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Lecture | Thomas Cooley: A Remarkable and Short Career

Monday, October 4, 2021 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

To celebrate World Architecture Day on Monday 4 October 2021, the Library will host an online lecture ‘Thomas Cooley: A Remarkable and Short Career’, by architectural historian, Dr Michael O’Neill, FSA. It will start at 7.30pm.

Free places for the Zoom lecture can be obtained online at: https://armagh-robinson-library.arttickets.org.uk/.

An accompanying online exhibition on Thomas Cooley’s career, and related items held within the Armagh Robinson Library collection, will be launched to coincide with the lecture. This can be viewed at https://armaghrobinsonlibrary.co.uk/collections/past-exhibitions-and-displays/ from 4 October 2021.

The Georgian character that the architecture within the City of Armagh enjoys today can be traced back to the time of Richard Robinson, who was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh from 1765 to 1794.  One of the first architects that Robinson regularly employed was Thomas Cooley who, baptised in London in 1742, first came to Ireland in 1769 after winning a competition to design the Royal Exchange (now the City Hall) building in Dublin.

Cooley subsequently designed several buildings within the city and Diocese of Armagh for Archbishop Robinson, including Armagh Robinson Library and the Royal School. Original drawings for some of these buildings form part of the collection held at Armagh Robinson Library.

Cooley also designed several Irish country houses, including Caledon House, County Tyrone. Lord Caledon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, will introduce Dr O’Neill’s lecture.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, which has been supported by the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Dr O’Neill stated, “Cooley’s contribution to making Armagh one of the most appealing Georgian towns in Ulster cannot be gainsaid. His influence on Irish ecclesiastical architecture was also immense.”


Armagh Robinson Library & No 5