Newry Ropeworks

I came across the following extract lately on another website and I reflected on the phrase in bold type. As a very young boy I had looked up ‘Newry’ in an encyclopedia at home, and learned that one of its chief manufactories was a ropeworks!

This reflects more on the age of that particular book that on the town’s industries of the time. However here was some proof of the ropeworks from an earlier age.

How does this, I wonder, relate to that district still known as ‘The Ropewalk’?

Surely some of you can enlighten our readership about the origin of this name?


‘Looking back at my childhood and early days of youth my happiest memories are all connected with one person, Granda William Logan of 50 Newry Street, Banbridge.

William Logan was born on 29th August 1880, the son of George and Sarah Jane and the grandson of James Logan who, it is said, founded the first ropeworks in Ireland at Newry Street, Banbridge, in the year 1820 when he was nineteen years old.

Logan also built a ropeworks in High Street, Newry, Co.Down.  

He erected the building where the “Patrisse Coffee Lounge” and the Banbridge “Job Centre” are situated, the gateway between these two shop fronts, (nos. 48 and 50 Newry Street) was the entrance to the ropeworks which stretched from Newry Street to a lane-way known as “Bird Lane”, later to be officially named as Townsend Street.  

Across the lane from the ropeworks was a row of workers’ cottages which belonged to Logan‘s and behind the cottages was a large field known as “The Glen” where Granda Logan in his early days bred prize winning dogs.  The Glen is now part of a large housing estate.

James Logan died on 6th February 1867 and on his death he left property in 48 and 50 Newry Street, Downshire Place;  dwellings between Doctor’s Lane and Porkhouse and Rathfriland Street, Banbridge;  and he also left houses and a ropeworks in Newry Co.Down.  He left the Banbridge ropeworks to his son George and the Newry ropeworks and property to his son Henry who sold the Newry property and moved to Portadown where he opened the Portadown ropeworks.

Granda Logan never expected to inherit the Banbridge ropeworks from his father. It was expected that the eldest son, George (Jun), would follow him into the rope manufacturing business.  Another brother, James, had joined the Irish Constabulary and became a District Inspector on the police force.  Joseph was killed by a Hayes Mill cart at the entrance to the ropeworks when he was only five years old.  Harry the youngest brother had not made up his mind what career he wanted to follow.

Granda was always interested in a political career but did not get the chance to pursue this idea.   George Logan (jun) had no interest in the rope manufacturing business and he left home to join the army.  In the Boer War, during the fighting, he was buried alive three days when buildings blown up by the Boers fell on him at the “Battle of Ladysmith”.  

By the time World War 1 broke out, George had risen to the rank of Major.’

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