Visitor Guide:

A Morning on the Hill

Visit St Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral & Armagh Public Library

We invite schools and groups to consider a morning (or a day) on the Hill of Armagh. This is a three-fold visit to Armagh’s ancient hill – with three representatives to greet groups and show them the treasures.

1. The Cathedral

The story of Armagh Cathedral begins in the year 445 when, according to tradition, St Patrick built a church on the hill from which the city derives it’s name, Ard Mhacha – The Height of Mhacha. The plan of the Cathedral, as it now stands, is the design of Archbishop O’Scanlain in 1268. Some of the highlights of the tour will include silverware from 1796, the unusual staircase to the bell tower, and the various stone carvings inside the Cathedral, some of which date from 500-1000BC. This will be led by the Cathedral Steward.

2. No.5 Vicars’ Hill
Built in 1772 as the Diocesan Registry to hold records for the Cathedral and Armagh Diocese, its octagonal rooms contained many public as well as Church records. Whilst the records are no longer retained in the building, some examples are on display along with ancient coins, gems, significant prints, early Christian artefacts and other collections and curiosities. Recently restored, this deceptively small building has a fascinating interior and retains many of its original features.
3. The Library

Armagh Public Library is one of the oldest libraries in Ireland, having been established in 1771 by Archbishop Robinson. The Library’s collections include books, manuscripts, prints, coins and gems and part of the tour will show how to locate and handle old manuscripts, books and maps. The third part of the visit will be led by the Assistant Keeper. Apart from encouraging visitors to handle 18th and 19th century books with care, the visit will also allow people to view the 1835 Ordnance Survey Maps to show how their townland, village or town looked all those years ago.

We would suggest that you allow at least two and a half hours for a visit so that you may experience all three parts. Large groups will be split into three, and, in the case of schools and youth groups, we would ask you to have three adults available to accompany each of the groups. We will provide a place for refreshments to be eaten and where items may be left.

All of this is offered free of charge to schools. For adult groups, we request a fee of £6.00 per person to cover the whole visit. If any of this seems unclear, please do contact us to clarify. For information, please download our brochure here.  A Morning On The Hill .

We want to welcome you to the Hill of Armagh!

Contact Details for the Cathedral and Library:

Armagh Public Library
43 Abbey Street
BT61 7DY

Tel. 028 3752 3142