The Armagh Observatory is the oldest continuously functioning astronomical research institute in the UK and Ireland. The Georgian Grade A listed building and nineteenth and twentieth century telescope domes, each with unique architectural features, together house one of the most valuable scientific archives and book collections in Northern Ireland, and contain scientific artefacts, instruments and historic telescopes which together encompass virtually every aspect of modern astronomy.
These are important assets. The more than 200 years of continuous astronomical activity in Armagh provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to explain the development of their subject over this period, the reasons for its location in Armagh, and the context in which modern research is carried out. The location of the Observatory, close to the centre of the City of Armagh, in attractive, landscaped grounds that include the Armagh Planetarium and a scale model of the Universe known as the Armagh Astropark, means that it is ideally positioned to explain the history of astronomy and related sciences in Northern Ireland -- and the motivation and underlying reasons for astronomy's impressive growth over more than 200 years. The Observatory has a key role to play in lifelong learning and the preservation and display of Northern Ireland's scientific and built heritage for future generations.