All posts by Richard

September Meeting

Next week, we will be resuming our monthly activities with a talk in our new venue: Armagh Observatory.

It will take place on Wednesday 8 September in the Observatory library at 7:30pm.

Our speaker this month will be member Gerry Oates, who will be discussing ‘Celibacy in the Church in the late Middle Ages’.

Because Covid restrictions still apply and to ensure the safety and peace of mind of all, we will be taking appropriate measures, as follows:

Names and contact numbers will be recorded for all attendees.

Once inside the building, all attendees must wear masks (unless exempt).

Chairs will be laid out one metre apart. Members of the same household may sit closer together, but must be one metre away from other attendees. This means that we will have limited capacity and once the room is filled, then no further admission. For this reason and until further notice, the meeting will be for members only.

Attendees to remain seated.

To maintain fresh airflow, doors will be kept open, so dress up warmly.

Unfortunately there can be no tea/coffee.

At the end of the talk, our Chairperson will direct an orderly exit (row by row).

Finally, we would prefer that only those who are double-vaccinated attend.

I hope that you will understand the reasons behind these precautions and that everyone will feel comfortable on the night.

If you are unfamiliar with access to the Observatory, please note that there are two carparks. Less able visitors can park at the top of the hill next to the main building. The other carpark is signposted as you make your way from the Mall entrance.

Back Issues Of The Magazine

We have a number of back copies of the magazine available to view online:

History Armagh Vol. 5, No. 2 (2022) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 5, No. 1 (2021) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 4, No. 4 (2020) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 4, No. 3 (2019) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 4, No. 2 (2018) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 3, No. 4 (2016) Contents
History Armagh Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015) Currently Unavailable
History Armagh Vol. 3, No. 2 (2014) Contents

June Meeting

For our last meeting of the year, we have arranged an outdoor event, a walking tour, which will allow us to meet in person at long last. It will take place on Wednesday 16 June at 7pm, starting from the Church of Ireland Cathedral.

The tour is in two parts, each 45 minutes long, and will be guided by members Stephen Day and Mary McVeigh. It is open to History Group members only. Members can choose to take part in one walk or both. The second part will involve more walking.  The arrangements are as follows:

First Part of Tour: 45 minutes

Many thanks toCarol Conlin and Dean Shane Forster, who kindly arranged access for the group for this part of the tour.

1. Stephen Day will host the event and guide the group during their time on ‘the Hill’.

2. Participants should arrive in the grounds of the Church of Ireland Cathedral and gather outside the West door (opposite No5 Vicars’ Hill) at 7pm. The gates to the Cathedral will be open and participants can park in the grounds. The grounds will remain open until 9pm. Participants can leave their vehicles there so long as they are finished and away by 9pm when the gates are locked.

3. The small gate to the beautiful walled gardens will also be open to our group during this time.

4. The tour will take in the grounds of the Cathedral and provide a brief history of events on the Hill and the surrounding countryside over the centuries. The 360 degree views provide an ideal background and a brief history of the building itself will be included, although we will not be going into the Cathedral on this occasion. Having completed a circuit of the Cathedral grounds, we will have a walk through the four small walled gardens which are arguably at their best at this time of year.

5. The tour of the ancient Hill will take about 45 minutes.

6. If the weather is very bad we have permission to have a tour of the old Registry/Museum at No5 Vicars’ Hill subject to Covid Regulations which apply on that day. The Museum is currently compliant with existing Regulations and has been re-opened to the public since 25th May.

Second Part of Tour: 45 minutes

1. Mary McVeigh will guide the group along a short route on the west side of Armagh city – basically the western approaches to the two Cathedrals, including Callan Street and Cathedral Road via the site of the old Convent. Participants will be able to view a beautiful cross-community mural en route, as well as the site of the old gasworks, the old windmill and the line (now a road) which the old railway from Armagh to Castleblayney took along the valley.

2. Good walking footwear is recommended, especially for Mary’s tour as we will be returning to vehicles at the Cathedral via a steep hill.

3. Wet weather gear is recommended, even if it is only umbrellas and that they are kept in reserve in vehicles.

It would be much appreciated if members could confirm their attendance so that we can estimate the size of the group. Please contact Catherine Gartland: e-mail

I hope you will be able to make it.

May Meeting Now Available on You Tube

This meeting was held on Zoom on Wednesday, 19th May at 7:00 p.m.

The speaker was Sharon Oddie Brown, Sharon is a regular visitor to Armagh from Canada in her research into the Jackson family and has spoken to the Armagh History Group on a number of occasions in the past. Her website The Silver Bowl contains a wealth of information covering a wide range of families that connect to the Jackson family.

Her talk is now available on our YouTube channel at 

This is how she describes her talk:

Eliza Jackson
Eliza Jackson

“This sometimes-irreverent tour of The Letters and Papers of Eliza Jackson née Oliver (1815-1903) will begin by describing how I came to find more than seventy of her letters from several sources. The earliest letter is from 1860 and the last one was dictated by Eliza to a niece in 1902 when Eliza was 87 years old and totally blind. She covered a range of topics – including her faith, her family, her life on the farm, the price of turnips, her (fervent) politics and her frequent concerns over money.
Eliza was a daughter of a farmer and a wife of a farmer, both in rural Armagh, but she was also, in her own way, a Renaissance woman, one who was ahead of her time.
Her letters describe her life and attitudes, but they also shed light on the lives of other women in her class, time and place, women who have often been unseen in the dark corners of Irish history.
Her letters also challenge us to reflect on some of the issues that we continue to face today”
If you would like to receive a link to the talk, please contact Catherine Gartland at:

Our 2020 Magazine is now Available

The front cover

Now in the local shops and other outlets the latest copy of History Armagh is now on sale.

Inside the City of Armagh and around the surrounding countryside, articles from blow-ins and locals illustrate many aspects of the local history, heritage and culture. A full list of contents appears below.

Armagh County Museum -Flickr Account

Although the museum like everywhere else is closed the staff are still busy digging up and showing off our past.

They’ve just made over 200 photos from our archive available online for your enjoyment. Follow the link below to explore our Flickr account which will be added to over the next few weeks…

Armagh County Museum Flickr Account

This photo is from the Scott collection and shows a Royal School cadet band member with Dr. Hector Deane (right), 11 May 1965.

The photo appears courtesy of Armagh County Museum.