Lurgan Business Directory 1880|
From the Directory of Belfast and Ulster
Lurgan is a flourishing manufacturing town in the County Armagh. It is situated twenty miles S.W. from Belfast, on the line of the Great Northern Railway, and about one and a half miles from Lough Neagh.
Brownlow House, the home residence of the Right Hon. Lord Lurgan, K.P. (lord of the manor), is a splendid castle, fronted on the east by a large and beautiful lake, and surrounded by a great enclosed plantation which extends along the whole north-eastern side of the town. To this demesne there are several entrances, the principle being by an elegant lodge which stands near to the centre of the town, between High street and Market street.
Generally speaking, the architectural character of Lurgan is plain but fashionable. The greater proportion of the town has been tastefully rebuilt within recent years, and though the houses are only two-storeys high from the level of the street, there are commonly cellars beneath. Lurgan is the first town of the County Armagh in population and commercial resources, and it is a very important legal centre as well.
The General Quarter Sessions of the county are held here, and the large Petty Sessions district - which extends from the Moyntagh shores of Lough Neagh to several miles of County Down - affords ample business for that court, which is held on the first and third Tuesday in each month. The manufacture of cambric handkerchiefs and damask goods is the staple trade of Lurgan, and the country and villages surrounding, and to the success and skill of the inhabitants in the production of these fabrics may be attributed the rapid progress of the town.
In 1831, the population of Lurgan was 3,760; it is now above 12,000. The annual valuation of rateable property was then £5,578. It is now £17,000. The accumuation of private wealth must have been more than treble that of public, as a large number of manufacturers have, in the same period, amassed princely fortunes.
Among the principal depots of public industry in Lurgan are the extensive power-loom factories of
James Malcolm, Esq., J.P.,
Messrs. James Macoun & Co.;
and the linen and cambric manufactries of
Messrs. John Ross & Co., Robert Watson & Sons,
John Douglas & Sons,
Johnston, Allen & Co. ,
Thomas Bell & Co,
Richardson, Sons & Owen Limited,
James Glass & Co.,
The stitching factory of the Lurgan Hemming and Veining Co. The Belfast, Northern and Ulster Banks have each a branch in operation there. The Parish Church, a large edifcie in Gothic architecture, occupies a commanding site in the centre of the town. There are also commodious houses of worship for Presbyterians, Methodistreets, the Society of Friends and Roman Catholics.
There are, besides Lurgan College and the Model school, a good number of National Schools available for instruction, two of these being in immediate connection with St. Peter’s Church and St. Joseph’s Convent. The municipal affairs of lurgan are managed by a Board of fifteen Commissioners, incorporated under the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act 1854.
The Mechanics’ Institute is a handsome structure, situated at the corner of Market street and Union street. The library is open on the evenings of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from seven till nine o’clock. The Town Hall is in Union street, and contains a lecture-hall, with platform at end with footlights, Town Commissioners’ office and a room occupied by the Masonic body. There is a well-supplied market held in Lurgan every Thursday, and fairs monthly and twice a year.
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