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Georgian Window Dressing

As you stroll through Armagh’s streets this Christmas, keep an eye out for some of the Georgian themed window dressings, featuring many of the city’s finest Georgian buildings and features, etched by artist Rachel Devlin.

Rachel Devlin is Fine Art graduate, artist, illustrator & designer-maker based in Belfast. With over 25+ years working in freelance art & design, creating illustration for regional magazines, packaging, branding, event & exhibition design, theatre & costume design, Rachel Devlin Illustration was launched in July 2020.

Rachel has her own range of greeting cards, art, prints, homewares & wedding stationery through her business ‘arbee* stationery & design’, founded in 2010, selling to customers all over the world online and with a permanent market stall at the award-winning St George’s Market in Belfast.

Known now as The Palace, this magnificent building presides over on 300 acres of parkland and is located a short stroll from Armagh city centre. The building served as primary residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh for over two hundred years, from 1770 to 1975.

The Palace was built when then Archbishop Richard Robinson sought to relocate the principal residence of the archbishops from Drogheda. Architect Thomas Cooley undertook the design of the initial building and Francis Johnston was responsible for designing an additional floor at a later stage. It now houses the Council offices and an outstanding art collection by renowned artist JB Vallely.  Small guided tours of the Palace are available as part of the Georgian Christmas celebrations.

The Armagh Observatory, founded in 1789 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, is a modern scientific research institute with a rich heritage. The historic Grade A listed main Observatory building plays host to around 25 astronomers researching Solar-System Astronomy, Solar Physics, Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics, and Solar System Earth relationships. It maintains the longest daily climate series in the UK and Ireland, one of the longest from a single site in the world. The Observatory will be hosting the Space Lights: Outdoor Light Trail for all to enjoy,

The former Gaol is Grade B+ listed and stands impressively on the south side of the Mall, a beautiful urban park. Built principally between 1780 and 1852, Armagh Gaol was largely designed by two of Ireland’s most important architects, Francis Cooley and William Murray. The Gaol has been described as a “handsome three-storey fourteen-bay building of coursed conglomerate with rusticated limestone quoins”.

At the northern end of the Mall stands Armagh Courthouse which remains in active use. It originally dates from 1809, and was designed by local Francis Johnston, who later became one of Ireland’s most famous architects.

The east side of the Mall is lined with handsome Georgian terraces including Charlemont Place, designed by local Francis Johnston and William Murray in the Georgian style. They were built between 1827 and 1830.

This long grassy expanse east of Armagh’s centre was a horse-racing, cock-fighting and bull-baiting venue until the 18th century, when Archbishop Robinson decided that it was all a tad vulgar for a city of learning, and transformed it into an elegant Georgian park. It’s flanked by notable buildings, including Armagh Courthouse, Armagh Gaol, and Georgian terraces, including Charlemont Place. The histories and stories behind the facades of these amazing Georgian buildings will be revealed on one of the many guided walking tours taking place during the Christmas in Georgian Armagh festivities.