The Hill of Armagh will play its role in welcoming visitors for Georgian Weekend 2021. The Georgian buildings of Armagh Robinson Library and No 5 Vicars’ Hill will be open to visitors on Saturday 27 November 2021, as well as St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. Visitors can view the interior of this ancient building which has played a significant role in the life of the city down the centuries.
Armagh Robinson Library was built two hundred and fifty years ago by Archbishop Richard Robinson, who served as Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland from 1765 until his death in 1794. The former Registry at No 5 Vicars’ Hill was built in 1772 to hold precious documents and records. The Cathedral’s Crypt is where Archbishop Robinson is buried. In the Cathedral there is a memorial sculpture of the Archbishop, as well as a stained-glass window, which depicts Robinson with buildings which were part of his plans for Georgian Armagh.
Library staff and volunteers will explain more about the Library’s treasures, and they will have additional help from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Living History Interpreters. In No 5, the Living History Interpreter will show people the use of seals with letter-writing in the eighteenth century.
Visitors to the Library will be invited to write letters and cards for two projects, one called ‘Filling the Void’ and the other ‘The Healing Place of the Soul’. For the first one, poet Maria McManus will make a welcome return. During Georgian Day 2019, Maria encouraged visitors of all ages to ‘fill the void’ left, after learning that Archbishop Robinson had left in his will that all his letters were to be burned, and that request was honoured.
Visual artist, Catherine Willis, who is from Armagh, has created an artist’s book which is called ‘The Healing Place of the Soul’ which refers to the translation of the Greek inscription carved above the Library’s entrance door. Her work shows materials and objects similar to those found in the Library. Catherine would love visitors to write down the memories, thoughts and emotions that her artist’s book trigger, items such as beeswax, biblical promise scrolls and gold leaf threads. Once the card is posted in the library drawer, it will be a memory of a time and place.
Georgian Weekend walking tours will lead visitors through the city streets to finish on the Hill of Armagh, where the two Robinson buildings and St Patrick’s Cathedral will remain open until 5.00pm. For any further information, please telephone 028 37523142.