History and heritage enthusiasts are being invited to Armagh City and the surrounding area this weekend to take advantage of Northern Ireland’s European Heritage Open Days event and visit more than 30 historical properties free of charge.
Organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), European Heritage Open Days provide people with an opportunity to discover and enjoy the often hidden, curious and interesting architectural and historical treasures.
In Armagh and the surrounding area, free access has been arranged for 30 properties and events; giving visitors a unique opportunity to visit some of Armagh’s most fascinating buildings.
Among those properties to visit across the weekend is the newly-refurbished Archbishop’s Palace and Primate’s Chapel which will be open from 12noon to 5pm each day, with guided tours running at regular intervals.
Navan Centre & Fort is offering specially-condensed tours which take in the exhibition hall, a visit to the Iron Age dwelling and a guided tour of Navan Fort. The centre will also be open to visitors from 10am to 6.30pm.
Armagh Gaol is once again unlocking its doors for the weekend. The building, which opened in 1819 and closed in 1988, operated as a prison for over 150 years and is one of Northern Ireland’s most historical buildings.
During European Heritage Open Days, guided tours will allow visitors to explore this notorious former prison and will include the history of the Gaol as well as recounting some of the stories which have emerged from its long history.
Tours of Armagh Gaol will take place each hour from 12pm to 4pm and last approximately 30 minutes. Tours are extremely popular and must be pre-booked at www.armaghgaoltours.com.
Armagh’s two iconic cathedrals are also taking part in European Heritage Open Days. Saint Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral will have guided tours at 10.45am and 3.15pm on Saturday, plus a children’s tour at 12.30pm. The cathedral will also be open to the public on Sunday.