The Art of Sharing
European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) will help to celebrate this year’s European Year of Cultural Heritage. EHOD’s theme, ‘The Art of Sharing’, has been chosen to encourage people to explore cultural heritage on their doorstep and further afield, and the Hill of Armagh is ready to play its part.
The Library and No 5 will open during the day on Saturday 8 September and the Sunday afternoon. St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral will be open on both days, free of charge. Visitors will also be welcome to attend the Sunday services.
On the Saturday of EHOD, all three places on the Hill will offer free guided tours, lasting thirty minutes in each place, and at separate times, to allow visitors to join one, two or all three tours. As part of the Cathedral tours, visitors will have the opportunity to see the crypt, the foundations of which are 750 years old this year.
No 5 Vicars’ Hill, designed to look like a dwelling house, was the registry for church and civic records for hundreds of years. The guided tours will refer to No 5’s architecture, its original use and what is now held in the 1772 building. The third tour, in Armagh Robinson Library, will tell visitors about the original building, changes made to it over the years, and the collections which it holds.
As part of the EHOD visitor experience to No 5 Vicars’ Hill, a number of books will be on sale. Speaking about the range, Dr Stephen Day, Registry Officer, said, “They include hardback and paperbacks, as well as pamphlets, in a range of sizes, dating from the nineteenth century. Subjects include music, religious history, general history and archaeology, and some relate to the island of Ireland. Prices range from £2 to £40. All proceeds will go to Armagh Robinson Library, as the items on sale are duplicate copies from its collection.”
There will be activities for children during their visit to the Hill of Armagh, including a special tour of the Cathedral on the Saturday, touch screen quizzes in No 5, and treasure hunts in the Library. The latter two buildings will have toys and books for under fives to enjoy, as part of the ‘Playful Museums’ initiative.
Information on all the buildings open for EHOD can be found on www.discovernorthernireland.com/ehod