Fourmile House

Alternate Name(s)

Jonesborough, Jonesboro, Four Mile House, Fourmilehouse, Newry Mountains

Dates

1701-c.1759

Location

The location of the site of Fourmile House barracks is in the centre of the modern village of Jonesborough. The barrack site is located close to Fourmile Water, and north of Threemile Water, both of which were crossing points of rivers on the road from Dundalk to Newry.

The barracks is depicted at this location on a number of eighteenth-century maps from 1711 onwards. The first edition OS map from the 1830s-40s shows a site identified as ‘Old Barrack’ in Jonesborough village. This site corresponds with the current location of a Roman Catholic parochial house which was constructed in 1896. A Roman Catholic church is currently located immediately to the north of the parochial house. The site of the current RC church corresponds with that of the ‘R.C. Chapel’ evident in the first edition OS map. According to local sources, the Roman Catholic church was burned in 1798 by the yeomanry under ‘Sever of the Bog’.

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Description

The entrance to the barracks site is located at the junction of Molly Road and the B113, and faces west-north-west. The B113 follows the same route as the main road from Dundalk to Newry in the eighteenth century. An approach avenue of approximately 70 metres in length provides access to the site today. This access route corresponds with that evident on the OS maps.

The barrack site is depicted in some detail in Rocque’s 1760 map of County Armagh, which shows the approach avenue leading into a rectangular enclosure on a west-north-west to east-south-east axis, with a reversed ‘L’ shaped structure along the internal sides of the north-north-east facing and east-south-east facing boundary walls. Greater detail is provided on the first edition OS map, which indicates a slightly obtuse rectangular enclosure aligned from the barrack approach avenue on the same west-north-west to east-south-east axis. According to the OS map, the boundary wall of this rectangular enclosure had a small structure at each exterior corner, located on the north-north-west corner, the north-east corner, the south-south-east corner and the west-south-west corner respectively. These may possibly have been small towers built for defensive purposes, though a later eighteenth-century barracks nearby at Shanroe had similar structures that appear to have served other purposes. A traditional rectangular main barrack building is detailed on the OS map on a south-south-west to north-north-east alignment, close to the east-south-east facing rear boundary wall. Two other slightly smaller rectangular structures are depicted also, one on the interior of the north-north-east facing boundary wall, and the other on the interior of the south-south-west facing boundary wall. Remains of the rear east-south-east facing boundary wall are evident on the site today and form part of the current boundary walls of the parochial house. The interior of this existing boundary wall show signs of pre-existing internal structures within its makeup.

The site has a commanding view in a westwards direction towards Drumintee, Slieve Gullion, Croslieve and Forkhill, and southwards towards Slievenabolea, Moiry Castle and Feede mountain. On the rising ground to the east of the site are the remains of a pre-medieval structure, which corresponds with the location of a ‘Fort’ evident on the first edition OS map. The rising ground to the east and south-east of the site now incorporates part of Drumad wood. The water works on this rising ground behind the site is a modern structure with no connection to the barracks site.

Click thumbnails below to view images.

 

History

Two temporary redoubts were constructed in 1689 by the Jacobite army in the area of Fourmile house, though there is no evidence of their actual location. The construction of a more permanent barracks at Fourmile House commenced in 1701. This barracks was a redoubt, which was a defensible structure built for internal security purposes, and was one of a number of such barracks funded in 1701 in order ‘to prevent robbers’ and secure safe passage through certain areas. The purpose of the Fourmile House redoubt was to ensure safe passage on the road from Dundalk to Newry. It was close to Moiry Castle, which had been erected at the beginning of the seventeenth century in order to defend the pass there.

The barracks was originally referred to as Fourmile House, which denoted the distance travelled, in Irish miles, on the road from Dundalk to Newry. The presence of the barracks seems to have resulted in the village of Jonesborough being established around it, sometime after 1710, in which year application was made to hold a fair in the area, an event which often resulted in a village or town growing up around that location thereafter. On a 1711 map, the barracks is noted as ‘4 Milehouse at Jones Borough’, which suggests the village was already in existence. By 1733, the name of the barracks had changed, in which year its location was recorded as ‘Joans-Borrogh and fuzes’ when a detachment of Bissett’s infantry were stationed there under a Captain Roper (Quarters of the army 1733, 9). A year later, the barracks was described as ‘Newry Mountains, near Newry’ and was under the command of a Captain Stanhope from Otway’s regiment at that time (Quarters of the army 1734, 11). Documentary sources indicated that the redoubt could accommodate one or less company of infantry. The redoubt was certainly still in use by 1759, but it is not clear how soon after it was deemed no longer necessary.

