The Bawn

Hamilton's Bawn, by Jonathan McHugh
Hamilton’s Bawn,
by Jonathan McHugh.
© Used by kind permission.

Mark, Roger and I grew up in the village of Hamilton’s Bawn in Co. Armagh. Many of you will never have heard of the place so here are a few little-known facts:

  • Jonathan Swift wrote a poem during his stay in Gosford Demesne, Markethill in 1729, The Grand Question debated whether Hamilton’s Bawn should be turned into a Barrack or a Malt House.
  • The village used to run an annual Hiring Fair, commemorated in the traditional song The Hiring Fair at Hamilton’s Bawn.
  • Cool illustrations of Hamilton’s Bawn and Armagh can be found on Jonathan McHugh’s site. Jonathan grew up next door to us.
  • Hamilton’s Bawn’s most famous export is farm machinery from NC Engineering. You can see their distinctive logo on farm machinery all over the UK, Ireland and beyond.
  • My grandparents John and Mary Adams arrived in Hamilton’s Bawn in the late 1920’s, just before my father was born in 1933. John Adams was born in Lisadian, Whitecross, Co. Armagh in 1892, Mary (Reid) in Searce, Jerretspass, Co. Armagh.
  • My Dad was one of the founding members of Hamiltons’ Bawn Silver Band in 1947, and played for 50 years up to his death in 1997.
  • Every time I visit the village another half-dozen 4-bedroom houses have been built on the space formerly occupied by a single dwelling


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