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Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001

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Warrenpoint Parish

Warrenpoint town Church of Ireland, Warrenpoint 1st Presbyterian Church Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church
Methodist Church   Warrenpoint Catholic Church Narrowwater Castle

 

Warrenpoint
This modern photo of Warrenpoint was kindly sent to me by Deirdre McEvoy. It's looking north to the town of Warrenpoint across Carlingford Lough.
Warrenpoint Promenade
This old photo of Warrenpoint Promenade was kindly sent to me by Roland Torrens. It shows the swimming baths in the centre.

Warrenpoint town
town & parish on Carlingford Lough, 9km SE of Newry

Warrenpoint was the ancient coronation place of the Magennis clan. It's a modern parish only named since 1744. Previously it was part of Clonallan parish. The town, in Ringmacilroy townland, as late as 1780, consisted of only a few fishermen's & oystermen's huts and two houses. It was named either because of the amount of rabbit warrens in the area or after a family called Warren. It's scenic beauty and coastal location instigated rapid development so that the population in 1824 was 500 & in 1831 was 1,000. In 1836 there was a school , court house, a Savings Bank, 4 policemen and a Farming Society. Fairs were held once a month and a market every Friday.However, in the mid 19th century, Newry merchants obtained a government grant to create a tidal dock at the village, as prior to 1850, ships of above 150 tons could not get further up the Lough than Narrowwater. All goods had to be transported by land or after 1849, by rail to Newry. In 1846 the population was 683 people.

With the advent of the Newry, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor railway opening in 1849, the way of life changed for the residents of Warrenpoint. Thousands flocked to the resort every year. Locals turned their homes into holiday accommodation. A bandstand in the park provided concerts for the holiday makers and a swimming pool was first built in 1908.

For more photos & ephemera of Warrenpoint, try Brian McCalmont's site: http://www.oldwarrenpoint.com/mypictures.html

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
Farming society 3 Mar 1838; soup kitchen 6 Feb 1847; strange case of an importunate suitor 10 Aug 1867; Town Commissioner, extraordinary case 9 Feb 1884

References;V3 p 115+ OSM; DR; BIH p 10 ; GIC; PNNI V1 p 161; MSWAG; DDPP p83,84; WHGM 2011 p19 (railway)

 

Warrenpoint parish church

Church of Ireland, Warrenpoint

The parish church is situated at the south eastern end of Church Street, Warrenpoint town. It is a rectangular building of roughcast stone, ornamented with cut granite with a square tower. Its dimensions are 68 feet by 28 feet. It was built in 1826 at a cost of £900 which was defrayed by the Board of First Fruits. It was built on a site which was donated by Roger Hall of Mount Hall, Narrowwater, who owned Warrenpoint.

A stone over the door has this inscription; " This chapel was endowed by the Rev. John Davis, 1825". The Rev. Davis also endowed it for a chaplain's salary of £50 per year to which the Board of First Fruits added £25 per year. The incumbent in 1836 was Rev. James Anderson, chaplain, with an income of £75 a year.

References;V3 p116,117 OSM ; MS WAG p 52

 

1st Presbyterian Church, Warrenpoint
at the junction of Meeting Street/Charlotte Street, Warrenpoint

The earliuest Presbyterian congregation, known as Narrow water was founded around 1697. It became a separate congregation from Carlingford in 1707 with Rev. Wilson ministering to both groups. The minister of both Warrenpoint & Carlingford 1765-1804 was Rev. Robert Dickson. Rev. Samuel Arnold was the first minister appointed solely to this church in 1820. In 1829 Rev Samuel Arnold split with the Presbyterian Synod and he and part of the congregation left and joined the Non-Subscribing church , they also retained ownership of the church building ( below) . The remainder of the congregation stayed with what is known to-day as the Presbyterian Church in Ireland but built, in 1831, a new church . This meeting house was built at a cost of £750 which was raised by public subscription. It was described in 1836 as a plain, large building in the shape of a cross which was capable of holding 650 people with an average attendance in then of 210 & 500 in the bathing season. Rev. Thomas Logan was the next minuter with a salary of £86.There was a Sunday School in the meeting house with an average attendance of 30 children. Rev. John martin replaced Rev Logan in 1842 until 1847 then Rev. Isaac Patterson 1847- 1875 then Rev. Andrew halliday 1876- 1880 then Rev. David Mitchell from 1880.

records from 1832, modern graveyard, older burials in Clonallan parish graveyard

This photo was kindly sent by William Wilson

References; HCPCI p242-243; MIs; V3 p 116, 117, 118 OSM; GIPR: GIC

 

Warrenpoint Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church

Warrenpoint Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church

in Burren Road , Warrenpoint -originally known as Narrow-water but known as Warrenpoint from about 1880.

A Presbyterian congregation was founded in 1707 and the 4th church built on this site was in 1806. It cost £500 which was raised by private subscription. It was a slate roofed building with a gallery & seats and holds 420 with an average attendance of 70. In 1829 , Rev Samuel Arnold became the minister of this church, after being at 1st Presbyterian church . He and part of the congregation left and joined the Remonstrant Synod which to-day is part of the Non-Subscribing church in Ireland, they also retained ownership of the church building ( photo on left) . Rev Samuel Arnold 's salary was £52 per year. There was a Sunday School held in the church in 1836 with an average attendance of 30.

records from 1825, modern graveyard; most burials in Clonallan parish churchyard

References; HCPCI p242-243; V3 p 116, 117 OSM; GIPR; GIC; http://www.nspresbyterian.org/churches/church31/churchdetail.htm ; William Wilson

 

Warrenpoint Methodist Church

Warrenpoint Methodist Church
in Church Street , opposite the parish church

 

This church was builtin 1793.In 1836 it was described as a plain, slated building capable of holding 130 people. Iit used a circuit minister 1836,


no graveyard

References;V3 p 117 OSM ; GIC

 

St. Peter's Catholic Church, Warrenpoint Warrenpoint Catholic

St. Peter's Catholic Church, Warrenpoint

The photo on the left was taken c. 1915 & the one on the right in 2005.

