The Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, opened in 2006, is on St Laurence Street in Central Drogheda, housed in the building of the former early 19th century Franciscan Church and Friary.
The Church was gifted to the people of Drogheda in 2000, and then converted into one of the most important visual art spaces in Ireland, without altering its iconic exterior or losing any of its character.
Inside has been remodeled into a two level, open plan exhibition area that has since been used to show much early 20th century Irish art, with particular representation for the important women painters of the time. There are also many important 18th century pieces, including views of Drogheda by Italian artist Gabriele Ricciardelli.
Also held in the museum are the towns most prized possessions. King William III presented the Drogheda Corporation with a ceremonial sword and mace after the Battle of the Boyne. These swords were only presented to towns that had successfully withstood sieges. It is said that the mace King William gave Drogheda is one of the largest and most splendid in Ireland.
After the Gallery Board was able to raise more than €4 million through local and international funding and donations, at the time of renovation, most of the adjoining buildings were purchased for future development. Planning permission has now been granted to convert these properties into two more white cube galleries, environmentally controlled storage areas and an education centre.
The Gallery also offers a craft shop on site and a cafe that serves locally produced artisan food.