Today, we continue our photographic and alphabetical tour of Ireland’s 32 counties with a stop in County Armagh (pronounced Ar-mah)
Armagh is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom and amongst the nine counties of the ancient province of Ulster.
The ancient capital of the kingdom of Ulster was at Emhain Mhacha until the fourth century AD. The remains of this seat of the kings of Ulster is located just outside the modern town of Armagh at Navan Fort.
The Armagh County crest proudly displays a cross and a harp, symbols associated with Armagh’s unique history.
The county is often referred to as the Orchard of Ireland, because its fertile soil is perfect for growing apples trees. This lush, green pasture is typical of the beautiful scenery found in the county.
Armagh was the centre of St. Patrick’s mission to convert the Irish to christianity in the fifth century. St. Patrick’s cathedral was built in his honor. Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland.
Magnificent ornate ceilings adorn the cathedral’s interior.
Stain glass windows depict scenes from Irish and religious historical events.
The ecclesiastical capital of the Anglican Church of Ireland is also in Armagh. A second St. Patrick’s cathedral is found situated on a height above the town.
Kilnasaggart stone pillar stands in in a field near the town of Jonesborough and dates back to around 700 AD. Ogham script, crosses within circles, and a Gaelic inscription decorate this stone associated with the druids and ancient Irish warriors.
Lakes and mountains in the Ring of Gullion have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, by the government of the United Kingdom.
Slieve Gullion is the highest peak in the county and boasts a hiking trail. Follow in the footsteps of Cuchulainn, the Red Branch Knights, and Finn McCool who have trodden its slopes. Fabulous views of the surrounding counties await on a fine day. Sometimes, when the weather cooperates, even Dublin can be spotted in the distance.
Slieve Gullion forest park is part of an old demesne. Oak, ash, birch, beech, and chestnut trees offer seclusion and peace.
Construction of Gosford Castle began in 1819 and finished in the 1850s. It is surrounded by a forest park, but the building itself has been converted to apartments, with the first new residents moving into the castle in 2008. What a place to live!
Picturesque villages and towns dot the countryside.
Friendly towns offer a warm welcome to Armagh visitors.
Our short tour offers only a small sample of what this county has to offer. Armagh is steeped in ancient history, a rich Christian heritage, fine country estates, and outstanding natural beauty, all waiting to be explored.
Some helpful sites for planning a trip to County Armagh include:
Wishing you all happy Irish travels!
Here are the links for the other counties we have visited so far on our tour of Ireland, county-by-county:
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom