Armagh (named after its county town, Armagh) is one of six
counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the southern shore of
Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 1,326 km² and has a
population of about 174,792. County
Armagh is known as the "Orchard
County" because of its many apple orchards. It is also one of the
thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as well as part of the
historic province of Ulster.
2 Geography and features
3.1 The Troubles
5.1 Large towns
5.2 Medium towns
5.3 Small towns
5.4 Intermediate settlements
5.6 Small villages or hamlets
8 Inland waterways
10 People associated with County Armagh
11 Places of interest
14 See also
16 External links
The name "Armagh" derives from the Irish word Ard meaning "height" (or
high place) and Macha.
Macha is mentioned in The Book of the Taking of
Ireland, and is also said to have been responsible for the
construction of the hill site of Emain
Navan Fort near
Armagh City) to serve as the capital of the
Ulaid kings (who give
their name to Ulster), also thought to be Macha's height.
Geography and features
From its highest point at Slieve Gullion, in the south of the County,
Armagh's land falls away from its rugged south with Carrigatuke,
Camlough mountains, to rolling drumlin country in the
middle and west of the county and finally flatlands in the north where
rolling flats and small hills reach sea level at Lough Neagh.
An orchard near Drummannon
County Armagh's boundary with Louth is marked by the rugged Ring of
Gullion rising in the south of the county whilst much of its boundary
with Monaghan and Down goes unnoticed with seamless continuance of
drumlins and small lakes. The River Blackwater marks the border with
County Tyrone and
Lough Neagh otherwise marks out the County's
There are also a number of uninhabited islands in the county's section
of Lough Neagh: Coney Island Flat, Croaghan Flat, Padian, Phil Roe's
Flat and the Shallow Flat.
Despite lying in the east of Ireland,
Armagh enjoys an oceanic climate
strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream with damp mild winters, and
temperate, wet summers. Overall temperatures rarely drop below
freezing during daylight hours, though frost is not infrequent in the
months November to February. Snow rarely lies for longer than a few
hours even in the elevated south-east of the County. Summers are mild
and wet and although with sunshine often interspersed with showers,
daylight lasts for almost 18 hours during high-summer.
Climate data for County Armagh
Average high °F
Average low °F
Average precipitation inches
Average high °C
Average low °C
Average precipitation mm
Armagh was the territory of the
Ulaid (also known as Voluntii,
Ultonians, Ulidians, Ulstermen) before the fourth century AD. It was
ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain
Macha (or Navan Fort)
near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the
goddess Macha. The
Red Branch play an important role in the Ulster
Cycle, as well as the Cattle Raid of Cooley. However, they were
eventually driven out of the area by the Three Collas, who invaded in
the 4th century and held power until the 12th. The Clan Colla ruled
the area known as Airghialla or Oriel for these 800 years.
The chief Irish septs of the county were descendants of the Collas,
the O'Hanlons and MacCanns, and the Uí Néill, the O'Neills of Fews.
Armagh was divided into several baronies:
Armagh was held by the
O'Rogans, Lower Fews was held by O'Neill of the Fews, and Upper Fews
were under governance of the O'Larkins, who were later displaced by
Oneilland East was the territory of the O'Garveys, who
were also displaced by the MacCanns. Oneilland West, like Oneilland
East, was once O'Neill territory, until it was then held by the
MacCanns, who were Lords of Clanbrassil. Upper and Lower Orior were
Tiranny was ruled by Ronaghan. Miscellaneous
tracts of land were ruled by O'Kelaghan. The area around the base of
Slieve Guillion near
Newry also became home to a large number of the
McGuinness clan as they were dispossessed of hereditary lands held in
the County Down.
Armagh was the seat of St. Patrick, and the
Catholic Church continues
to be his see. County
Armagh is presently one of four counties of
Northern Ireland to have a majority of the population from a Catholic
background, according to the 2011 census.
