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Gosford Forest Park

Markethill, Co. Armargh

Quick Guide
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Gosford Forest Park, is at Markethill, Co. Armagh, in Northern Ireland.

Gosford Forest Park, formerly Gosford Demesne, was acquired by the Department of Agriculture in 1958 and comprises of 240 hectares of woodland and open parkland set in gentle rolling drumlin countryside. It was the first designated conservation forest in Northern Ireland back in 1986. It is now owned by the Forestry Service.


In the early 1600's the Acheson family came from Monmouthshire to the Markethill area, and built a very substantial farmhouse near the present town of Markethill. When they came here first they brought with them 13 families, and some of the family names still survive in the area, notably Galbraith, Greer, etc. One of the two forts (or raths) in Gosford Forest was named after the Greer family who farmed the land in that area. This first dwelling burnt down and others were built, but the existing castle wasn't built completed until around 1850. It is mock Norman style made from local granite. The castle was used as a billet for American troops and home to German prisoners during WWII and again later in the 1960 during the troubles. A memento from the German Prisoners still stands in the Wheel Car Park, a small round tower which had originally been a windmill.

Today visitors can see:

  • A selection of Heritage Poultry

  • Rare Animal Breeds

  • Red Deer

  • Arboretum

  • Castle - completed in 1850 (now 27 private apartments and not open to the public)

  • Walled Garden - from the early 1800's

  • 2 forts (Greers Fort and Crunaght Fort)

  • 4 Way-marked circular Trails of varying length

Other facilities include:

Camping and Caravanning Site (with mains electricity)
Picnic and Barbecue areas
Tea House and Shop
Horse-riding routes
Orienteering routes
Disabled facilities
Bookable Guided Tours
Special events (arranged by permit)
Function Hall

The Deer Park is towards the centre of the park and is an open paddock where you will find Irish draught horses, long-horn cattle, a selection of rare breeds sheep and a herd of red deer. One of the way marked trails 'Deer Park Trail' which is 1.25 miles in total takes you through this area.

Location: Gosford Forest Park, Markethill, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland

Grid Reference: H 965 407 Ceremonial County: Co Armagh

Map Link:  Multimap

Aerial photo:

Getting there: From Armagh take the A28 to Markethill. Entrance to the forest is signposted.

Access: Off the Armagh to Newry road in the Wheel Car Park, there is a further car park at the castle.
Website: Own
Other Useful Websites: Wiki
Address: Gosford Forest Park, Markethill, Co. Armagh
Postcode:  BT60 1UG Telephone: 028 37551277
Opening Times: Open every day of the year from 10:00 am until sunset


Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Deer Topic Index     Where to Photograph Deer in the UK 




Page Ref: Gosford_Forest

Classification: Country Park

Date Updated: 10/2008

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