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.

History graphic.

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.
1014-1250 Norman invasions.
1250-1450 Norman power in decline.
1450-1541 English reassert control in Ireland.
1541-1598 King Henry VIII declared King of Ireland.
1549 Defeat of Gaelic Ulster Lords
English Prayer Book to be used in Ireland
1595Battle 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.
1605 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.
1625 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.
1719 Presbyterian legitimised.
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 .
1846-1849 Potato Famine.
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.
2003Launch of Bygones and Byways.
2013Gosford Castle reoccupied.
2014Launch of updated Bygones and Byways.