Tandragee Castle sits at the head of Tandragee, a rural town in Co. Armagh. The site was the original stronghold of the O'Hanlons, one of the most powerful clans in Ulster.
During the Plantation of Ulster, the castle became the property of Sir Oliver St. John, Lord Deputy of Ireland. He rebuilt the old stronghold but this was destroyed in the Irish Rebellion of 1641 as the O’Hanlons attempted to reclaim their lands.
Tandragee Castle Today
The current castle, built between 1830-1838 by the 6th Duke of Manchester, stands as part of the famous Tayto Crisps manufacturing plant. The castle became the Irish base for the Duke of Manchester’s family after his marriage to Millicent Sparrow. Tandragee remained the Ulster seat of the Dukes of Manchester until 1939.
After leasing the castle to the US Army during World War Two, the 10th Duke sold the site in 1955 to Thomas Hutchinson. The Hutchinson family would go on to establish the world-famous Tayto brand of potato crisps.
Reports suggest that General George S. Patton was a visitor to the castle in 1943. While inspecting troops in Northern Ireland, he was guest of honour at a dance in the castle.
American Forces at Tandragee Castle
The following American forces were based in Tandragee Castle, Co. Armagh between 1943 and 1944.
|Start Date||End Date||Units|
|15/10/1943||01/01/1944||1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, Mechanized (XV Corps)|
|15/10/1943||01/01/1944||2d Squadron, 6th Cavalry, Mechanized (XV Corps)|
|01/01/1944||16/05/1944||6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized|
|01/01/1944||10/04/1944||28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized|
|13/04/1944||6th Cavalry Band|
6th Cavalry, Mechanized (XV Corps) at Tandragee Castle
These photos from Roy Vogan's Tandragee Community Photos site show the US Army during their time at Tandragee Castle in 1943-1944.
American Built Ford Willy's Jeep (1942)
This jeep issued to the British Army was at Tandragee Castle towards the end of the war. A family from the town owned it from 1946 onwards and War Years Remembered restored it with care.