250th | A Hidden Gem on the Ancient Hill: Armagh Diocesan Registry

This talk to mark the 250th anniversary of No 5 Vicars Hill (the former Armagh Provincial and Diocesan Registry) is given by Registry Officer, Dr Stephen Day. In it he outlines the building’s history.

Founded in 1772 (a year after the nearby Armagh Robinson Library) and located just opposite the west door of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, it is a small, hidden gem of a building. Outside its appearance blends in perfectly with the other buildings of this pretty terrace of George II and George III houses. However, inside, the building consists mainly of two large domed rooms – perfect for the storing and safe keeping of important documents including the valuable medieval Registers which Archbishop Robinson deposited here in the late 18th century. It was also to serve for the ongoing transactions of the Archbishop and his successors in their diocesan and metropolitan administration.

This Grade A listed building was restored and opened to the public in 2011 and the two rooms now contain treasures which Archbishops Robinson and Marcus G. Beresford donated to the Library as well as many other historical and religious exhibits which assist in understanding the rich history of Armagh and the surrounding area.