Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that the homes and buildings, places and spaces that I, Archbishop Richard Robinson had planned and built would still be celebrated many centuries later in the Armagh Georgian Festival. Welcome to my Armagh and welcome to the 2018 Georgian Festival.
When I became Archbishop of Armagh (and Primate of AllIreland) in 1765 I vowed to make this a city worthy of being Ireland’s Christian capital. I became known as ‘The Builder of Armagh’. Some even called me ‘The Second Founder of Armagh’, after Saint Patrick himself.
The inscription over the entrance to Armagh Robinson Library means ‘The Healing Place of the Soul’ and I trust it remains so. Not only did I build it (it is now the oldest public library in Northern Ireland) but I donated my priceless collection of books, which can still be seen today.
Nearby is 5 Vicars’ Hill, another magnificent building of mine. It was built as the Diocesan Registry to house church records and now it is a visitor centre.
My greatest achievement? I love the Observatory where you can look through the oldest telescope in Ireland. It’s now next to something called a Planetarium where you can explore the heavens. Look out for me when you do. But perhaps you have already greeted me. In the atmospheric crypt beneath Saint Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, barely changed for 600 years, I lie beside my brother in the burial vault I built.
Enjoy my Armagh and enjoy your weekend at the festival
Richard Robinson (Baron Rokeby),
Archbishop of Armagh