Armagh’s Georgian Weekend took place in the last weekend of November, and as the name suggests, is a festival that invites people to experience what our ancestors in the 18th and early 19 century experienced.
While attending the festival, you’ll get a chance to delve into the Georgian History of Armagh, including through the buildings, by socialising with characters and by getting a taste for food and drink.
I attended two events during Georgian Weekend a couple of weeks ago, which both took place in the same building, but with the tour taking place on the Saturday, with the tea party taking place on the Sunday. So different from what I would normally do with my accessibility reviews, I will only be reviewing the accessibility of the building and grounds in this blog, and the next one which will be coming out on Friday will be a review of that event in and as of itself.
Known as Palace Demesne, instead of its more common name, The Archbishop’s Palace, it is located within walking distance of the City Centre in Armagh, and comprises of some 300 acres.
The Archbishop who the palace was created by and nods to is Archbishop Richard Robinson, who was made Archbishop of Armagh in 1765, and kept the title until his death in 1794.
The palace remained the residence of the Archbishops of the Church of Ireland from 1770-1975.
Weeks before the event, I spent hours and hours researching the accessibility of every single event that would be part of the Georgian Weekend, so I could see which ones would be easier for me to get into. I came across the Tour at The Archbishop’s Palace event, as well as the Afternoon Tea at the Palace event, and after I checked out the accessibility features of the building, saw about finding a way to get them booked.
But as the weeks got closer and closer to the dates, I found myself getting more and more nervous about if I‘d face difficulty with accessing the building or not, and these emotions kept on haunting me right up to that day.
We headed up early as we were travelling from Bangor up to Armagh — which it took around an hour and ten minutes to get to. I managed to dose on our way up, but it was still as we got closer and closer, that I couldn’t get the same thoughts regarding accessibility out of my head.
Luckily, however, everything ended up turning out fine.
We got parked easily, but we stayed in the car for a couple of minutes as it was cold outside and we were waiting for everyone to arrive.
When we got out and started walking up to the house, however, like what happened on the day we went up to Hillsborough, we got stopped by one of their staff members, Alwin, who explained to us what accessibility features the house has to offer.