Markethill and its surrounding district rest quietly in the heart of rural County Armagh. Within a six-kilometre radius of the town of Markethill there is a cluster of small towns and villages, connected by narrow winding roads, nestling into the beauty of the Orchard County landscape. A traveller unfamiliar with the area would be quite likely to stumble upon any of these rural communities by happy accident. What attracts so many to the area is that unspoilt beauty of the countryside in delicate harmony with the small village communities dotted throughout the locality. Many families of this area can trace their roots in this land through many generations, lending the district a friendly community atmosphere.
At the heart of this network of rural communities is the town of Markethill. Though many pass en route to the ecclesiastical City of Armagh, to pass by is to miss an important part of the history of this area. Those who take time to study the tapestry of our local rural history will not be disappointed.
|Pre AD800||The Celts, St.Patrick and the coming of Christianity.|
|800-1014||Viking invasions, Battle of Clontarif.|
|1250-1450||Norman power in decline.|
|1450-1541||English reassert control in Ireland.|
|1541-1598||King Henry VIII declared King of Ireland.|
|| Defeat of Gaelic Ulster Lords
English Prayer Book to be used in Ireland
|1595||Battle of Mullabrack.|
|1600||Erection of a fortress at Mountnorris.|
|1603||James VI of Scotland ascends the throne of England .|
|End of Nine Years War and Gael hold on Ulster.|
||Sir Arthur Chichester made Lord Deputy of Ireland to oversee plantation.|
|1607||Flight of the Earls .|
|1609||Plantation of Ulster begins in County Armagh.|
|1610||Henry Acheson granted 1000 acres.|
|1616||Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, dies in exile in Rome.|
|1617||First castle built in Markethill.|
|1619||James Hamilton granted 1000 acres at Hamiltonsbawn.|
||Charles I ascends the throne.|
|1628||Sir Archibald Acheson made Baron of Nova Scotia.|
|1630||Muster Rolls details landlords and tenants able to fight in case of conflict.|
|1634||Death of Sir Archibald Acheson and his son Patrick.|
|1641|| Rebellion by native Irish.
Mullabrack Parish Church, Acheson Castle destroye.d
Rectors of Loughgilly and Mullabrack murdered.
|1642||General Munro sent by Scottish Parliament to defend settlers.|
|1646||Gosford Grand Gate Lodge rebuilt.|
|1649|| Charles I executed.
Oliver Cromwell lands in Ireland.
|1660||Charles II proclaimed King.|
|1662-1679||Scottish Kirk being forced to accept Bishops - more Scots flee to Ulster.|
|1664||Hearth Tax Census adopted.|
|1667||Act of Uniformity - all holders of office must take Oath of Supremacy.|
|1685|| Death of Sir George Acheson
James II ascend throne
|1688||Siege of Derry|
|1689||William III and Mary II ascend the throne.|
|1690||Williamite victory over James at Battle of Boyne.|
|1695|| Introduction of Penal Legislation against Catholics.
Sir Nicholas Acheson elected MP for Co.Armagh.
|1696||Beginning of 11 year famine in Scotland - thousands more arrive in Ulster.|
|1701||Death of Sir Nicholas Acheson.|
|1702||Anne ascends the throne.|
|1704||Test Act excludes Presbyterians from many offices.|
|1717||Riots in Armagh.|
|1727||Sir Arthur Acheson elected MP for Mullingar.|
|1728-1730||Visits to Gosford of celebrated author Jonathan Swift.|
|1741||Archibald, son of Sir Arthur, elected MP for Dublin University.|
|1749||Death of Sir Arthur Acheson.|
|1761||Sir Archibald Acheson elected MP for Armagh.|
|1770-1773||Crop failures forces many to emigrate.|
|1776|| Sir Archibald elected MP for Borough of Enniskillen
Sir Archibald made Baron of Gosford of Markethill
|1785||Sir Archibald elevated to the peerage.|
|1790||Death of Sir Archibald Acheson.|
|1791||Founding of United Irishmen.|
|1793||Sir Arthur Acheson appointed Colonel of Armagh Militia.|
|1795||Battle of the Diamond.|
|Formation of Orange Order.|
|1796||Orangemen parade through Gosford Demesne on 12th July.|
|1797||Sir Arthur elected MP for Armagh.|
|1798|| Rebellion led by United Irishmen.
Members of Armagh Militia capture French colours at Co.Longford.
|'1800|| Act of Union with Britain.
Founding of an agricultural school by Lord Gosford.
|1805||Acheson House in Gosford Demesne burned down.|
|1806||Sir Arthur is made Earl of Gosford.|
|1807||Death of Sir Arthur Acheson.|
|1815||Opening of Gosford School.|
|1818||Typhus outbreak in Markethill.|
|1819||Thomas Hopper designs new castle.|
|1821||Report of William Grieg into financial affairs of Gosford Estate.|
|1822||Archibald Acheson becomes Lord Lieutenant of Armagh.|
|1822||New cloth market opened in Markethill.|
|1830||Mullabrack Parish church rebuilt.|
|1830||Circular tower added to Gosford Castle.|
|1842|| Armagh workhouse opened.
Markethill replacement courthouse built.
|1846||New band organised in Markethill .|
|1847|| Soup Kitchen financed by Lord Gosford.
North-west family wing added to the Castle.
|1859||'59 Revival, spiritual reawakening.|
|1861||Markethill Railway Station constructed.|
|1864||Death of Sir Archibald Acheson.|
|1869||Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.|
|1888|| Bassett Guide to Co.Armagh published.
Coal veins found in the Parish of Mullabrack.
|1889||Armagh Railway disaster, 78 killed.|
|1914|| Outbreak of World War One.
Sir Archibald Acheson wounded during the war .
|1916||Easter Rising in Dublin.|
|1918||End of World War One.|
|1920||State of Northern Ireland formed.|
|1921||Contents of Gosford Castle auctioned|
|1922||Death of Sir Archibald Acheson.|
|1939||Outbreak of World War Two.|
|1940||American soldiers guard German prisoners of war in Gosford Castle|
|1954||Death of Archibald Acheson.|
|1957|| Closure of Markethill railway station
Death of Captain Patrick Acheson
|1958||Gosford purchased by Department of Agriculture.|
|1960||By-pass constructed around Markethill.|
|1961||Death of John Stanley Alexander Archibald Acheson.|
|1969||Start of 'The Troubles'.|
|1969-1971||British Army billeted at Gosford Castle.|
|1971||First terrorist bomb in Markethill.|
|1985||Gosford vault at Mullabrack Parish Church reopened for burial of Norah Acheson.|
|1989||Gosford Castle bought by Smyth and O'Neill.|
|1991||Terrorist bomb destroys Spence Bryson weaving factory.|
|1997||Terrorist bomb demolishes Markethill Police Station.|
|1998||Good Friday Agreement.|
|2000||Opening of Markethill courthouse as a community venue and restaurant.|
|2003||Launch of Bygones and Byways.|
|2013||Gosford Castle reoccupied.|
|2014||Launch of updated Bygones and Byways.|