Ghost Tour Season a success
Ghost Tours of Portadown attracted over 120 visitors throughout the month of October. The tour is all based around storytelling and old folklores of the town. All the stories that are told on the tour have historical records attached to them. Those historical records are either documentation of witness accounts or Newspaper articles.
Outline of a Woman and Child sighted under the Bann Bridge in Portadown in 2017
Although the tours are based on storytelling, there have been a few sightings along the way, particularly around the area of the Bann Bridge. Most of the sightings around the Bann Bridge can be traced back to the events of the 1641 Massacre, which is one of Portadown’s most horrific but forgotten events. Even for those who don’t believe in the paranormal, many have remarked the ‘eerie’ feeling that they have when standing under the bridge.
This year there was a sighting of an unexplained figure In one of the photographs that was taken of a group of visitors. Although, you could argue very well that it was some well placed leaves. Nevertheless it all adds to the Halloween season. You can read the full story by clicking the link below.
Do we have an extra visitor in this picture?
Further Ghost Tour Events
Portadown Heritage Tours also had the pleasure of taking part in Portadown Integrated Primary School’s Halloween event. The community tour guides of Portadown Heritage Tours, guided groups of pupils and their parents around the playground. The playground was very well decorated and the guides told ghost stories along the way. It was a very Successful event with over 300 people attending. The event was well organised by Portadown Integrated Primary School. From the feedback received, everyone throughly enjoyed themselves.
Development of Ghost Tours
Portadown Heritage Tours will now be researching more local ghost stories and folklore to develop the tours even more for next season. If any individuals or businesses within the Portadown Town area have any paranormal experiences they would like to share with us then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you tell us the story we will do the historical research to verify the story.
Remembering the1641 Rebellion Talk
Portadown Heritage Tours and Carleton Street Heritage Centre will be hosting a talk ‘Remembering the 1641 Rebellion in Portadown’. The talk will be presented by Dr Naomi McAreavey of University College Dublin in Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre.
1641 talk will be presented by Dr Naomi McArevey
Dr McAreavey explains “The mass drowning of Protestants during the 1641 Rebellion has cast a long shadow over Portadown, but little is known about what actually happened in the River Bann that fateful winter.
In the talk I will return to the earliest recorded memories of the massacre found among the 1641 depositions to explore how the Portadown drownings were represented by eyewitnesses as well as through rumour and hearsay; by survivors and by the bereaved; by refugees speaking within weeks and months of the event, to those recalling the event over a decade later.
Identifying different memories of the atrocity and considering how they were shaped by time and circumstance, I will discuss how a range of deponents diversely remembered the Portadown atrocity, and illuminate the tensions, inconsistencies and contradictions in their memories.
In doing so, I will raise questions about what it means to remember the 1641 rebellion in Portadown.
Early drawing of the massacre of Portadown.
Portadown Heritage Tours are very pleased to welcome Dr McAreavey to Carleton Street Orange Hall & Heritage Centre and would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who would like to come along. There is no admission fee and the talk will begin at 7:30pm on Wednesday 22ndAugust. Come along and discover the history of the early years of Portadown during the rebellion.
Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre
Further information is available from the Portadown Heritage Tours office. Telephone 07928962608 Email email@example.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Portadown Heritage Tours is supported by Peace 4 funding.
A Belfast Orange Lodge has a very close connection with Portadown, as its name would suggest, and most of the founding members came from County Armagh town and district. The Lodge is Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336, and its warrant is held by Belfast District LOL No 2, sitting in Clifton Street Orange Hall.
It flourished in the early 1900’s when many linen workers from Portadown moved to Belfast to take up jobs in the huge linen mills in the North of the city. Until fairly recently the lodge was in existence, but the huge movement of Protestant families from the north and west Belfast resulted in a number of Orange Lodges declining in numbers and becoming dormant. However, the warrant of the Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336 is still held by District No 2, and a number of former members transferred to other city lodges.
One side of the banner is a representation of the massacre of Protestants in the River Bann in Portadown during the Irish Rebellion of 1641. In July 1960, a new banner was unveiled for the lodge at a ceremony in Clifton Street Orange Hall, Belfast, by the then Grand Master of Ireland, Senator Sir George Clark. Sir George was accompanied by Lady Clark, and the chairman was Bro J. Coalville, WM of No 2 District, Belfast.
The banner was dedicated by the Rev.T.W.W. Jones and bouquets were presented to Lady Clark and Mrs Jones. A vote of thanks to Sir George was proposed by Bro Major F.R.A. Hands, Deputy County Grand Master, and seconded by Bro V. Carson, deputy master of the Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336. Sir George noted that the:
“lodge bore the title of a town in Northern Ireland noted for its loyalty and Orangeism, and it reflected the fact that so many people from the town had settled in Belfast”.
Portadown provided cider for King William’s army during its campaign which ended in victory over James II and his men at the Boyne. Records show that the Rev. William Brooke who was rector of Drumcree from 1679 until his death in 1700, wrote an account of the barony in 1682, from which it was learned that good cider was available in Portadown at thirty shillings a hogshead.
From the same source it was gathered that the farmers of Portadown district were compelled by their leases to plant apple trees proportionate to the quality of their land. In 1690, King William’s cider maker Paul Le Harper was sent to Portadown with the necessary equipment to make cider for the Williamite Army. Harper was a Huguenot, a member of the Protestant faith in France who were persecuted for their religion and forced to emigrate to other countries.
Lord Drogheda, who commanded a Williamite regiment stationed at Tandragee, part of which was quartered in Portadown had recorded that there was much cider there in the spring of 1690. It is remarkable that so many apple trees in North Armagh had escaped the ravages of the 1641 rebellion, when farm houses and houses of English Protestant settlers were being destroyed.