Newry Tour Part 1

Town Hall

The Town Hall was designed by William Batt and constructed in 1893. It was one of the last works of the old Newry Town Commissioners whose crest, dated 1891, can still be seen on the bridge in front of the Town Hall.

The style of the building is broadly classical. The most unusual feature about the building is that it is built on a three arched bridge astride the Clanrye River.

The reason was, reputedly to settle the rivalry between the people of Armagh and Down over in which county it should be sited (the river divides both countries).

Late 19th Century Warehouse

Crossing the river, on the wall is a three-storey red brick warehouse.

It was designed by W.J. Watson and built in the late 19th century as a tea warehouse.

Albert Basin

When completed in 1850, the Albert Basin and the ship canal give Newry ‘a flooding dock of respect proportions’ which played a major role in the development of the linen industry following the American Civil War and the loss of cotton to the world market.

Visible to the South west of the basin is Drumalane Flax Spinning Mill complete with chimney. This was built in 1816 by William Hill Irvine. His involvement with the lined industry ended in failure but he emigrated to Australia and became Prime Minister of the state of Victoria.

The Art Centre & Museum

The Arts Centre and Museum was originally the Newry Savings Bank, built in 1840, and was later used to accommodate Newry Technical School.

The original, classical style, façade was reconstructed when it was acquired by the Council in 1980 for its present purpose.

The Bank of Ireland

The three storey building with ashlar façade and a Doric portico is one of Newry’s most elegant, its delicate proportions and finely executed stonework are second to none. It was built in 1826 and designed by Francis Johnston, a native of Armagh, whose patron was the Primate Archbishop Richard Robinson. A regulation in the early 19th century forbade the siting of another bank, within 50 Irish miles of Dublin. Newry was outside this area, and was the site for the first Bank of Ireland to open for business in the North of Ireland.

Bridge Street

The archway is a reminder of coaching days when stabling facilities were available for merchants. The houses on the other side of Bridge Street were built for the offices of Fishers ships.

The Newry Canal & Buttercrane

The shopping centre is built on the site of the original butter crane constructed by Lord Kilmorey in 1808.

It was used for hoisting casks of butter collected from many centres along the canal. When the Newry Canal opened in 1742 it was the first commercial canal in Britain or Ireland and stretched for 18 miles to Lough Neagh.

In recent times the Victoria Lock, south of the town has been reconstructed and proposals are being drawn up to reopen the canal from New Street to Lough Neagh.

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