Infobox UK place
Irish_name= Droichead na Banna Ulster-Scots_name= Banbrig
static_image_caption= The Cut in Banbridge
map_type= Northern Ireland
population= 14,744 (2001 Census)
unitary_northern_ireland= Banbridge District
country= Northern Ireland
constituency_westminster= Upper Bann
Banbridge (derive|Irish|Droichead na Banna|the Bridge on the Ban (river)) is a rapidly growing
townin County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies on the River Bannand the A1 road. It grew as a coaching stop and from Irish linenmanufacturing. Its population was 14,744 people in the 2001 Census though is said to have raised in population by a fith since then, [http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Banbridge-is-just-booming.4533566.jp] suggesting a population of around 18,000. [14,744 x 1.2 = 17692.] The town is the headquarters for Banbridge District Council. The town was named after the first bridge built over the Upper Bann in 1712.
The main street is very unusual, and rises to a steep hill. Banbridge used to be an important stop on the Belfast to Dublin stagecoach route and the town's best known feature is the
underpassconstructed in 1834 by William Darganknown colloquially as "The Cut". The official name is 'Downshire Bridge'. It is thought that this was the first underpass ever built. Its construction was due to pressure from the Post Office, which was concerned that its horses could not pass through the centre of the town without fainting before they reached the top of the hill.
Nearby towns and villages include:
Rathfriland, Corbet, Annaclone, Magherally, Seapatrick, Donaghcloney, Blackskull, Lawrencetown, Loughbrickland, Dromore, Scarvaand Gilford.
Banbridge, home to the
Star of the County Down, is, relatively speaking, quite a young town. The town grew up around the site where the main road from Belfastto Dublincrossed the River Bannover an Old Bridge which was situated where the present bridge now stands. The town owed its success to flaxand the linenindustry, becoming by 1772 the principal linen producing district in Ireland with a total of 26 bleachgreens along the Bann. This industry has now greatly diminished in prominence, but Banbridge still has two of the major producers in [http://www.ulster-weavers.com/ Ulster Weavers Ltd] , and [http://www.fergusonsirishlinen.com Thomas Ferguson & Co Ltd.] , the last remaining Irish linen damaskweaver. Recently Banbridge has been twinned with Ruellein France.
Banbridge is classified as a Medium Town by the [http://www.nisra.gov.uk/ NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)] (ie with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (
29 April 2001) there were 14,744 people living in Banbridge. Of these:
*24.4% were aged under 16 years and 16.1% were aged 60 and over
*49.5% of the population were male and 50.5% were female
*33.7% were from a
Catholicbackground and 63.7% were from a Protestant background
*3.3% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.
For more details see: [http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/ NI Neighbourhood Information Service]
Places of interest
* Near the town lie the ancient
Lisnagade Fort, Legannany Dolmen, and the Loughbrickland Crannog, constructed around the year 500 AD
* Banbridge Market House was built about 1832 currently used as offices.
Since 2004, Banbridge has staged an annual [http://buskfest.com BuskFest] busking competition and music festival. Performers have travelled from as far as Australia to participate in the competition and the evening concert has presented artists including
Juliet Turner, Bap Kennedyand The Proclaimers. BuskFest 2007 was headlined by The Undertonesand Buskfest 2008 was headlined by Hothouse Flowers
*Banbridge is on the A1 main road between
railwaystation is Scarva, about eight kilometres (five miles) from Banbridge. Banbridge was linked to the main Belfast- Dublinrailway by a branch line from Scarva that opened on 23 March 1859. A more direct link to Belfastopened on 13 July 1863via Lisburn. A branch line from Banbridge to Ballyroney opened in 1880 and was extended to the coastal resort of Newcastle in 1906. The lines to Scarva and Newcastle and the line to Lisburnwere all closed on 30 April 1956. [cite web | title=Banbridge station | work=Railscot - Irish Railways | url=http://www.railscot.co.uk/Ireland/Irish_railways.pdf | accessdate=2007-09-11]
* Professor Ernest Walton, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics (along with
Sir John Douglas Cockcroft) attended school in Banbridge.
