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New warders appointed for Hillsborough Fort

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The new warders of the Hillsborough Fort guard.

The new warders of the Hillsborough Fort guard.

DUP leader and Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson attended the ceremony.

DUP leader and Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson attended the ceremony.

Nicholas Hill, the 9th Marquess of Downshire, presided over the ceremony.

Nicholas Hill, the 9th Marquess of Downshire, presided over the ceremony.

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The new warders of the Hillsborough Fort guard.

HILLSBOROUGH Fort has appointed six new warders to the centuries old unit which guards the historic Co Down site.

The men were presented with their warrants in a ceremony presided over by the Marquess of Downshire, the hereditary constable of the fort and castle.

It’s the first time in over a century the event has taken place after the Nicholas Hill, the current marquess, decided to revive the tradition.

The event comes after the Queen issued Letters Patent granting the village the title of Royal Hillsborough.

Among those also present were Lagan Valley MP and DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh Alderman Stephen Martin.

Mr Martin said of the ceremony: “It was an honour to be part of today’s historic event. Today’s event will be one of many memories I will have in the run up to the receipt of the Letters Patent later this year.

“Once we have received this our charming village will become known as Royal Hillsborough going forward.”

Bugler Andrew Carlisle, who has been in post since 2006, said: ''What has taken place here today will safeguard this unique tradition for hopefully many years to come.

“Once more the sight of the warders in and around the village will be a common sight and will encourage folks to find out more about the fascinating history of the guard.”

Dating back to 1660 when King Charles II granted a royal charter to the fort, the guards used to have a full compliment of 20 men and a bugler.

It was formerly one of only two private armies in the United Kingdom the other being the Atholl Highlanders under the command of the Duke of Atholl.

The guard takes part in royal a ceremonial functions at the fort and castle including jubilee celebrations and acts of remembrance.


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