Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre

When you step into the world of Belleek Pottery, you enter one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Original and unique pieces are made using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation.

Established in 1857, Belleek Pottery holds a very special place in the cultural and commercial heritage of County Fermanagh. Nestling on the banks of the River Erne, this imposing building is home to the world famous Belleek Fine Parian china and also to one of Ireland's top five visitor attractions.



Tours have been coming to Belleek Pottery for decades. Discover the secrets that have made Belleek Pottery one of the most enduring success stories of Irish Ccaftmanship with a visit to its award winning visitor centre. The building, which up until 1988 was used to produce Belleek, has since been refurbished internally and features a museum, tearoom, video theatre and showroom.

Upon entering the centre, our guests will first see one of the oldest and most prestigious pieces of Belleek ever made. It is called the Belleek International Centre Piece and was displayed at the Paris Exhibition in the year 1900, where it was awarded its fourth gold medal.

Pottery Tour
Amazingly, visitors have been coming to Belleek Pottery since 1857. Experience the life and times of Ireland's oldest pottery. Watch closely and see how the techniques, developed over 158 years, are still being used today, producing some of the most sought after gift and tableware in the world today.

Whilst admission to the visitor centre is free, there is a small charge for the guided pottery tour, which runs every twenty minutes (see Visitor Centre Opening Hours for pottery tour details).



Mould Making
The first area to visit is Mould Making. Once a new Belleek product design has been approved and a working drawing produced, the process moves on to mould making. This involves the creation of a product master mould that will be used to produce working moulds for each products manufacturing process.

Casting Department
Following on from the mould making area, you will be brought into the Casting Department (see Virtual Tour). Here you will see how liquid casting slip is poured into the plaster of paris working mould and allowed to sit for two or three minutes before being emptied out.

Flowering & Basketweave Shop
Our next stop will be in the floral and basket making department, for which Belleek is world famous. Here we look on in awe as our craftspeople weave the intricate strands for the baskets, and painstakingly create beautiful flowers - leaf by leaf, stem by stem and petal by petal. Every piece produced in this area is truly original and no two pieces are the exact same.



Kiln Area
After the craftsmen have completed fettling each piece, they are brought through to the kiln area to be fired. First firing is for 24 hours at 1200 degrees centigrade. During this firing, there is a uniform shrinkage of 14% due to evaporation of water. The piece changes colour and is now known as biscuit ware.

Paint Shop
On leaving the kilns area, our groups will be greeted by the fresh essence of the many paints and fat oils that are used each day in the adornment of many of the Belleek products. The varied shades of pastel colours are visible on the workbenches of the decoration staff, as they apply colour with every careful brushstroke - you never know, you might even be asked to paint a little yourself!

Belleek Tea Room
Whilst on a visit to Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre, we invite you to relax after the tour in our Belleek Tea Room, which is situated just to the right as you enter the Visitor Centre. The Belleek Tea Room is open in line with the Visitor Centre (the opening times are shown here), and seats approximately 90 guests at any one time.

Our Tea Room is self service and includes a hot and cold food counter, where you can choose from the many delights on offer and take directly to your table.


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