Francis Crozier, British naval officer and Arctic explorer, was born in Banbridge in 1796. A monument to him stands in the town square; four polar bears are carved on the base.
F. E. McWilliam, surrealist sculptor
* [http://www.banbridge.com/template1.asp?parent=340&pid=342&parent2=342&area=2 Joseph Scriven] who wrote the hymn "What a Friend We Have In Jesus."
John Mitchel, Irish nationalist activist and political journalist
* [http://www.ulsterhistory.co.uk/helenwaddell.htm Helen Waddell] , scholar and writer
* [http://www.banbridge.com/template1.asp?parent=340&pid=345&parent2=345&area=2 Howard Ferguson] , composer
* [http://www.banbridge.com/template1.asp?parent=340&pid=347&parent2=347&area=2 Captain Thomas Mayne Reid] , writer
John Butler Yeats, artist and father of four artistic children. Among them were William Butler Yeatsand Jack Butler Yeats.
Simon & Rory Best, international rugby players for Ireland and Ulster grew up in Banbridge
Margaret Barry"Maggie",Irish singer and banjo player, [http://www.iol.ie/~ronolan/magbarry.html spent the last decade of her life in Banbridge.]
Abercorn Primary School
Ballydown Primary School
Bridge Primary School
Bronte Primary School
*Edenderry Primary School
Milltown Primary School
*St. Marys Primary School
Banbridge Academy(mixed grammar)
Banbridge High School
*St Patrick's College
*One of the Banbridge sporting highlights probably was the 1920 - Ireland v. Scotland International Hockey Match played at Banbridge.
Banbridge Hockey Clubwins in 1985 as the second team from Ireland, after Cookstown HCin 1981, the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy.
Current sports clubs include:
Banbridge Town F.C.
Banbridge Hockey Club
* [http://www.banbridgerfc.com/ Banbridge Rugby Football Club]
* [http://www.bannladieshc.co.uk/ Banbridge Ladies Hockey Club]
* [http://www.banbridgecc.co.uk/ Banbridge Cycling Club]
* [http://www.uk-golfguide.com/northern_ireland/25106.html Banbridge Golf Club]
* [http://www.banbridgerangersfc.co.uk/ Banbridge Rangers Football Club]
* [http://www.downgaa.net/downgaa/clubs/Clannnabanna/clannnabanna.htm/ Clann na Banna G.A.A Club]
The Star of the County Downis a well known song associated with Banbridge. [http://ingeb.org/songs/nearbanb.html]
*in the film
The Day After Tomorrowa fictitious Sky Newsbroadcast shows a depiction of Banbridge in the midst of its apocalyptic blizzard with the reporter stating that citizens of Belfast are being evacuated to Banbridge. Sharp eyed viewers of the film will notice that the caption that appears on the television incorrectly spells the name of the town as Bambridge. No filming actually took place in the town.
* [http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/town_Home.aspx?co=7&to=128&ca=0&sca=0&navID=1 Culture Northern Ireland]
List of towns in Northern Ireland
List of villages in Northern Ireland
Market Houses in Northern Ireland
* [http://www.banbridge.gov.uk/ Banbridge District Council]
* [http://www.raymondscountydownwebsite.com/html/banbridge.htm Banbridge Historical Information]
* [http://www.bovc.co.uk/ Banbridge Old Vehicle Club]
* [http://www.banbridgerotary.org/clubnews.htm Banbridge Rotary Club]
* [http://www.banbridge.com/template1.asp?parent=227&parent2=329&pid=372&area=2 "The Cut", Banbridge]
* [http://www.fergusonsirishlinen.com/ Ferguson's Irish Linen]
* [http://www.banbridgeleader.co.uk/ Banbridge Leader Newspaper Website]
* [http://www.1stbb.co.uk/ 1st Banbridge NISC]
* [http://buskfest.com/ BuskFest]
* [http://www.banbridgeguide.com/ BanbridgeGuide.com]
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