Rich Hill Home & Academy
Richill, County Armagh BT61 9, Northern Ireland, UK
The Rich Hill Home And School Operated by Thomas And Alexander Campbell
Excerpt From Memoirs of Alexander Campbell
"Whilst Thomas Campbell was thus, amidst civil commotions, devoting himself to the care of his congregation and to the education of his children, his family continued to increase. Soon after his removal to Ahorey, a daughter, Nancy, was born; and about twenty months afterward, June 25, 1800, another, named Jane. To these were added subsequently a son, who was called Thomas, and in process of time another son, named Archibald. Finding his expenses greatly augmented, and the farm he had leased unprofitable, as he had but little knowledge of farming, and his attention was almost entirely engrossed by higher matters, it became necessary for him to adopt some other method of improving his circumstances and making up the deficiencies of his ministerial salary. (The salaries of Seceder preachers were usually from thirty to fifty pounds, but in some cases so scanty that the Regium Donum became almost the entire source of support for the ministers. This hind originated in the act of that wise and just sovereign, William the Third, who, on his visit to Ireland, in June, 1690, authorized the Collector of Customs at Belfast to pay every year twelve hundred pounds into the hands of some of the principal dissenting ministers of Down and Antrim, who were to be trustees for their brethren.
"This fund which was afterward increased, when distributed among the ministers of Ulster, yielded to each some fifty or sixty pounds annually.) It was his earnest wish that his son Alexander should be well educated, and his sincere hope that he would be led to devote himself to the ministry of the Gospel. Finding that, with all his sportiveness, he possessed a marked conscientiousness and a sincere reverence for Divine things, he was the more encouraged in this fond hope, especially when he observed in him, as he grew older, evidences of increasing seriousness. His own time being already considerably occupied in teaching his family, he concluded it would be most advantageous to open a public academy, in which his own children might be pupils; and as Alexander, now in his seventeenth year, had by this time become quite proficient in the ordinary branches, he thought he would be competent to act as assistant. These matters being consequently arranged, and a suitable house procured, the whole family removed to the town of Rich-Hill, two miles distant.
"This town is situated upon a very high but fertile hill, and commands on all sides charming and extensive prospects. Upon the broad summit there is a neat public square, around which, upon three sides, the houses of the village are built. Upon the remaining or north-eastern side of the square, appears, surrounded by beautiful shrubbery, an ancient and capacious mansion, at that time the residence of the Hon. William Richardson, M. P., and lord of the manor. These beautiful grounds are separated from the public square by an elegant iron railing, before which at a little distance stand some magnificent trees. On the opposite side of the square, at the corner, Mr. Campbell had found a plain two-story house, which served as a residence for his family, and also afforded room for the academy. His character and his ability as a teacher being well known, he soon had a flourishing school which brought him an income approaching two hundred pounds per annum, and was regarded as an important benefit to the town and its neighborhood. To carry on such a school, in connection with his usual pastoral labors, was, indeed, an undertaking of no small magnitude; but his son Alexander entered into the work with so much spirit and success that he proved a most valuable assistant, while with unflagging energy he contrived to pursue, as usual, his own special course of studies under his father’s guidance."
-Memoirs Of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, pages 46-48
Directions To The Town Of Rich Hill, County Armagh
Rich Hill is in county Armagh in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
From Belfast: Take the M1 west. Then take Exit 11, (M12) south. It will dead into the A3 Northway, where you will go right (west.) The road will dead into the Armagh Rd. Continue heading west. At Balyleny, turn left, (south) on B131 (Legacorry Rd.) This will take you into the little community of Rich Hill. Go to the town square and look for a large house with 14 windows and door on the front side facing the street. This is the Campbell home and school.
From Dublin: Take the M1 north. (Partial Toll on this road). Enter into Northern Ireland, UK, just above Dundalk. Then the M1 becomes the N1. Just north of Newry, take the A28 (Armagh Rd.) north. At Market Hill/Drumlack, turn right onB78 (Mullaghbrack Rd), heading north. At Hamiltonsbawn, you will jackleg right on Marlacoo Rd. the left onto B111 (Annareagh Rd). Next stop, Rich Hill. You will turn left on Irish St. and head up the hill to get to the square where the Campbell Home and school existed. The GPS location of Rich Hill is: 54°22'19.7"N 6°32'55.9"W / or D.d. 54.372133, -6.548860
Rich Hill, Arial View, From Google Maps
Richhill Manor (Castle)
In 1807, Alexander Campbell was the personal tutor to the children of William Richardson in this house.
Heading into Rich Hill. Square at the top of the Hill
Panaramic View of City Square - Campbell Home and School on Right
(Left Click on Photo to Zoom in)
Photos Taken 07.11.2011 by Scott Harp
Courtesy of Scott Harp