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Coordinates: 54°17′55″N 6°31′17″W / 54.2985°N 6.5214°W / 54.2985; -6.5214
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Markethill is located in Northern Ireland
Location within Northern Ireland
Population1,647 (2011 census)
Irish grid referenceH962398
• Belfast40 miles
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townARMAGH
Postcode districtBT60
Dialling code028, +44 28
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°17′55″N 6°31′17″W / 54.2985°N 6.5214°W / 54.2985; -6.5214

Markethill (Irish: Cnoc an Mhargaidh)[1] is a village in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is beside Gosford Forest Park. It had a population of 1,647 people in the 2011 census.[2]

A livestock market is held here three times a week and each summer the world's largest Lambeg drumming contest takes place in the village.[citation needed] It is home to Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band, who host the largest band parade in Europe on the first Friday of each June.[citation needed]

It is by the A28 road around 10 kilometres (6 mi) south-east of Armagh city, and 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-west of Newry.


The village sprang up within the townland of Coolmallish or Coolmillish (Irish: Cúil Mheallghuis),[1] on the road between Armagh and Newry. It began to grow during the Plantation of Ulster as a town for Scottish and English migrants.

The Troubles[edit]

During the Troubles, there were a number of incidents in Markethill, including a number which resulted in fatalities.[vague][citation needed]

  • On 24 June 1979 an off-duty UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA while at his home in Markethill, County Armagh.[3]
  • On 22 October 1982 an off-duty UDR soldier (Thomas Cochrane) was kidnapped while travelling to work, Glennane, near Markethill, County Armagh. Found shot dead at Lislea, near Camlough, County Armagh, seven days later on 29 October 1982.[4]
  • On 16 November 1982 the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) shot dead two RUC officers (Ronald Irwin and Snowdon Corkey) at a security barrier in Markethill. INLA members fired several shots from a car before turning around and escaping the village.[5]
  • On 8 September 1992 the IRA shot and critically wounded a Protestant civilian at his home near Markethill, County Armagh. Afterwards the IRA claimed he was a member of the British Army's Royal Irish Regiment.[6]

Places of interest[edit]

Nearby Gosford Castle is within Gosford Forest Park. The Ministry of Agriculture bought the estate in 1958, establishing Gosford Forest Park. Gosford Castle is the largest Grade A listed building in Northern Ireland, in 2006 after public consultation the Boyd Partnership was selected to restore the castle and convert it into 24 self-contained luxury apartments. The first residents moved in December 2008, restoration is still in progress as of May 2010.

Markethill Courthouse, situated at the top of Main Street, at the north entrance to Markethill adjacent to Gosford Forest Park. Markethill Courthouse was built in 1842 to the designs of Thomas Duff, and is one of the few surviving large regional free standing Courthouses built in the middle century.[citation needed] The building is constructed of random Blackstone with Armagh limestone quoins and dressings. The building was last used as a courthouse in 1952, was purchased by Markethill District Enterprises Ltd in June 1997, after lying vacant for 25 years. The building was restored for use as a community centre.[citation needed]


Markethill Swifts F.C. play in the Mid-Ulster Football League.

The nearest GAA club is at Mullaghbrack.


Markethill railway station opened on 25 August 1864, closed for passenger traffic on 1 February 1933 and finally closed altogether on 2 May 1955.[7] Located on the Armagh to Goraghwood section of line run by the Great Northern Railway of Ireland.

Markethill railway station in 1970 on the line constructed by the Newry and Armagh Railway.


Markethill is classified as a village by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 1,000 and 2,499 people).[8] On census day (27 March 2011) the usually resident population of Markethill Settlement was 1,647, accounting for 0.09% of the NI total.[2] Of these:

  • 22.53% were under 16 years old and 17.06% were aged 65 and above;
  • 47.48% of the population were male and 52.52% were female; and
  • 17.00% were from a Catholic community background and 77.9% were from a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' community background.


Schools in the area include Markethill Primary School and Markethill High School.


The first significant industrial capacity in the town was established in 1888 by DH Sinton who established a linen mill, close to the towns railway station. The mill was purchased by Spence, Bryson & Co. Ltd in 1909 and remained operational until 1991 when it was badly damaged by an IRA bomb. Production at this point moved to a sister factory in nearby Portadown.

Today the area is largely focused on agriculture and is centred on the large agricultural mart situated on the Cladymilltown Road on the outskirts of the town. Markethill Livestock Sales has been established for more than 45 years.[9] The previous Mart premises is currently lying empty as a derelict site.[citation needed]

A small business park has been constructed on a section of the former Spence, Bryson & Co. Ltd Linen Mill which contains a number of small business' and start-up enterprises. The business park is administered by Markethill Business Centre on Fairgreen Road.[10]

There are several independent business' located in the town. These include Alexander's of Markethill and Alexanders Furnishings Ltd.,[11] established in 1954 and operating from the old Market House, Keady Street with the furniture shop on Fairgreen Road nearby. Dalzell's of Markethill, an electrical appliances company, was established in 1956 and is the largest independent electrical appliance retailer in Northern Ireland .[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cnoc an Mhargaidh/Markethill". Placenames Database of Ireland (logainm.ie). Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Census 2011 Population Statistics for Markethill Settlement". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021. This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0 Archived 28 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine. © Crown copyright.
  3. ^ "Cain – Sutton Index of Deaths – 1979". CAIN Archive – Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland. CAIN. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Cain – Sutton Index of Deaths – 1982". CAIN Archive – Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland. CAIN. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  5. ^ "The Glasgow Herald – "Gang leader dies as Ulster violence flares"". news.google.com. 16 November 1982. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Cain – Sutton Index of Deaths – 1992". CAIN Archive – Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland. CAIN. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Markethill station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2007.
  8. ^ "Review of the Statistical Classification and Delineation of Settlements" (PDF). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). March 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Home – Armagh Business Centre – Business Property Keady Markethill Blackwatertown". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Alexanders of Markethill". Archived from the original on 18 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Electrical Retailer Northern Ireland, Armagh Electrical, Dalzell's of Markethill". Archived from the original on 14 February 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Where are they now? Kenny Hooks (Markethill 1/1/60)". Irish Independent. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  14. ^ McHardy, Anne (24 January 2020). "Seamus Mallon obituary". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2024.

External links[edit]