The city of Armagh has many
of Georgian architecture designed by a native of the city Francis
Johnston, who was also responsible for many of the buildings in
Dublin. Much use is made of the local limestone called 'Armagh marble'
which is an exceptionally fine building material its colour and
hue is said to improve with age, it is to be seen all around the
town, the courthouse and the Archbishops Palace are two good examples,
not forgetting the Catholic cathedral.
St Patrick built a
stone church on the hill now occupied by the Anglican cathedral,
he appears to held Armagh close to his heart he called Armagh 'my
sweet hill'. Armagh is regarded as the spiritual capital of Ireland
and both the Protestant and Catholic archbishops have their seat
there. The two cathedral's stand on opposite hills facing each other.
The twin spired Catholic cathedral was begun in 1840 it is flanked
by two large marble archbishops gazing across the town.
The Anglican cathedral is a
19th century restoration of a 13th century church. Thackery visited
the town in 1842 and admired the building, also the monuments included
ones by Nollekens. Roubiliac, Rysbrack and Chantrey.
Brian Boru, who defeated the
Norsemen at the battle of Clontarf in 1014, he lost his life when
a party of the enemy fleeing the battle came upon his tent and killed
him. His body was brought to Armagh and is buried in the churchyard.
The cathedral has a fine library, this was founded by Archbishop
Robinson in 1771 he was also instrumental in building the observatory.
There is a copy of Gulliver's Travels corrected by Swift's himself,
and the Claims of the Innocents (pleas to Oliver Cromwell) after
the 1641 rebellion