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Armagh Town - Market St

Busy street scene 1920

Armagh is the seat of both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic archbishop, the Archbishop of Armagh, both of whom hold the position of Primate of All Ireland for their respective denomination.


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Photo Details

  • County: Armagh
  • Town: Armagh City
  • Scene: Market St
  • Date: circa 1940


  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Armagh City below



Armagh City

Armagh (from the Irish: Ard Macha meaning 'The Height of Macha') is a city in Northern Ireland, the county town of County Armagh. Armagh was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, and City status was officially re-conferred in 1995 Armagh is the least populated city in Northern Ireland. It had a population of 14,590 people in the 2001 Census.

The city is home to Armagh Observatory, founded in 1790 and to the Armagh Planetarium established in 1968 to complement the research work of the Armagh Observatory. It has a Georgian area of heritage importance. Among the city's chief glories is the Public Library on Cathedral Hill, close to St Patrick's Church of Ireland cathedral. Founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson (later Lord Rokeby) using his own library as its nucleus, it is especially rich in 17th and 18th century English books, including Dean Jonathan Swift's own copy of the first edition of his Gulliver's Travels with his manuscript corrections.


  • The city is run by Armagh City and District Council, headquartered in Armagh, which covers a larger area than just the city, but not the entire county. Together with part of the district of Newry and Mourne, it forms the Newry & Armagh constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. The Member of Parliament is Conor Murphy of Sinn Féin, he is a former IRA prisoner and a member of the Sinn Féin negotiations team. He won the seat in the United Kingdom general election, 2005, after the retirement of long-serving SDLP MP Seamus Mallon.
  • The city has a long reputation as an administrative centre and currently located in the city is the headquarters of the Southern Education and Library Board and the Southern Health and Social Service Board.
  • The secretariat of the North-South Ministerial Council is based in Armagh, and consists jointly of members of the civil services of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Armagh is the seat of both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic archbishop, the Archbishop of Armagh, both of whom hold the position of Primate of All Ireland for their respective denomination.


  • Emain Macha or Navan Fort, at the edge of the City, has a genuine claim to be the oldest settlement in Ireland, dating back to Queen Macha in 600 BC. The Celtic Queen gave her name to the City - Ard Macha, meaning The Height of Macha, reflecting the fact that the City developed on the hill overlooking Navan Fort.
  • The claim that Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland dates back to the early fifth century when Saint Patrick established his principal Church in Ireland here. It is the historical center of the cultusof Saint Patrick, the centre of a network of congregations. According to the Annals of the Four Masters in AD 457:
  • Brian Boru is buried in the cemetery of the Anglican, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the principal church of the Church of Ireland. He is credited with driving the Norsemen out of Ireland in 1014.
  • It has also been an educational centre since the time of Saint Patrick, leading to it being known as the city of saints and scholars. Saint Patrick decreed that only those educated in Armagh could spread the gospel. The educational tradition was carried on with the foundation of The Royal School, Armagh in 1608. Generously assisted by Archbishop Robinson in the 18th century, the school, along with the Armagh Observatory, formed part of the Archbishops plan to have a university founded in the city. This ambition was finally fulfilled, albeit briefly, in the 1990s when Queen's University of Belfast opened an outreach centre in the former City Hospital building.
  • Armagh acquired rail links to Belfast in 1848, Monaghan in 1858, Newry in 1864 and Keady in 1909. The line to Newry was closed in 1933, and all other lines to Armagh were closed in 1957.
  • The Armagh rail disaster occurred on June 12, 1889 near Armagh on the line to Newry.

2001 Census

Armagh city is classified as a Medium Town by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 14,590 people living in Armagh. Of these:

  • 25.1 were aged under 16 years and 17.5 were aged 60 and over
  • 48.1 of the population were male and 51.9 were female
  • 68.3 were from a Catholic background and 30.2 were from a Protestant background
  • 5.1 of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.