These stately Georgian era buildings in Armagh City once housed the royal stables. The renovated stables form the focal point of the Armagh Palace Demesne, a beautiful public parkland which gets its name from one of its other attractions -- the impressive building that was once the Archbishop's Palace.
Today, the stable's exhibits centre on a day in the life (July 23, 1776) of the former occupant, Archbishop Richard Robinson. This slice of 18th century life is brought alive during summer months by Georgian costumed attendants working in and around the stables. The Palace Stables Heritage Centre offers a guided tour that includes access to the schoolroom, chapel, and tack room. The Stables are also home to a popular fine dining restaurant, known as Moody's Boar.
Armagh Palace Public Park
Armagh Palace Demesne Public Park (demesne, pronounced similarly to "domain", is a word used to describe the grounds or estate of a building) also offers beautiful parklands and gardens, and is a popular area with locals for taking a stroll.
- It is also a popular area for weddings, and wedding photographs
- A formal garden, known as the Garden of the Senses is made up of five areas linked with a winding path. Each section aims to provide visitors with different sensory inputs.
- The park has is a playground for children
This large mansion house was constructed in the 1770s as the home of Baron Rokeby, also known as Archbishop Richard Robinson. It remained the home subsequent Archbishops of the (Protestant) Church of Ireland up to the 1970s. The building now serves as the Headquarters for Armagh City and District Council, after being vacated by the Archbishops in the 1970s.
The Life of 'Baron Rokeby'
- Also known as Baron Rokeby, Richard Robinson was the Archbishop of the Church of Ireland
- During his lifetime, Armagh was a rundown city in need of attention
- Rokeby secured the services of prominent local architect Francis Johnston to redesign Armagh
- He turned the racecourse into a park-like mall, improved and renovated the public buildings as well as the Cathedral, and added lit and paved streets and a sewer system
- The archbishop also provided funds for the county hospital, the public library, and Armagh's now famous observatory
- He renovated the Bishop's Palace and the Royal School
- Thanks largely to Robinson's efforts, Armagh became an elegant and well-groomed city
Palace Stables, Armagh. Image: The Moody Boar
Armagh Palace Demesne. Image: Tony Bowden
Archbishop's Palace, Armagh. Image: Tony Bowden