The October meeting of Armagh & District History Group will be held on Wednesday, 11th October in the Irish and Local Studies Library at 7:00 p.m.
The speaker this month is Chris Hamill, a researcher at the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge who is currently investigating the issue of contested architectural heritage in contemporary Northern Ireland. His subject of research is Armagh Gaol and the title of his talk is ‘Troubled Legacy: the difficult history of the prison and its impact on re-use’.
The talk will centre around his research into the history of the former HM Prison Armagh, situating it in the relevant contexts; primarily the architectural and cultural evolution of prisons generally, the development of the urban fabric of Armagh itself and the political contexts which make this building perhaps more interesting as a heritage asset than simply its architectural merits would imply.
This would then segue into a discussion on the issue of ‘contested heritage’ that is; issues surrounding the re-use of buildings such as this which have difficult and troubled pasts. This would be in conjunction with the architectural difficulties which arise from trying to find alternate uses for a building form as specialised as a prison.
It is hoped that there might be a bit of a question and answer / debate session after this, as with this sort of work, it is always extremely useful to get feedback, especially from local experts.
The monthly meetings of Armagh & District History Group will resume on Wednesday, 13th September in the Irish and Local Studies Library at the earlier time of 7:00 p.m.
Those who attended the June meeting will recall that we had a very interesting talk by Dr Pauline Prior on ‘Gender, crime and mental disorder in 19th century Ireland’.
Dr Prior has kindly agreed to return to deliver the September talk on the same theme, ‘Guilty but insane: the cases of Mary Reilly 1887 and Dr Terence Brodie 1886’.
Dr Pauline Prior, BSocSc, MSc (Econ), DPhil, CQSW, taught Social Policy at Queens University Belfast for twenty years. Her first degree, in Sociology and Social Policy, was gained at University College Cork. Before joining academia, she worked as a community development worker in Zambia and Ethiopia, and as a social worker in Northern Ireland. She holds an MSc (Econ) and a social work qualification from the London School of Economics and a DPhil (on mental health policy in Northern Ireland) from York University, England.
Her research covers different aspects of mental health policy, including gender, law, and historical trends in mental health services in Ireland. She has published six books – Mental Health and Politics in Northern Ireland (Avebury, 1993); Gender and Health Care in the UK: Exploring the Stereotypes (with B. Hayes) (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2003); Globalisation and European Welfare States: Challenges and Change (edited with R. Sykes and B. Palier) (Palgrave, 2001); Gender and Mental Health (Macmillan Press, 1999); Madness and Murder: Gender, Crime and Mental Disorder in nineteenth century Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2008); Asylums Mental Health Care and the Irish: Historical Studies 1800-2010 (edited collection, Irish Academic Press, 2012).
This year the History Group’s annual trip is planned for Friday 15th September to Enniskillen.
The itinerary for the trip is as follows:
10:00 am – bus will leave Armagh City Hotel car-park
11.15 am – arrive at Castlecoole and time for coffee/eats
12.15 pm – guided tour of Castlecoole
1.30 pm – leave Castlecoole for Enniskillen Museum
2.30 pm – guided tour of museum
There may be time for a browse around Enniskillen town before travelling to the Killyhevlin Hotel for a meal and we hope to be back in Armagh around 8.30 – 9:00 pm.
The cost to cover bus and admission/tour expenses is £5 for members and £15 for non-members. Food and drink are at one’s own expense.
Our February meeting will take place on Wednesday, 8th February in the Irish and Local Studies Library at the usual time of 7:30 p.m.
The meeting will begin with our Annual General Meeting followed by a talk by Gerry Oates entitled ‘The Corvans of Armagh’ – An illustrated talk on this family of Armagh origin beginning in the late medieval period and tracing the fortunes of various Corvans /Corvins and Corvens up to the early 20th century. Including “Cat Gut Jim” pictured here.