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The Bann Bridge Files

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The Bridge - 1910
The Bridge - 1910

Bann-Bridge.

As the Bann Bridge widening scheme is now complete, we include a brief history of the river crossing at Portadown by James S. Kane.

It is appropriate at this time to take a look at bridges over the river Bann down through the years. It is impossible to state, when the first bridge was constructed, but as Edenderry was an important crossing point of the River Bann, there would have been a bridge of some shape or form in the area for several hundred years.

1641 A wooden bridge spanned the River Bann at Edenderry and it was from this bridge, that 200 Protestant settlers, were hurled to their deaths, during the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

1708 a new wooden bridge was built over the River Bann at Edenderry.

1750 another wooden bridge was constructed.

1761 At a meeting held on 16 August 1761”It was resolved, that a stone bridge should be built over the Bann at Portadown,” William Blacker of Carrickblacker, was put in charge of the scheme. A canal 400 yards long by 20 yards wide and eight feet deep, was cut to facilitate the construction work.

1786 This bridge was washed away in a flood and was replaced with a bridge of 13 arches.

!835-1837 A bridge of five arches was constructed and this bridge functioned for nearly 90 years without modification. This bridge cost £9,000.

1893 Eward Saunderson, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, proclaims “Home Rule may pass this house (Houses of Parliament) but it will never pass the bridge at Portadown”

1922-23 The bridge was widened in an unemployment relief scheme, which saw metal box girders, fitted to the bridge on the Pleasure Gardens side. This bridge cost in the region of £15,000.

1940-45 Pillboxes and Air Raid Shelter were constructed to defend the Bann Bridge against German attack.

2005 The Bann Bridge underwent extensive renovations, which saw the box girder parts removed, as they were unsafe. The main structure of the bridge built in 1835 remains largely intact. These renovations are costing £2.4million.

Please note that the town land boundary of Edenderry, runs up the middle of the River Bann, making half of the bridge in the townland of Edenderry. The name Edenderry, as we know it today, is an anglicised version of the Gaelic Eadan Doire. Eadan means hill face or hill brow, while Doire translates, as an oak grove. So Edenderry means the hill brow of the oak grove.

The photo shows the Bridge as it was in 1910. Note the heavy engine powered lorry & the Anchor Cafe where Ross Raymond trades today.
Photo courtesy of Rotary.


J. S. Kane.


Aerial View Bann Bridge - 1967
Aerial View Bann Bridge - 1967

This photo was taken in 1967,note also the railway bridge in the distance.

Photo courtesy of Rotary.

The Bridge
The Bridge

Photo courtesy of Rotary.



The Bridge
The Bridge

Note the gable of the Anchor Restaurant now Ross Raymond's bicycle shop.
Does anyone know where the chimney stack towering above the Restaurant was situated & what was its function.We would like to hear from you.
Photo courtesy of Rotary.

Bridge - 1861
Bridge - 1861

Reproduced from an old drawing found in a byre in the County somewhere.
Obviously drawn from the railway bridge.
Note the Hamilton & Robb factory on the Edenderry side.
Our thank to Mr R Brady for permission to use the photo.

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