Monday, 8 March 2021



TANDERAGEE - anciently TAWNATCLEE - a market and post town in the parish of Ballymore, barony of Lower Orier, County Armagh.

It stands on the river Cusher, and at the intersection of the road from Portadown to Newry, with that from Richhill to Banbridge.

1¼ miles west of the Newry Canal, 2 miles south-west of Gilford, 4½ south-south-east of Portadown.

The immediately circumjacent country is rich, fertile, lusciously featured, and beautifully improved; and lies in close juxtaposition to some of the most charming portions of County Down.

The Newry Canal not alone offers all its important facilities of communication for trading with the great emporiums of Newry and Belfast; but brings up a profusion of lime, on cheap and easy terms, for the powerful fertilizing of all the soil in the environs.

The town stands on the estate of the Duke of Manchester, and borrows great embellishment, especially from the woods and lawns of its immediately adjoining demesne.

"The approach from Tanderagee from the county of Down," said Sir Charles Coote in 1804, "is really charming."

"The neat appearance of the town, its gradual elevation from a valley through which a beautiful stream winds between lofty and undulating banks, which are thickly wooded on the one extremity, and the demesne which, on the other, crowns the summit of the hill, afford a pleasing prepossession to the traveller."

"The demesne of Tanderagee had an immense quantity of full-grown timber, which has lately been greatly diminished; but a sufficiency remains to decorate the bold and abrupt eminences which it has been justly celebrated for."

The present mansion or castle of Tanderagee is a large, modern, baronial pile, erected by the Duke of Manchester, when Viscount Mandeville, and occupying the site of an ancient, castellated and fortified residence which, in the reign of JAMES I, was forfeited by the O'Hanlons, and granted to Sir Oliver St John.

Market Street, Tandragee (Image: Robert French)

The town itself has a neat and creditable appearance, and possesses a handsome church, a Presbyterian meeting-house, two small Methodist meeting-houses, a female orphan asylum, a dispensary, a clothing fund, and several schools.

The Duke of Manchester was the founder, and is the main supporter of several of the charitable institutions; he has several schools and appliances of popular well-being in different other pats of his estate; and he gives annually at his castle a festival to all the children on attendance at his schools.

Prospect from the Castle gate, with the Coronation Lamp in the foreground (Image: Ebay)

The Coronation Lamp used to be located at Market Square, in its original site (close to where the War Memorial now stands), though was later re-located because it became hazardous to traffic.

It was erected in 1902 to commemorate the accession of King Edward VII; and today stands at the junction of the Ballymore Road and Portadown Road in the town. 

Area of the town, 55 acres; population in 1831, 1,559; in 1841, 1,562. Houses, 265.

In 2011 the population of Tandragee was 3,486.

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