V ~ Viaduct
I have a couple of photos that I may well have shared in the past, but the viaduct the other day was far to close to the busy road I was travelling on. I didn’t want to risk my life or be a hazard to others, in the heavy traffic so kept on driving.
This photo was was taken in May 2010 through the car window as I was stopped in road works traffic. The work was nearing completion on the last stretch of motorway from Belfast to Dublin and cutting out the last of the bottlenecks on the journey.
Photo taken at the end of March 2013. This time it was mid morning and the traffic was light so I pulled over to the hard shoulder to take this shot. You can just about see Newry through the arches.
Newry is a city in Northern Ireland that straddles the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is 34 miles from Belfast and 67 miles from Dublin.
Moving on to Randalstown….
This Charles Lanyon designed viaduct was built in 1856 to extend the railway from Randalstown to Cookstown. There are two levels the upper one was the train line and the lower the road from Randalstown to Antrim Town.
In 1830 Randalstown was described as ” chiefly one street extending for half a mile along the road from Toomebridge to Belfast..”
I once heard that the area was also called: a “potwalloping borough”, this meant that anyone who boiled a pot of yarn was entitled to vote…. I think they really earned that voting right!
In the late 1990’s the top of the viaduct and part of the railway track were converted into a walkway and cycle path leading from Station Road to New Street. This development provides views of Randalstown, the River Maine and the adjoining parkland of Shane’s Castle.
The entrance to the Shane’s castle Estate
By the end of the 19th century the town depended on an iron works and the Old Bleach Linen Company which was established here in 1864. All that remains now is the chimney of the mill which you can see in the photo above. At its peak in the 1930’s, the Old Bleach company employed over 1000 people. Its doors finally closed in 1980 and demolition began in 1994.
Damask table linen made in Ireland graced tables all over the world in a bygone era of elegance and leisure. I wonder how many of you across the globe have a family heirloom lurking in a drawer?