The southern part of the County has been a stronghold of support for
the IRA, earning it the nickname "Bandit Country" though this is
widely regarded as an untrue media label that has resulted in the
vilification and demonisation of the local community. South Armagh
is predominantly nationalist, with most of the population being
opposed to any form of British presence, especially that of a military
nature. See Provisional IRA South
Armagh Brigade for further
On 10 March 2009, the CIRA claimed responsibility for the fatal
shooting of a PSNI officer in Craigavon, County Armagh—the first
police fatality in
Northern Ireland since 1998. The officer was
fatally shot by a sniper as he and a colleague investigated
"suspicious activity" at a house nearby when a window was smashed by
youths causing the occupant to phone the police. The PSNI officers
responded to the emergency call, giving a CIRA sniper the chance to
shoot and kill officer Stephen Carroll.
Armagh is no longer used as an administrative district for
local Government purposes; however, it remains officially used for
purposes such as a
Lieutenancy area – the county retains a lord
lieutenant who acts as representative of the
British Monarch in the
Armagh ceased to serve as a local government unit in 1973.
Currently the county is covered for local government purposes by four
district councils, namely
Armagh City and District Council, most of
Craigavon Borough Council, approximately the western third of Newry
and Mourne District Council and a part of
Dungannon and South Tyrone
Borough Council, centred around Peatlands Park.
With the proposed reform of local government in
Northern Ireland in
Armagh would have comprised part of two new council
Armagh City and Bann District, and
Newry City and Down;
however, that reform has not proceeded to date.
Armagh ceased to serve as an electoral constituency in 1983, but
remains the core of the
Armagh constituency represented at
Westminster and the
Armagh constituency represented in the
Northern Ireland Assembly. County
Armagh also remains as a district
for legal and property purposes; however, its baronies no longer have
any administrative use.
The -XZ suffix is currently used on vehicle registration plates for
vehicles registered in County Armagh.
Main article: List of places in County Armagh
(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)
Newry (though part of the settlement is in County Down)
(population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census)
Armagh (has city status)
(population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census)
(population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census)
(population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census)
Poyntzpass (a part of the settlement is in County Down)
Small villages or hamlets
(population of fewer than 1,000 at 2001 Census)
The Baronies of County
Main article: Baronies of Ireland
Main article: List of civil parishes of County Armagh
Main article: List of townlands in County Armagh
The M1 near Lurgan
Portadown railway station
Armagh is traversed by two major highways – the M1 linking
Dungannon crosses the north of the county whilst the A1/N1
Dublin runs in the far south east.
Armagh has numerous
local roads connecting settlements in the county.
Armagh once had a well-developed railway network with connections to,
Armagh City, Culloville, Goraghwood, Markethill,
History of rail transport in Ireland
History of rail transport in Ireland ) but
Newry (Bessbrook), Portadown, Poyntzpass, Scarva, and
Lurgan are served by rail.
There is a possible railway re-opening from
Portadown railway station
Armagh railway station in the future. Government Minister for
the Department for Regional Development,
Danny Kennedy MLA indicates
railway restoration plans of the line from
Portadown to Armagh.
Ulsterbus provides the most extensive public transport system within
the county, including frequent bus transfers daily from most towns to
Northern Ireland Railways / Iarnród Éireann's Enterprise
service provides connections to
Dublin in little over an hour and
Belfast in little over forty minutes, several times daily.
Armagh is traversed by the
Ulster Canal and the
which are not fully open to navigation.
In association football, the NIFL Premiership, which operates as the
top division, has two teams in the county:
Glenavon F.C. and Portadown
F.C., with Annagh United,
Armagh City F.C., Dollingstown F.C.,
Loughgall F.C. and
Lurgan Celtic F.C. competing in the NIFL
Championship, which operates as levels two and three.
Armagh County Board of the
Gaelic Athletic Association
Gaelic Athletic Association or Armagh
Gaelic games in the county.
