43 Upper English Street
The proposed new uses for the rebuilding of No 1 Seven Houses on the gap site, Upper English street include 2 commercial units on the lower and ground floor levels. In addition two 2 bedroom spacious apartments will be on the first and second floor. There will be a large area to the back of the building will be used for service vehicles
Built in 1774, the row of 7 houses on Upper English street was built by Holland Lecky, a nephew of Dean John Averell.
We don’t have any known social history until 1864, (valuation revision books) in 1864 it was occupied by Thomas A Prentice from 1864 to approx 1899. Griffith’s valuation classifies the property as a ‘House, office, yard and small garden.’ Thomas was a widower and lived with his 2 daughters and 3 servants. He was sub-sheriff for Co. Armagh in the years 1836-1837 and for 43 years Chief Distributor of Stamps for that county.
According to Valuation revision books, John C Boyle then owned the property and around 1904 rented it out as Armagh Municipal technical School. He appeared to have lived in the house from 1910-1920. Following that Major John C Boyle rented the building to Armagh Council offices, 1920-1931 and the Ministry of Labour from 1929 until the fire in the 1950’s.
Interestingly one of the Rooms in No 1 Seven Houses was rented to Armagh City Laundry which subsequently was taken over by Newry Steam Laundry Co Ltd in 1953.
In an article written by Sean Barden in the publication ‘History Armagh, December 2008, titled ‘Armagh City Steam Laundry – through the eyes of the workers’ it stated: On the 29th June the local newspaper reported that Armagh City laundry has changed hands and the works at Armagh are advertised for sale. The business was purchased recently by the Newry Steam Laundry and a fortnight ago the works were closed down and their staff paid off. Some of the machinery has been transferred to Newry and the rest will be sold.
The first and most important house in the terrace was damaged by fire on 9 December 1955 and at that time it was leased to the Ministry of Labour as the local Labour Exchange. As a result No 1, now known as 43 Upper English Street, was demolished in December 1957 and T.G.F Patterson, Curator of Armagh County Museum wrote: “Public opinion in Armagh city was deeply shocked by a decision to demolish No 1 the Seven houses and destroy the facade of a terrace of Seven Houses of architectural merit and important historical associations. 66 years on and with Armagh City TH funding, the house will be rebuilt.