In 1706 a detachment of soldiers from the Fourmile House redoubt were meant to assist in the arrest by Walter Dawson of Doctor Patrick Donnelly, the RC archbishop of Dromore, at the foot of Slieve Gullion Mountain. The soldiers did not attend to that service, however, much to Dawson’s displeasure: ‘I had the faithful promise of Captain Briser who commands the redoubt near Newry to supply me with a serjeant and twelve men, upon which I went off and ceased [sic] the Doctor, and immediately after I despatched an express to be a guide to the said soldiers to me, and stayed in the mountains at least five howres for them, but the Captain was soe unkind as not to send one man’ (Murray 1937, 20).

In 1813 the new Protestant curate at Jonesborough, Richard Kidd, recorded that he was at that time living in the barracks: ‘The barracks where I at present reside by permission of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant’. He also noted that ‘There is an old Romish chapel unroofed belonging to the parish. . . but the priest assembles his flock in the open air, under the ruins of an old building nearly opposite the barrack gate.’ In 1815 the Church of Ireland Glebe House was built further down the road, which presumably resulted in Kidd moving out of the barracks. According to local information there is a site known as the ‘Priest’s Field’ nearly opposite the barracks, which may be the same location as that described by Kidd for the RC open air mass.

By 1837 the barracks was described as having been converted into a private residence. Whatever original buildings were still remaining during the nineteenth century appear to have been finally demolished by the time the new Roman Catholic Parochial House was built on the site in 1896. It is not evident at what point in time during the nineteenth century the land and buildings were transferred into the ownership of the Roman Catholic church.

Maps

  • ‘Ardmagh County’ map in A geographical description of Ireland (London, 1720). Available from Marsh’s Library.
  • Moll, Herman. A new map of Ireland divided into its provinces, counties and baronies, wherein are distinguished the bishopricks, borroughs [sic], barracks, bogs, passes, bridges, & c. 1714. TNA, WO 78/419/19.
  • Price, Charles. A correct map of Ireland divided into its provinces, counties & baronies, shewing the roads and the distances of places in computed miles by inspection where barraques are erected &c London, 1711. Available from UCD Library Special Collections, W1.U.2/1-2.
  • Rocque, John. A map of the kingdom of Ireland, divided into province counties and baronies, shewing the archbishopricks, bishopricks, cities, boroughs, market towns, villages, barracks, mountains, lakes, bogs, rivers, bridges, ferries, passes; also the great, the branch, & the by post roads, together with the inland navigation &c. London, no date. Available from UCD Library Special Collections, W1.U.4/1-4.
  • Rocque, John. A topographical map of the county of Armagh to which is anex’d the plans of Newry and Armagh.. 1760.

Sources

  • CSPD 1700-2.
  • CTB 1700-1.
  • Davies, O., ‘Moiry Castle’ [source?].
  • Leslie, James, Armagh clergy and parishes. Available from ebooksread.com.
  • Lewis, Samuel. A topographical dictionary of Ireland (1837). Available from Ask about Ireland or Library Ireland.
  • Murray, L. P. ‘Shanroe Barrack (1795-1821)’ in Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, 9 (1937).
  • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1733 [Dublin, 1733].
  • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1734 Dublin, 1734.

Local Consultants

Charlemont

Location

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Description

Remains of the fort are still clearly visible in satellite imagery (see Map Viewer).

History

In 1602, Charles Blount, Lord Deputy Mountjoy, oversaw the building of a bridge and fort to protect a strategic crossing on the River Blackwater at Charlemont. In 1620, Toby Caulfeild, governor of Charlemont, was responsible for initiating work on a new fort at this location. Further additions and improvements were made to the fort in the 1660s and 1760s.

In the early eighteenth century, the barracks could house three companies of infantry, which in 1733 came from Bissett’s regiment and in 1734 from Otway’s. In 1754 the troops came from Home’s infantry regiment. By the early nineteenth century, when Charlemont had become the ordnance depot for the northern part of Ireland, the barracks had been re-designated as an artillery barracks, accommodating two companies.

The last garrison was withdrawn from the fort in February 1858.

Sources

  • A list of the general and field officers, as they rank in the army. (London, 1754).
  • ‘Charlemont Fort’. Available from Irish Antiquities.
  • Lewis, Samuel. A topographical dictionary of Ireland 1837. Available from Ask about Ireland or Library Ireland.
  • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1733 [Dublin, 1733].
  • O’Neill, James and Logue, Paul. ‘Charlemont Fort… a brief guide’ in History Armagh Magazine. Available from Armagh & District History Group.
  • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1734. Dublin, 1734.

