NEWRY INFRASTRUCTURE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The town is advantageously situated on the Newry water. The western part, called Ballybot and sometimes Southwark, in Armagh county, is connected with the eastern, in the county of Down, by four stone bridges and a swivel bridge. The general appearance of the place, as seen from without, is cheerful and prepossessing: the old town, on the eastern side, situated on the side of a hill, with its church and spire rising above the houses, leads to an expectation of a correspondence of character in the interior; but the reverse is the case. Like other old towns, the streets are narrow, precipitous and inconvenient; but the modern part of the town, generally called "the Low Ground," is very elegant; the houses lofty and built of granite; the streets wide, well formed, and paved, with flagged footways. Marcus-square, with several lines of new buildings, presents very elegant specimens of domestic architecture.

A great number of excellent springs issuing from the rocks eastward of the town, and more than 200 wells, have been formed in various parts, but no artificial means have yet been adopted to provide a supply of water on a scale commensurate with the domestic and manufacturing demands of the population. The streets and public buildings are lighted with gas supplied by works established by a company in 1822. Much has been done within the last few years to improve the general appearance of the town and neighbourhood; a new line of road has been opened, and an excellent approach formed from Warren point, where the river expands into the bay: the north road has been widened and improved, and several very handsome terraces and detached villas have been built: among the bridges, already noticed, is one of a single arch of elegant proportions, called Needham bridge; and an iron swivel bridge is about to be thrown across the canal, which, when completed, will open a communication from the Monaghan road to the very centre of the town.

The assembly, news, and coffee rooms were built by subscription in 1794; the assembly-rooms are spacious and elegant; the news-room is well furnished with newspapers and periodical publications, and is open on the most liberal terms to strangers: the offices of the Commissioners of Police and of the Savings' Bank are in this building. Two newspapers are published here, each twice in the week. A barrack affords accommodation for 44 officers and 670 non-commissioned officers and privates of infantry, and 10 horses, with an hospital for 30 or 40 patients.

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