People associated with County Armagh
See main article: People from County Armagh
Frank Aiken (1898–1983), born in County Armagh, Irish Republican,
Irish Minister for External Affairs, Tánaiste
Saint Benignus of Armagh, (d. 467), first rector of the Cathedral
Armagh and Bishop of Armagh
Brian Boru (941–1014), buried in
Armagh City, victor of Clontarf,
High King of Ireland
George Buchanan Armstrong (1822–1871), born in County Armagh,
developed new system of sorting mail on trains in the United
Sir Robert Hart (1835–1911), born in County Armagh, second
Inspector-General of China's
Imperial Maritime Customs Service
Imperial Maritime Customs Service (IMCS)
from 1863 to 1911
Arthur Hunter Palmer
Arthur Hunter Palmer (1819–1898), born in County Armagh, 5th Premier
Samuel Knox (1756–1832), born in County Armagh, Presbyterian
clergyman, school principal, and author.
Tommy Makem (1932-2007), born in County Armagh, singer, musician, and
songwriter, often called "The Bard of Armagh".
Seamus Mallon (1936– ), born in County Armagh, first deputy First
Minister of Northern Ireland
Colin Morgan (1986– ), born in County Armagh, actor
Paul Muldoon (1951- ), born in County Armagh, poet, winner of the
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize
Tomás Ó Fiaich
Tomás Ó Fiaich (1923–1990), born in County Armagh, Cardinal
(Catholicism), Catholic Archbishop of
Armagh and Primate of All
Eunan O'Neill (1982), born in County Armagh, journalist, Russia Today
William Olpherts (1822–1902), born in County Armagh, soldier and
recipient of the Victoria Cross
Ian Paisley (1926– 2014), born in County Armagh, clergyman,
politician, second First Minister of Northern Ireland
Saint Patrick (fifth century), first Bishop of Armagh
George William Russell
George William Russell 'Æ' (1867–1919), born in County Armagh,
author, critic and painter
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (1759–1822), educated in The
Royal School, Armagh. British Foreign Secretary, Secretary for War,
Leader of the United Kingdom House of Commons and Chief Secretary for
Colin Turkington (1982), born in Portadown, County Armagh,
professional racing driver and 2009 British Touring Car champion.
James Ussher (1581–1656),
Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland Archbishop of
Primate of All Ireland 1625–1656
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley (1760–1842), educated in
The Royal School, Armagh.
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Governor
General of India
Places of interest
Armagh Observatory, founded in 1790 &
Armagh Planetarium, a modern
working astronomical research institute with a rich heritage
Armagh Public Library on Abbey Street in
Armagh City, especially rich
in 17th and 18th century English books, including Dean Jonathan
Swift's own copy of the first edition of his
Gulliver's Travels with
his manuscript corrections
Navan Fort, now a tree ring mound which once housed the rulers of
Ulster with modern interactive visitor centre
Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland Cathedral, founded 445, seat of the
Church of Ireland's Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland,
containing the grave of Brian Boru
Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, commenced in 1838, seat of
the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland,
stands on a hill and dominates the local countryside
Gosford Castle, mock medieval 19th-century castle with substantial
Slieve Gullion, extinct volcano with crater lake, highest burial cairn
in Ireland, views of 9 counties, with visitor centre at its foot
Bagel Bean, Armagh's most celebrated breakfast and lunch spot. Found
at two locations in the small city centre. Founded 10 years ago on
Lower English Street and now also open on Market Street.
Most common surnames in County
Armagh at the time of the United
Kingdom Census of 1901, by order of incidence:
View of Slieve Gullion
The Enterprise near Newry
Killnasaggart Stone, 700 A.D.
St. Patrick's Anglican Cathedral, est. 445
The small town of Markethill
Clare Glen Forest, Tandragee
Approach to Crossmaglen
The Knock Bridge near
Portadown on the
Gosford Castle,outside of Markethill
Wikimedia Commons has media related to County Armagh.
