self catering accommodation , Newcastle , County Down, Northern Ireland

Displaying copies of the Places That Time Forgot booklet are (from left):
Newcastle Chamber of Commerce president Peter Law; Eric Tommasini, Down Council’s town
centres manager; Camilla Fitzpatrick, sustainable tourism manager with the Mourne Heritage Trust,
and Mourne Observer editor Terence Bowman, who wrote the text for the local history project.

NEWCASTLE Chamber of Commerce’s unique Places That Time Forgot project was officially launched at the town’s Slieve Donard Hotel last Thursday morning.
The aim of the initiative is to highlight some of the areas around the town and district that have a locally significant history, but through time their exact meaning and location may have become distorted and indeed eventually lost.
In addition to erecting 12 information signs at various places around Newcastle, Bryansford, Castlewellan and Dundrum, the Chamber has also produced an accompanying 20-page illustrated booklet, which is available free of charge to the general public.
The project was the brainchild of Newcastle Chamber president Peter Law, who had no difficulty enlisting the support of fellow businesspeople and a number of funding agencies.
Mr Law sought the services of Mourne Observer editor Terence Bowman, who readily agreed to co-ordinate the research, write the text for the booklet and hunt down the various photographs and other illustrations.
Assisted by Chamber secretary Eileen Bannon, it took him some five months to put together the 10 chapters (covering 12 different locations) and complete the project.
During the course of the research, Mr Bowman enjoyed the enthusiastic support of a sizeable number of local citizens and historians, some of who were directly connected to the names featured on the Places That Time Forgot signs. There was also valuable assistance from the Local Studies Section at Library Headquarters in Ballynahinch.
Many of those contributors joined Chamber of Commerce members and representatives of the various funding bodies at Thursday’s launch.
Mr Law thanked all those involved in bringing the project to fruition, especially those who had made available their own family recollections, old photographs and other valuable information.
He commended the Mourne Heritage Trust for their vital sponsorship, without which the project would not have been possible; Down District Council for its help and financial contribution; the Department of the Environment for placing the signs, and the Mourne Observer for producing the booklet and a summarising leaflet.
Mr Law also thanked his colleague Mrs Bannon for her role in the research and administration, and writer Terence Bowman for putting together such an excellent local history for the Newcastle area.
“In many ways,” he said, “we have only scratched the surface of the many places and memories of old Newcastle. Hopefully, we will all benefit from this opportunity to remember some important aspects of our distinctive local heritage.”


Responding, Mr Bowman said it had been a privilege for him to give something back to the town, which had welcomed him into its midst back in 1976.
He thanked the many individuals who had shared not only their memories of times long past, but who had also, in many cases, provided their own family photographs and other memorabilia to support the project.
Mr Bowman also urged anyone with additional information, or, indeed, anyone who wished to correct any of the details in the booklet, to get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce as it would be their desire to update it, with further Places That Time Forgot in the future.
Mr Eric Tommasini, Down Council’s town centres manager for Downpatrick, Ballynahinch and Newcastle, commended the Chamber of Commerce on their initiative, which he hoped would act as a catalyst for similar projects around the district, whereby important aspects of local history would be preserved.
He said the Council was very pleased to be involved in the Places That Time Forgot project and he congratulated all those involved in any way.
The concluding speaker was Ms Camilla Fitzpatrick, sustainable tourism manager with the Mourne Heritage Trust. She explained that the project had been assisted by the Trust as part of the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative, under the Peace and Reconciliation Programme. She too commended the Chamber on putting forward such a worthwhile undertaking and seeing it through to a very satisfactory conclusion.
Places that won’t be forgotten
COMMEMORATIVE signs have been erected by Newcastle Chamber of Commerce at the following significant locations in the district:
Railway Street, Newcastle / Station Road, Castlewellan
BOTH hark back to the days when an extensive rail system criss-crossed the Co. Down countryside and linked local towns and villages to numerous destinations throughout Ireland.
Bejoni’s Corner
THE junction where Central Promenade meets Bryansford Road in Newcastle was where the Italian Biagioni family ran their ice cream business in the early years of the 20th Century.
Primrose Lane
THE narrow lane that connects the Shimna Road to Bryansford Gardens, just past the Shimna Bridge.
Mass Pad
THE pathway that once linked South Promenade (from beside Mario’s Restaurant) to King Street. It led to No 63, one of the oldest houses in the Harbour area. The rear garden was used by Catholic worshippers prior to the construction of St. Mary’s Church.
Beers’ Bridge
THE earliest resident of Brook Cottage, on the Bryansford Road, was William Beers, after whom the nearby bridge is named.
Rowley Path
RICHARD Rowley (alias the poet Richard Valentine Williams) is remembered through the Rowley Meadows housing development and the Rowley Path, which runs along the southern boundary of the Islands Park.
The Priest’s Bridge
THE Rev. Hugh Hanna was Parish Priest in Newcastle and Bryansford from 1845-85. “The Priest’s Bridge” can be found at the sharp right-hand bend along the final countryside stretch of the Tullybrannigan Road, where he resided.
Parnell’s Bridge, Tollymore Forest Park
THIS commemorates Sir John Parnell (1744-1801), who served as Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer and also represented Bangor, Co. Down, in the Irish Parliament while still in his teens.
The Cup and Saucer
THE Carnacaville Road junction, along the main Newcastle to Castlewellan road, earned this name due to the hawthorn bushes that once grew there. They were carefully sculpted in the shape of a large cup and saucer.
Kidds’ Corner
THIS relates to the junction of the Tollymore Road with the Newcastle to Castlewellan road. Various generations of the Kidds, blacksmiths by profession, lived in the big house to the left.
The Dam Lane, Dundrum
THE dam in question, off Dundrum’s Main Street, dates back to the late 1850s and provided a water source for a flour mill erected by the fourth Marquis of Downshire.

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