Directory of Belfast and Ulster 1925

Church Place Lurgan

LURGAN is a linen and cambric manufacturing town in the north-east of County Armagh, situated twenty miles S.W. from the City of Belfast, on the line of the Great Northern Railway, and a mile and a half south from Lough Neagh. The population of Lurgan at the last census was 12,553, an increase of 783, or 7.0 per cent, over previous census, annual value of rateable property amounts to £30,081 0s 0d. and the township is annually increasing. Brownlow House and terrace grounds, formerly the seat of Lord Lurgan. were purchased by the Orangemen of Lurgan and district some years ago while the demesne (some 500 acres in extent), which was formerly in the hands of the Lurgan Real Property Company, has now been practically all disposed of, with the exception of a few acres in Windsor Avenue retained for building ground.

The Town Council some years ago acquired 73 acres of the choices part of the demesne immediately adjacent to the town and opposite Brownlow House, for the purpose of a public park for the town. This has been laid out at very considerable expense and was formerly opened by the then Lord Lieutenant on the 31st of July 1909. The Council has also secured the 63 acres of ornamental lake bordering on the park, and this is used for fishing and similar purposes, while some three years ago the Council purchased a further three acres of land bordering on the lake for the purpose of providing a carriage drive. In the public park the following sports ground are laid out:- One Association football ground, one Rugby ground, one cricket crease, one bowling green, one tennis ground (4 courts). Lurgan may be said to be the cradle of the Irish linen cambric industry, and to the success and skill of its inhabitants and of the surrounding villages in the fine linen and damask manufacture, and in recent years the handkerchief hemstitching and finishing business, is to be attributed the progress of the town. In all there are 22 factories in the town. These employ roughly 3,000 female hands and about 1,100 male hands; but a very large percentage of these - over 60 per cent - have been unemployed or on part time employment since July, 1921.

There is very little unemployment now, and there is a keen demand by managers for operatives. The Labour Exchange have applications for over 200 vacancies, the new register shows a large increase in the voting strength within the urban area. This now contains 6,001 Parliamentary voters and 5,931 Parliamentary and Local government electors. Lurgan has also two fine golf courses, Woodville, situated on the Lough Road, and the Lurgan Golf Club in the Demesne.

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