County Armagh may be the smallest county in Northern Ireland, but it still holds an array of fascating historic sites that are well worth a visit. There’s the Craigmore Viaduct, for example, an impeccably preserved piece of Victorian architecture. Meanwhile, St Patrick’s Cathedral in the town of Armagh, dating back to 1904, is renowned for its twin spires and ornate stonework.
Here are the best historic sites and attractions in County Armagh.
1. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
The Armagh Observatory was founded in 1789 and has been continuously been used for over 200 years. The planetarium was opened in 1968. The site allows one to explore some of the early instruments that were used in the field from the 18th to the 20th century.
2. Gosford Castle
The building may look like a medieval fortification, but one should not be fooled by its facade. Gosford Castle is a 19th century country home, built for Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford, whose family occupied the premises until 1921. Parts of the building were used in scenes of the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. The building and the grounds are is closed to the general public.
3. St Patrick's Cathedral
The Roman Catholic St Patrick’s Cathedral is located in the Northern Irish town of Armagh. The religious building was completed in 1904, with the most striking feature being the two main spires, each reaching 63 meters in height. The cathedral is open to visitors.
4. Craigmore Viaduct
The 18 arch viaduct is part of the railway line that connects Belfast to Dublin. The impressive bridge was designed by John Benjamin Macneill, with construction beginning in 1849. The viaduct was opened three years later in 1852. It is to this day the highest building of its kind in Northern Ireland. One can find the bridge close the village of Bessbrook.