Abbeys and priories in
Northern Ireland (County Armagh)
List of Irish counties by area
List of Irish counties by population
Lord Lieutenant of Armagh
High Sheriff of Armagh
^ Census figures are no longer released detailing returns for Counties
but rather Parliamentary Constituency, Local Government District,
Electoral Ward and Output Area. This figure is based on a tally of all
persons resident in the wards comprising County
Armagh on 29 April
2001, i.e. all electoral wards of the
Constituency (minus St. Mary's, St. Patrick's and Windsor Hill from
County Down) combined with the 17 wards in the Upper Bann
Parliamentary Constituency from County
Armagh (i.e. Derrytrasna,
Birches, Bleary, Drumgask, Taghnevan, Court, Annagh, Brownstown,
Ballybay, Ballyoran, Corcrain, Edenderry, Killycomain, Kernan,
Drumgor, Mourneview, Church, Knocknashane, Parklane, Woodville,
Drumnamoe, and Tavanagh). "Area Profiles". Northern Ireland
Neighbourhood Information Service. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
^ Tourism Ireland: 2007 Yearly Report in
Ulster Scots Archived 17 July
2012 at the Wayback Machine.
^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2006 Annual Report in
Archived 27 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
^  County Armagh, Land Area
^ "Your Place And Mine -
Armagh -". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 15 March
^ "Met Office". Retrieved 4 October 2008. [dead link]
^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years,
Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
^ Census for post 1821 figures. Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback
^ http://www.histpop.org Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
^ NISRA –
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013
Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine..
Nisranew.nisra.gov.uk (27 September 2010). Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses".
In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and
Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England:
^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in
Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review.
37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.
^ "Myth of Bandit Country". Armagh: Iarchimi Ard Mhacha Theas. 16 May
2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
^ "Continuity IRA shot dead officer". London: BBC News. 10 March 2009.
Retrieved 10 March 2009.
^ "Continuity IRA claims PSNI murder". RTÉ News and Current Affairs.
10 March 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved
10 March 2009.
^ See the
Northern Ireland (Lieutenancy) Order 1975 (SI 1975 No. 156)
^ a b c d e f "Statistical classification of settlements". NI
Neighbourhood Information Service. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
Ulster Gazette. 16 May 2013
^ "Kennedy has hopes for
Armagh line restoration –
Retrieved 21 August 2013.
^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Marquis
Who's Who. 1963.
Armagh Genealogy Resources & Parish Registers - Ulster".
forebears.co.uk. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
Neil Lennon-former captain of Glasgow Celtic F.C. (Autobiography: Man
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for County Armagh.
Armagh at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Armagh and Down tourism
Notes on County Armagh
Selected Monuments in County Armagh
Armagh - The Myth of Bandit Country
Places adjacent to County Armagh
Geography of County Armagh
List of places in County Armagh
Cities and towns
Slieve Gullion/Ring of Gullion
WikiProject Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Portal
United Kingdom Portal
Counties and cities of Northern Ireland
Counties of Ireland
The counties are listed per province
Italics denote non-administrative counties.
Brackets denote non-traditional counties.
†denotes non-administrative counties of Northern Ireland
Places of Interest in County Armagh
Castles and military sites
Churches and religious sites
Killeavy Old Church
Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland Cathedral
Roman Catholic Cathedral
Primate’s Chapel, Armagh
Seagoe Parish Church
Museums and cultural sites
Archbishop's Palace, Armagh
Armagh County Museum
Armagh Court House
Armagh Robinson Library
Tomás Ó Fiaich
Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library & Archive
Dan Winter’s Cottage
Franciscan Friary, Armagh
Newry Town Hall (Part)
Royal School, Armagh
Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum
Sloan’s Inn Museum
and outdoor spaces
Gosford Forest Park
Maghery Country Park
The Mall, Armagh
Slieve Gullion Forest Park
Slieve Gullion Passage Tomb
Ballymacdermot Court Tomb
Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone
The Manor House, Loughgall
Transport and industry
The Barn Museum, Lurgan
MacNeill's Egyptian Arch
Coordinates: 54°21′00″N 6°39′17″W / 54.3499°N