Read on about Newry, one of Northern Ireland’s oldest towns.
Newry lies in the most south-eastern part of Northern Ireland, in the north-south corridor between Belfast and Dublin. As such it has developed into one of the most popular shopping towns in Ireland. Cross border trade has increased, which has meant both the Quays and the Buttercrane enjoying visitors to their stores.
Newryís recent past has seen it being conferred with city status in 2002. One of two cities in Northern Ireland bestowed with this honor by the Queen, the other being Lisburn.
Newry history shows that it was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian Monastery. It was destroyed by fire in 1689 by the forces of King James II during the Williamite war. The city was rebuilt afterwards and became a busy trading town. By 1742 its port became the busiest in Ulster and as a result its canal opened making it the first major canal in Britain, it ran for 18 miles to Lough Neagh.
Newry is also the home of Ireland’s highest viaduct, Craighmore Viaduct which lies to the North of the city and consists of 18 arches; it was designed by Sir John O’Neill and opened in 1852.
The city has strong links to St. Patrick, the English interpretation of the name comes from the Irish (Lur Chinn Tra) which means the yew at the head of the strand, which St. Patrick is said to have planted in the 5th Century.
Ireland first protestant church is also in the city and bears St Patrick name. It first opened its doors in 1578. Newry’s other main Cathedral is St. Patrick and St Colmanís which was built in 1829, it was designed by architect Thomas Duff.
Newry offers some of the finest scenery in Northern Ireland, with the Ring of Gullion to the south-west and the Mourne Mountains to the east. Both have been designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty. The river Clanrye runs through the city and historically formed the border between Armagh and Down. The city ís Town Hall was built on top of the river.
Newry can boast some famous sons, with Pat Jennings, former goalkeeper and Northern Ireland’s most capped player, born in the city. Mountaineer Terence Banjoî Bannon is from the city, as is John Dunlop, a prominent Presbyterian churchman. John Mitchell, the driving force behind the Young Ireland Movement is buried in the Old Meeting House in the city.
Newry has a population which has grown steadily and in a census carried out in 2001 its population numbered 27433 people. Newry house prices have also increased dramatically by 371% since 1996, topping a poll for the whole of the United Kingdom.
Sport plays a major part in the fabric of the city, with Pairc Esler being the home of Down GAA. The city also boasts a soccer club which play at the Showgrounds in the city. There is a wide range of activities available in the city, with a museum, arts center and a number of art galleries available.
Accommodation in the city can be found in the magnificent surroundings of the Canal Court Hotel. Centrally located, the hotel offers a superb base while staying in the city.
From a varied history to the excellent sightseeing and the shopping makes Newry a place to go.