Blackbank

Alternate Name(s)

Black Bank, Blackbanck

Dates

1700 – c. 1733

Location

The location of the site of Blackbank redoubt is in the mountainous and isolated Fews area of South Armagh, in the townland of Cladybeg. The site is on the western slope of Deadman’s Hill / Blackbank Hill, and on the eastern side of, and facing immediately on to, Ninemile Road, 3.5 kms north of Newtownhamilton and 0.5 km south of Blackbank bridge (on the B31). With Ninemile Road defining the western boundary of the site, a small stream delineates the eastern and southern boundaries. The stream passes under a small bridge to the immediate south of the site on Ninemile Road. There is no clear delineation of the northern boundary.

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Description

The barrack site is now a farm field on the eastern side of, and facing immediately on to, Ninemile Road. There is no above-ground evidence remaining of the original barrack buildings. There is nothing detailed on the first edition OS map either. At the time of the building of the barracks in 1700, the land leased to the government for that purpose measured ‘26 feet square with the yard in front 100 feet by 66 feet’ (Paterson 1938, 108).

Four rectangular barrack buildings or structures are depicted at the site on John Rocque’s 1760 map of County Armagh. The first rectangular structure is aligned on an east-west axis to the immediate east of Ninemile Road and on the southern boundary of the barrack area. A second similar-sized rectangular structure is to the immediate east of the first structure, on the same alignment on the southern boundary. A third similar sized rectangular structure is depicted to the immediate north-east of the first two structures, and forms the eastern boundary of the barracks and aligns on a north-south axis. The fourth and final structure is to the north-west of the third structure and immediately opposite the second structure and is aligned on an east-west axis and forms the northern boundary of the barracks area.

The lay-out suggests that a central yard or barrack square lay in the middle of the second, third and fourth structures. It has been suggested that the buildings depicted by Roque were ruins at that time, though Roque’s map does not intimate that in any way (Paterson 1938, 109). However, Taylor and Skinner’s 1777 road map does depict the buildings as ruins. Certainly by 1817 nothing remained other than one gable, and even that seems to have completely disappeared by the 1830s when the OS maps were first being plotted, as no remains appear on the first edition OS maps. However, a contemporaneous source, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837), stated that the ruins of the barracks at Blackbank were still visible. The stone from the barracks may have been used to build other structures in the area. There is a decaying 18th-19th century stone house, with out-building and walls, about 20-30 metres to the north of the site on the same side of the road, which may account for the current location of a significant amount of the original barrack stone work.

Click thumbnails below to view images.

 

History

Blackbank barracks was a redoubt, which was a defensible structure built for internal security purposes. The Blackbank redoubt was built in order to protect the road from Dundalk to Armagh, and from Newry to Castleblaney and Monaghan, from outlaw activity. The land for the site of the redoubt was leased to the government by William, Lord Charlemont, on 17 November 1700. In an attempt to encourage settlement in the area, a licence to hold fairs was also granted, though neither the presence of the barracks or the fairs had the desired result.

The redoubt could accommodate a half-company to a company of infantry, though on occasion the number could be much lower, as was the case in 1716 when only one sergeant and six men were stationed there. Indeed, at times there was clearly no one based there, as in 1708 when Thomas Molyneux of Castledillon, County Armagh, noted the existence of an infantry barracks at the Blackbank location in his Journey to the North, but also recorded that there were no soldiers stationed there. In 1703, Thomas Bolton was recorded as the redoubt’s barrack-master, a civilian appointee who was responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and general management and care of the barracks, while in 1716 George Baker held that post, having succeeded William Baker, who had held it in the interim period. The redoubt was identified on a 1711 map by Charles Price and a 1714 map by Herman Moll, and was still in use through the 1720s. The redoubt was also identified on a 1731-2 map, when a company of infantry was apparently stationed there, but by 1733-4 it seems to have been superseded by a new barracks known as Johnston’s Fews. However, Blackbank redoubt was also identified on an undated Rocque map and on Roque’s 1760 map of County Armagh as being a barracks, though another barracks is also identified on both of those maps as ‘Johnsons Barracks’ at the location for the Johnston’s Fews barracks. This may be an error on Rocque’s part on both maps, though it is possible that both barracks co-existed for a time. However, there is no other evidence of Blackbank being used after 1731-2.

