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Portadown
Portadown
(from Irish Port a' Dúnáin, meaning 'landing place of the little fort')[3][4] is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town sits on the River Bann
River Bann
in the north of the county, about 24 miles (39 km)[5] southwest of Belfast. It is in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
Craigavon
Borough Council area and had a population of about 22,000 at the 2011 Census. For some purposes, Portadown
Portadown
is treated as part of the " Craigavon
Craigavon
Urban Area", alongside Craigavon
Craigavon
and Lurgan. Although Portadown
Portadown
can trace its origins to the early 17th century Plantation of Ulster, it was not until the Victorian era
Victorian era
and the arrival of the railway that it became a major town. It earned the nickname "hub of the North" due to it being a major railway junction; where the Great Northern Railway's line diverged for Belfast, Dublin, Armagh
Armagh
and Derry. In the 19th and 20th centuries Portadown
Portadown
was also a major centre for the production of textiles (mainly linen). Of its population, about 61% are from a Protestant
Protestant
background and 31% from a Catholic background. Portadown
Portadown
is the site of the long-running Drumcree dispute, over yearly Orange marches through the mainly Catholic part of town, which has often led to violence. In the 1990s, the dispute intensified and drew worldwide attention to Portadown.[6]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history and Plantation of Ulster 1.2 Irish rebellion of 1641 1.3 Industrialisation 1.4 World War II 1.5 The Troubles

2 Geography

2.1 The River Bann 2.2 Townlands 2.3 Climate

3 Demography 4 Governance 5 Religious sites

5.1 Protestant
Protestant
churches 5.2 Catholic churches 5.3 Other churches 5.4 List

6 Transport 7 Economy

7.1 Linen
Linen
manufacturing

8 Culture and community

8.1 Street nicknames 8.2 Events

9 Landmarks 10 Notable people

10.1 Deceased people 10.2 Living people

11 Education

11.1 Primary education 11.2 Post-primary education

12 Healthcare 13 Sport 14 Media 15 See also 16 References 17 Bibliography

History[edit]

Portadown
Portadown
High Street on market day (c.1900)

The Edenderry area of Portadown
Portadown
in the early 1900s

The old railway station in Edenderry (c. 1879)

Early history and Plantation of Ulster[edit] The Portadown
Portadown
area had long been populated by Irish Gaels.[7] At the beginning of the 1600s, it lay within the district of Clancann (Clann Chana), which was part of the larger territory of Oneilland
Oneilland
(Uí Nialláin). This district was named after the dominant local clan—the McCanns (Mac Cana)[7][8]—who had been in the area since before the 13th century.[9][10] The McCanns were then a vassal sept of the O'Neills (Uí Néill).[7] On the eastern banks of the River Bann was the district of Clanbrasil (Clann Bhreasail).[11] The town's name comes from the Irish Port a' Dúnáin (or, more formally, Port an Dúnáin), meaning the port or landing place of the small fort. This was likely a fort of the McCanns.[7] From 1594 until 1603, the O'Neills and an alliance of other clans fought in the Nine Years' War against the English conquest of Ireland. This ended in defeat for the Irish clans, and much of their land was seized by the English. In 1608, James I of England
James I of England
began the Plantation of Ulster
Plantation of Ulster
– the organised colonisation of this land by settlers from Great Britain.[citation needed] In 1610, as part of the Plantation, the lands of Portadown
Portadown
were granted to William Powell.[7] In 1611, he sold his grant of land to Reverend Richard Rolleston, who in turn sold it in two portions to Richard Cope and Michael Obins.[7] Obins built a large Elizabethan-style mansion for himself and his family, and a number of houses nearby for English tenants. This mansion was in the area of the present-day Woodside estate,[12] and today's People's Park was part of its grounds.[7] The park is now bounded on either side by Obins Street and Castle Street, both of which are references to "Obin's Castle". In 1631, Obins was granted a licence for a "fair and market", which led to the building of the first bridge across the River Bann
River Bann
shortly thereafter.[7] Irish rebellion of 1641[edit] During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Obins Castle was captured by a force of dispossessed Irish led by the McCanns, the Magennises and the O'Neills.[7] In one of the worst atrocities of the rebellion, in November 1641, Irish rebels forced about 100 captured English and Scottish settlers (or 'planters') off the Bann bridge and they either drowned or were shot. This became known as the " Portadown
Portadown
massacre", and partly precipitated the revenge attacks carried out in Ireland several years later by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. The Irish Confederate troops abandoned Obins Castle during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, and Hamlet Obins (who had survived its capture) repossessed it in 1652. It was then passed to his son, Anthony Obins.[7] Industrialisation[edit] In 1741, Anthony Obins was involved with the development of the Newry Canal.[7] He was succeeded by Michael Obins in 1750. It was he who set up a linen market in Portadown
Portadown
in 1762 and this laid the foundations of Portadown's major industry.[7] Michael Obins died in 1798 and left a son, Michael Eyre Obins, to succeed him. In 1814, Eyre Obins took holy orders and sold the estate to the Sparrow family of Tandragee.[7] George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester (known as Viscount Mandeville) married Millicent Sparrow in 1822 and came into possession of the estate.[7] This family's legacy to the town includes street names such as Montagu Street, Millicent Crescent and Mandeville Street, as well as buildings such as the Fergus Hall (formerly the Duke's School and Church Street PS), and the Carlton Home (the Duke's former townhouse, latterly a maternity hospital/nurses accommodation and now private apartments). The Blacker family, descended from Danes who entered Ireland in the 9th century, founded an estate at Carrick, on the Portadown–Gilford road. The land had been bought by Colonel Valentine Blacker
Valentine Blacker
from Sir Anthony Cope of Loughgall.[13] It became known as Carrickblacker, and is now the site of Portadown
Portadown
Golf Club. One of the notables in the Blacker family, Colonel William Blacker, High Sheriff of Armagh, took part in the "Battle of the Diamond" and was a founding member of the Orange Order.[14] This, and subsequent events like the setting up of a 'provisional' Grand Lodge in the town after the 'voluntary' dissolution of the Order in 1825, led to the town being known as 'The Orange Citadel' and was a center of sectarian strife for two centuries.[15] Many of the Blacker family were soldiers or churchmen. The family estate was purchased in 1937 by Portadown
Portadown
Golf Club,[16] who demolished Carrickblacker House in 1988 to make way for a new clubhouse. World War II[edit]

