side-area-logo
The Archbishop Robinson Trail

Welcome to my Armagh. There’s a reason this is one of the most beautiful of Georgian cities. Me!

When I became Archbishop of Armagh (and primate of all-Ireland) 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 St Patrick himself.

 

Is there a more delightful place than the Bishops Palace and Stables I created? As you wander its beautiful grounds or view the art exhibition in the Palace itself, imagine that I and the archbishops that followed me had this whole place to ourselves. Now we gladly share it with you.

When I arrived the famous Mall you see today was called the Commons and was used for boxing matches and horse racing and other unfortunate pursuits. Instead, I made it a place of walks for all the people of Armagh. Now you can enjoy its timeless elegance for yourself.

I restored St Patrick’s [Church of Ireland] Cathedral, one of the most famous in the world, and installed the magnificent organ you see today.

Armagh Robinson Trail
Armagh Robinson Trail

The inscription over Robinson’s 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 be seen today. Apparently, some people say that an original copy of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, with handwritten notes by Jonathan Swift, is even more important. You can judge for yourself.

Nearby is 5 Vicars’ Hill, another magnificent building of mine. It was built as the Diocesan Registry to house church records, now it is a visitor centre. You will discover ancient coins, early Christian artefacts, prints, gems and medals. There are something called touch screens apparently, where you can find out all about Armagh. You can also see the famous Armagh Ogham Stone, early Bronze Age objects and much else.

 

 

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 St Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, barely changed for 600 years, I lie beside my brother in the burial vault I built. Come and say hello.

Enjoy my Armagh!

And remember me when you visit the Armagh Georgian Festival

Richard Robinson (Baron Rokeby), Archbishop of Armagh