has, for the first time, secured a prestigious Sandford Award in recognition for excellence within heritage education.

The Sandford Awards focus on formal, curriculum-aligned and site-led heritage learning programmes that take place in the historic setting or natural environment and use the history and collections or natural resources of the site to engage, inform and inspire visitors.

Owned and operated by Mid Ulster District Council, Seamus Heaney HomePlace is an award-winning, purpose-built arts and literary centre which takes visitors on an inspiring journey through the life and work of Nobel Laureate Poet, Seamus Heaney. The formal schools’ programme, delivered by the Education Officer, Visitor Experience Guides and Creative Learning Officers, is focused on inspiring young people to explore poetry.

Commenting on the award win, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Dominic Molloy said:

“This is fantastic news for everyone at Seamus Heaney HomePlace and in particular, it is very pleasing that the Education team has gained this very deserving national recognition. HomePlace offers inspiration for our next generation of writers, across all levels from pre-school to third level students. The Education Officer and Creative Learning Officers focus on fun, educational and practical activities in order to introduce young people to Seamus Heaney’s poetry, and are to be commended for their passion, creativity, and attention to detail which this prestigious award recognises.”

The Sandford Award Assessor in her report noted that, “The Education staff at HomePlace, working in partnership with university staff and students, offers visitors of all ages locally, nationally and internationally a wealth of opportunities to identify with and appreciate the life and work of Seamus Heaney.”

“The schools’ programme delivers the curriculum and examination requirements in a way that inspires children and young people to be creative, to gain confidence in expressing themselves and for some, to aspire to be poets and writers themselves. The service continues to grow and develop with new sessions planned, including Forest School and further experiences at its Open Ground sites. Seamus Heaney HomePlace is thoroughly deserving of its first Sandford Award.”

To find out more about the education activities provided by Seamus Heaney HomePlace visit