St Mark’s Church was built in 1811 as a chapel of ease to St Patrick’s Cathedral, which was the Parish Church for Armagh. Consecrated by Archbishop Stuart in 1814, St Mark’s owes it origins to a most influential predecessor, Archbishop Robinson, whose desire was expressed in his will for a church to be built on a site between the Royal School and the military barracks. Archbishop Stuart supported this aspiration in order to ease the pressure placed upon the Cathedral, which was at this time in need of repair and whose capacity was potentially insufficient to house the growing number of Anglicans living in Armagh at that time.
Significant rebuilding and enhancements in 1832 and 1866 have shaped St Mark’s into the building we worship Almighty God in today. The pulpit which was installed in 1896 is believed to be the highest in the Church of Ireland! In 1972, a statute was passed at the Church of Ireland’s General Synod changing the status of St Mark’s to become the parish church for Armagh.
The present day Crozier Hall was reconstructed to serve as a Parish Hall 1932. Originally it was built as the ‘Church Walk School’ in 1850. A significant extension is currently being constructed and hopefully will be officially opened this September.
The extensive Church Yard surrounding the church offers much insight into local history, within which includes the burial places of victims of the Armagh Rail Disaster of 1889, War Veterans and Mr William McCrum (inventor of football’s penalty kick).
Everyone is most welcome to come and visit our church to learn more of the influence of its people upon the local history of Armagh City and beyond. A detailed history of St Mark’s entitled ‘A History of St Mark’s Church, Armagh’ was written by a parishioner, Majorie Halligan in 2000. Copies of this publication are available for purchase through the Parish Office.
A view of St Mark’s with St Patrick’s Cathedral in the background (taken from Tower Hill).
The interior of St Mark’s
(Photo taken from the West Door).