NEWRY GEOLOGY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 22,491 statute acres, of which 9685 are in Oneilland West, and 450l ¾ in Lower Orior; the remainder constitutes the lordship, in which is included a small isolated portion, locally in the barony of Upper Iveagh: about 489 acres are covered with water, and about 260 are bog; the remainder is mostly arable, under an excellent system of agriculture, with some rocky mountain. Though the site of the town is low, as compared with the surrounding country, the climate is pure and salubrious, and the prospects in most parts beautiful and picturesque. The river on which it is built, anciently called the Clanrye, but afterwards the Newry water, flows, after quitting the town, in a south-eastern direction through a highly cultivated tract of rising grounds, well planted and studded with numerous villas and seats, into Carlingford bay, which is bounded on each side by the mountains of Rosstrevor and Fathom: the mountain of Altnaveagh, in the lordship, affords excellent pasturage, and much of it is cultivated; but the greater part of the Fathom range is sterile.

The geological features of the district are very striking; it forms the western boundary of the granitic range in this part of Ireland; and granite, sienite, and porphyry are found in it in all their varieties. The old town is almost exclusively built of porphyry; the new of granite. Whyn dykes, in which beautiful specimens of zeolite are frequently found imbedded, penetrate the granite in several directions; in some places layers of quartz are interposed between the strata. Oxyde of manganese is of frequent occurrence; clay-slate, with mica extensively disseminated through it, appears on the Armagh side; and schist to the north of the town.

In the townland of Creeve many springs burst out of the granite and quartz rocks, in the streams of which is found a metallic residuum in large quantities, resembling copper, which mixes with the sand and is very heavy; near the toll-gate on the Belfast road is a vein of the newly discovered mineral, trephine; and a still greater body of it was discovered, in 1835, near Mount Kearney. To the north of the town, on the Belfast road, is a very copious chalybeate spring, highly beneficial in scorbutic cases. The principal seats in the vicinity of the town all of which are embellished with rich and flourishing plantations, are Fathom, the residence of — Benson, Esq.; Greenpark, of — Thompson, Esq.; Derramore, of — Smith, Esq.; Drumbanagher Castle, of Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell Close; Drummantine, of — Ennis, Esq.; and Narrow-water, of Roger Hall, Esq.

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