Mabel Colhoun honoured with blue plaque at Tower Museum

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T he Ulster History Circle has commemorated educationalist, historian and archaeologist Mabel Remington Colhoun with a blue plaque.

It was unveiled at the Tower Museum on Friday, by her niece Kyleen Clarke.

The unveiling of the blue plaque at the Tower Museum will form the opening ceremony of an extensive exhibition of the artefacts of Mabel which over the last two years have, in conjunction with the Tower Museum, been catalogued by the West Inishowen History & Heritage Society.

Mabel Remington Colhoun was born in the city in 1905 to John Colhoun a prominent building contractor whose legacy can still be seen in the city to this day.

The family roots emanated from the Malin area of the Inishowen where for over forty years, Mabel in a voluntary capacity, researched and recorded the heritage in the Inishowen landscape.

She was a pioneering female involved with archaeology and was highly regarded within the profession at a time when many female archaeologists were not acknowledged.

Her very extensive published work – ‘The Heritage of Inishowen – its Archaeology, Heritage and Folklore’ is widely acclaimed, and too numerous to mention are her other works all of which are now kept with the Foyle College archive.

However, her field of interest was in education –once again ahead of her time when she established her own preparatory school in her home in Deanfield, located in the Waterside area of the City.

She was later in 1935, to become first principal of the preparatory department with the Londonderry High School where she worked as a teacher until her retirement in 1969.

As a teacher, she was described by former pupils as ‘gentle, kind and imaginative’. Mabel Remington Colhoun – a lady of many talents has left the City a great legacy by her work in Archaeology and in Education.

Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle, said: “Mabel Colhoun was an educationalist and a historian, and is renowned as a trailblazing archaeologist who devoted her life to the heritage of Inishowen.

“Twenty-five years after her death in 1992, the Ulster History Circle is delighted to commemorate this pioneering archaeologist with a blue plaque in her native City.

“The Circle would like to thank Mabel Colhoun’s family and the Tower Museum for their support towards the plaque.”