Grand designs for Armagh’s oldest buildings with £6.3m restoration programme

Work has begun to rejuvenate two historic terrace houses in Armagh, as part of a multi- million pound conservation project which will see 15 of the city’s oldest buildings undergo sympathetic restoration.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 7:51 am
Barrack street, Armagh, pictured in 1964
Barrack street, Armagh, pictured in 1964

Initial work to reinstate the former beauty of No.6 and No.10 Barrack and Little Barrack Street has just got underway and when complete will integrate four vibrant retail units incorporating all the iconic features of their former incarnation.

Plans include the introduction of traditional shop fronts, restoration and careful replacement of the remaining historic windows, re-pointing existing Armagh stone, re-slating and sympathetic internal works to protect and preserve historic features including staircases and fireplaces.

Built around 1830, the terrace of houses on Barrack Street were formerly private dwellings. The Valuation revision book classifies the terrace as ‘Houses and yards’. Some historic features remain to be seen on Little Barrack Street where there is a hatch that would have been linked to the privies at the back of the Barrack Street houses, enabling easy access for emptying the ‘night soil’ from these yards and is a nice late 19th century feature and one that is fast vanishing from back streets and alleys.

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Property owner of No. 6 and No. 10 Barrack Street, Mervyn Wright said: “I’m thrilled that as the custodian of these buildings, I am helping to protect and preserve our historic environment, creating new and exciting opportunities.”

A combined investment of £6.3 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and building owners is behind the new townscape project.

Armagh is famous for its Georgian façades and listed buildings which are instrumental in giving Armagh its distinctive, unique and historic feel. Key buildings on Upper English Street, Scotch Street, Barrack Street and Russell Street, will now be redeveloped as part of the scheme.

The five-year Townscape Heritage project, which includes £520,000 to be invested in a series of detailed, transformational and restorative work on the first two buildings, will springboard further investment, creating new jobs, commercial and residential opportunities.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Kevin Savage, said: “With focus, investment and a collective passion to regenerate our built heritage, these four projects will go a long way to help restore and enhance much more of the city’s historic character for the benefit of everyone –

businesses, residents and visitors.”