John McCullagh January 3, 2007
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Bradshaw’s Newry Directory (1820) continues ………

‘.. The road through the town northwards formerly lay through Ballybot, Mill Street, Market Street and High Street and united with the Banbridge Road at Stream Street.

 

But latterly the line of the road has been much improved by a new cut, in the direction of the river, along the level between the turnpike and the Low Ground.

The line to Rathfriland has also been improved by a cut northward, which meets the Banbridge Road at the end of the town. The old line runs through High Street, Church Street and Pound Street.

Above the town the former Dublin Road was very steep and difficult for horses drawing loaded cars and carriages. Some considerable time ago the line was much improved by a cut more westward which has made the ascent more gradual and easy. The Dublin Bridge, by which this road unites with the body of the town, was lately rebuilt and rendered much more handsome than the old one.

A little below this bridge there are some remains of a ford observable by which there had formerly been a passage over the river at low water.’


A few comments may be appropriate. 

In regard to the name Ballybot – which appeared on old maps of Newry predating Bradshaw by two centuries, and which is still cherished especially by inhabitants of the Ballinlare Townland on the west of Newry – it is notable that the civil servants who rule us seem determined to extinguish the last reference to this historic nomenclature. To effect,  I recently received the following email from Brussels

Dear John,

What do your readers think of the Electoral Commission proposal to change the historic name of "Ballybot/Baile Bocht" into "The Quays"?

This was highlighted on "Newsline" last night.

Who is behind this..? Local businessmen in search of free advertising for the new ‘Cathedrals’ on Merchants Quay and the Omeath Road?

Philistines…

I hope that a sense of local cultural identity will prevail over bureaucratic ignorance.

Is mise

Frank Patterson

formerly of Drumalane, currently in Brussels, Belgium


 

I for one find it difficult to dissent from Mr Patterson’s opinion.

Secondly, it seems hard to imagine the line of these noted original trunk roads. I understand the original Dublin Road ascended Kate Linegan’s loanan (but I’m open to correction here!) – AND the road to Monaghan ascended Bull’s Hill.

And it is harder still to imagine people fording the Clanrye River at the edge of town at low tide – that is, wading across!

 

Finally, is it not ironic that present and future main road plans follow the ‘by-pass’ line of the infamous Isaac Corry (Chancellors Road) who wished, it is said, on his journeys back and forth to the Dublin Parliament, to avoid his constituents whose anger he had aroused with his betrayal of Ireland’s cause?

 

 

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