Mass had regularly celebrated in town from 1830 in a small shed in Courtney's Yard on Charlotte Street. St. Peter's Church is situated near the south eastern extremity of Post Office Street, Warrenpoint. It is a neat Gothic building of stone, faced and ornamented with cut granite, in the form of a cross. Its dimensions are 80 feet by 30 feet. The building was started in 1834 and finished 1840 at a cost of £2,500 and holds 1,000 people. It was built on land bequeathed by George Ogle Godfrey of Newry and was designed by Thomas Duff, the famous Newry architect. In 1875 a tower and spire were added which are 1444 feet high. The parish priest in 1824 was Rev. Bernard Poland & in 1846, Rev.P.Murphy & in 1893 was Rev. Henry O'Neill. The church was extended in 1931. A new church was built in Clonallan Road in 1987 (Church of Mary, Queen of Peace) for the expanding congregation.

Parish priests Warrenpoint & Clonallon; Rev. Patrick O'Kelly up to 1423; Rev. Peter McGivern 1423; Rev. Patrick MacDonegan before 1437; Rev. John O'Rooney after 1437; Rev. John MacDonegan 1460; Rev. Gelasius Magennis 1500; Rev. CharlesKane 1526; Rev. Hugh O'Sheil 1534; Rev. Cormac O'Sheil 1625; Rev. Manus O'Fegan 1704; Rev. Patrick Rooney ; Rev Anthony Grvey 1725-1747; Rev. John Ryan 1766; Rev. Oatrick Rooney 1772; Rev. Bernard Polin 1772; Rev. Peter Polin 1826; Rev.Michael John MacCartan Dec 1826-1829; Rev. Peter Murphy 1829-1845; Rev. Robert Denvir 1840; Rev. John Brennan 1846-1868; Rev. Eugene McMullan 1869- 1886; Rev. Henry O'Neill 1886- 1915; Rev Daniel Mallon 1902- 1907; Rev. Felix MacGennis 1907- 1924; Rev. Daniel McAlister 1924-1949; Canon . James Fitzpatrick 1949- 1961; Rev. Hugh Esler 1961- 1983; Rev. Edward Hamill 1984- 200; Rev. John Kearney 1998-

Newspaper article from Northern Herald;
new Catholic chapel for Warrenpoint 2 Aug 1834

modern graveyard; old burials in Clonallan parish graveyard or newer ones at the rear of St. Martins School ; UHF has baptisms & marriages 1826-1900; LDS film #0926077 1826-1838 for Warrenpoint births & #0926085 1808-1881 for Warrenpoint & Kilbroney Catholic parishes

References;V3 p116,117 OSM: MS WAG p 59; Perspectives p5,6; GIC; DDPP p78,83,84, 85,86

 

Narrowwater Castle on Carlingford Lough
Narrowater Castle Old section of Narrow water Castle
This is the newest castle built across the road and up the hill from the Tower castle. (left) This is the older section, Mount Hall, which is at the back of the newer castle
 
Narrowwater Castle
     

A castle was built here in 1212 by Hugh de Lacey. It was originally called Caol Castle, it was rebuilt in 1560 at a cost of £361.4.2 as an English garrison command post. It has a murder hole and there are three levels of habitation and an attic. Latrines and other small chambers were built into the walls' thickness.(see photo (left)

Prior to that The Danes (Vikings) had established a station at Narrowwater in 790 AD from whence they carried out raids on the nearby territory and on religious establishments such as Killeavy. They remained there until the mid-tenth century when they were beaten and driven out by Murray McNeill. The Magennis clan originally owned this land.

The old castle is situated on a small island in the Newry River just before it becomes Carlingford Lough It was strategically place at the narrowest point to prevent foreign/undesirable craft from proceeding further up the river to Newry town.

The photo on the left was taken from Co. Lough in the Republic of Ireland . It was also the site of the old ferry which was established in 1770 by Roger Hall Esq. (the major land owner in this area). The fares were 1 penny for each passenger, 1 shilling for a horse and cart, 2 shillings for a carriage and a pair of horses, other prices for goods varying according to circumstances.

In 1670 Francis Hall bought nine townlands including Narrow Water townland & the old castle. He lived in the old castle for a few years them built a house in the style of the Irish long house called Mount Hall. In 1816, Roger Hall built the present castle adjoining Mount Hall in Elizabethan revival style . The architect was Thomas Duff. The granite stone came from the family estate in Mullaghglass Co. Armagh. Many of the interior features like the library fireplace were carved by Curran & Sons of Lisburn.

In 1939 the castle & part of the farm was commandeered by the British Army so there were 250 soldiers in the house and another 2000 camped on the farm. Then the Americans arrived. After the war the family started a hotel until 1952 when the castle was divided into twelve flats which still exist today. The main reception rooms can now be hired for weddings and other functions.

Residence of Major William J. Hall in 1886. The Hall family still live in the castle.

Newspaper Articles from Down Recorder;
residence of Roger Hall Esq. 24 Sep 1864 ;garden party, list of those present 22 Aug 1885

References; DR ;V3 p 115, 116, 122 OSM; PNNI V1 p 163; POD; brochure by Roger Hall


by Ros Davies