Newry - Encyclopedia




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NEWRY, a seaport, market town and parliamentary borough (returning one member) of Co. Down, Ireland, on the Newry water and Newry canal at the extreme head of Carlingford Lough. Pop. (1901) 12,405. It is 73 m. N. of Dtiblin by the Great Northern railway. A railway owned by the London & NorthWestern company connects Newry with the deep-water harbour at Greenore; and there is an electric railway to Bessbrook in Co. Armagh. The western part, called Ballybot, is connected with the eastern part, or old town, by four bridges over the canal and four over the tidal water. The situation of the town is striking, the Newry Mountains and Slieve Gullion on the west, and the Mourne Mountains on the east, enclosing the narrow valley in which it lies. Newry is one of the most important ports of the province of Ulster, and in connexion with several sub-ports farther down the river is the outlet for the trade of a very extensive district. The port admits vessels of 2000 tons to Victoria Docks, 3 m. from the town, but vessels drawing 15 ft. can go up the ship canal to the Albert Basin, 3 m. from the sea. The principal exports are grain, eggs, cattle, linen cloth and flax, and the imports include timber, groceries and coal. In the neighbourhood granite of a fine quality is quarried, and the town possesses rope and sail works, breweries, distilleries, flour-mills and tanneries. It is governed by an urban district council. In 1175 an abbey was founded here by Maurice M`Loughlin, king of Ireland. The abbey was converted in 1543 into a collegiate church for secular priests, and was dissolved by Edward VI., who granted it to Sir Nicholas Bagenal, marshal of Ireland. Bagenal made it his private residence, and laid the foundations of its prosperity. In 1689 Newry was set on fire by the duke of Berwick when in retreat before Schomberg. Charters were granted to the town by James I. and James II. By the charter of James I. it sent two members to parliament, but at the Union in 1800 it was restricted to one member. Until 1898 a portion of Newry was situated in Co. Armagh. A mile N.E. of the town is a notable rath or enclosure, taking its name of Crown rath from traditional single encounters between native princes in contention for the sovereignty.

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