Maps

  • Moll, Herman. A new map of Ireland divided into its provinces, counties and baronies, wherein are distinguished the bishopricks, borroughs [sic], barracks, bogs, passes, bridges, & c. 1714. Available from TNA, WO 78/419/19.
  • Price, Charles. A correct map of Ireland divided into its provinces, counties & baronies, shewing the roads and the distances of places in computed miles by inspection where barraques are erected &c. London, 1711. Available from UCD Library Special Collections, W1.U.2/1-2.
  • Rocque, John. A map of the kingdom of Ireland, divided into province counties and baronies, shewing the archbishopricks, bishopricks, cities, boroughs, market towns, villages, barracks, mountains, lakes, bogs, rivers, bridges, ferries, passes; also the great, the branch, & the by post roads, together with the inland navigation &c London, no date. Available from UCD Library Special Collections, W1.U.4/1-4.
  • Rocque, John. A topographical map of the county of Armagh to which is anex’d the plans of Newry and Armagh. 1760.
  • Taylor and Skinner. Maps of the roads of Ireland, surveyed 1777 (Dublin, 1778). Available from archive.org.

Sources

      • Lewis, Samuel. A topographical dictionary of Ireland (1837). Available from Ask about Ireland or Library Ireland.
      • Paterson, T. G. F., ‘The Black Bank and Fews Barracks’ in Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 3rd series, 1 (1938).
      • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1733. [Dublin, 1733].
      • Quarters of the army in Ireland for Anno 1734 Dublin, 1734.

Local Consultants

    • Murphy, Kevin
    • Walsh, Una

Armagh City 2

Alternate Name(s)

Gough Barracks

Dates

1773-present

Location

The eighteenth century barracks was located on the same site as the current Gough Barracks on Barrack Hill.

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Description

A section of the original wall is incorporated into the current barrack walls.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

History

The barracks was built in 1773 in order to replace the earlier barracks at the site of the Armagh County Gaol. The new site was on Wellington place, which was re-named Barrack Hill. It remains an army barracks to this day, and is named after Field Marshal Hugh, 1st Viscount Gough, who fought in the peninsular war. The remains of part of the original eighteenth-century wall can still be seen, built of ‘pink rubble conglomerate with limestone dressings’, which distinguishes it from the later nineteenth-century work which was ‘exclusively limestone’ (McKinstry et al 1992, 48, 51) .

According to the 1992 book, The Buildings of Armagh, ‘The main accommodation block was an impressive fifteen-bay, three-storey block facing west over the city. The central bay was advanced and pedimented. It may well have been the work of the architect George Ensor.’ These buildings were apparently demolished about forty years ago, though ‘The two-storey block behind remains but its pitched roof was replaced by a concrete flat roof during conversion for Civil Defence use about 1960. The officers’ stables adjacent to the old gate is more or less intact’ (McKinstry et al 1992, 51).

An 1836 drawing, with a proposed new cook house, shows the layout of the 1773 barracks and the central bay. Greater detail of that original barracks can be seen in an 1861 plan, which shows how the barracks had since been enlarged in order to accommodate 600-800 men and a hospital. Prior to that expansion, all three iterations of the eighteenth-century barracks had been sufficient to house one company of infantry – c. 80-100 men. In 1726, for example, the resident soldiers came from the earl of Orkney’s regiment.

Sources

  • Lewis, Samuel. A topographical dictionary of Ireland (1837). Available from Ask about Ireland or Library Ireland.
  • McKinstry, Robert, Oram, Richard, Weatherup, Roger, and Wilson, Primrose (eds), The buildings of Armagh (Belfast, 1992)

Armagh City 1

Alternate Name(s)

Armagh Gaol

Dates

1703-1773

Location

Located at site of current Armagh County Gaol.

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Description

Nothing remains of this barracks as it was replaced by the Armagh County Gaol in the late eighteenth century. The Gaol complex still exists today.

Click thumbnails below to view images.

History

The site of the first barracks in Armagh city in 1703 is unknown. Its existence is beyond doubt however, as it is identified on the 1714 Moll map and in the 1720 Geographical Description.

A new barracks was built in 1736-7 ‘at the south end of the Common’ or ‘head of the Mall’ on what became known thereafter as Barrack Street. It was demolished in 1780 and replaced with the County Gaol. The barracks itself had closed several years before in 1773 and had been transferred to a new site on Wellington Place (Armagh City 2), which was re-named Barrack Hill.

Maps

  • Moll, Herman. A new map of Ireland divided into its provinces, counties and baronies, wherein are distinguished the bishopricks, borroughs [sic], barracks, bogs, passes, bridges, & c. 1714. Available from TNA, WO 78/419/19.
  • ‘Ardmagh County’ map in A geographical description of Ireland (London, 1720). Available from Marsh’s Library.

Sources

  • McKinstry, Robert, Oram, Richard, Weatherup, Roger, and Wilson, Primrose (eds), The buildings of Armagh (Belfast, 1992)
  • Simms, Anngret, Clarke, Howard, and Gillespie, Raymond, Irish historic towns atlas: Armagh (Dublin, 2007).
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