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Portadown
Portadown
War Memorial

A large prisoner-of-war (POW) camp was built at Portadown
Portadown
during World War II. It was at the site of a former sports facility on what was then the western edge of town. This area is now covered by housing from Fitzroy Street and the Brownstown Estates. The camp housed (mostly) German POWs. For a time these POWs were guarded by Welsh servicemen who had been transferred from Germany (known as "Bluecaps") and who were billeted at St Patrick's Hall in Thomas Street. Many of the Welsh soldiers chose to be demobilised to Portadown
Portadown
as they had formed relationships there. The local newspaper carried a story of another POW camp, adjacent to Killicomaine Castle (also known as Irwin's Castle) in what was then known as "Cullen's Lane" but is now called "Princess Way" and part of the Killicomaine estate, built in 1954 and largely contemporary with other estates built by the then Portadown
Portadown
Borough Council and the former Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Housing Trust (now called the Northern Ireland Housing Executive).[17] In 2005, a public air-raid shelter was uncovered during excavation works near the riverbank just outside the town centre. One of ten built by the council during World War II, it is one of only two now remaining, the other at the new roundabout on the Gilford
Gilford
Road, and a rare example of public air raid shelters in Northern Ireland.[18] The Troubles[edit]

Security barriers blocking entrance to Portadown
Portadown
town centre in 1982

The "peace wall" along Corcrain Road (right)

Main articles: The Troubles in Portadown
The Troubles in Portadown
and Drumcree conflict During the Troubles, there were numerous shootings, bombings and riots in Portadown. The conflict led to the deaths of 45 people in the town.[19] Loyalists killed 25 people: 18 Catholic civilians, three Protestant
Protestant
civilians, two members of the security forces, a republican paramilitary and a loyalist paramilitary.[19] Irish republicans killed 18 people: nine members of the security forces, one loyalist paramilitary, seven Protestant
Protestant
civilians and one Catholic civilian.[19] The security forces killed one Protestant
Protestant
civilian, and another loyalist was killed by his own bomb.[19] In 1993 and 1998, the town centre was devastated by two large car bombs planted by republicans. The Troubles
The Troubles
led to the town becoming segregated – the northwestern part of the town became almost wholly Catholic/Irish nationalist, while the rest of the town became almost wholly Protestant/unionist.[20] Portadown's 'Catholic district' is bordered by the railway line and by a security barrier ("peace wall") along Corcrain Road.[citation needed] The Troubles
The Troubles
also intensified the long-running Drumcree marching dispute, over Orange marches through the Catholic part of town. Each July from 1995–2000, the dispute drew worldwide attention as it sparked protests and violence throughout Northern Ireland, prompted a massive police/ British Army
British Army
operation, and threatened to derail the peace process. The Army sealed-off the Catholic part of Portadown
Portadown
with large steel, concrete and barbed-wire barricades and the situation was likened to a "war zone"[21] and a "siege".[22] Each summer, during the "marching season", there are many Protestant/loyalist marches in the town. Loyalists put up numerous flags[23] and raise arches over some streets. These marches, and the raising of these flags and arches near the homes of Catholic families, continues to be a source of tension and sometimes violence.[24][25][26][27] Community leaders in Portadown
Portadown
have been involved with the Ulster Project since it began in 1975. The project involves teenagers from both of Northern Ireland's main communities. The goal is to foster goodwill and friendship between them. Each year, a group of teenagers are chosen to travel to the United States, where they stay with an American family for a few weeks.[citation needed] Geography[edit]

River Bann
River Bann
at Portadown

The Bann Bridge

Portadown
Portadown
sits in a relatively flat part of Ireland, near the southern shore of Lough Neagh. There are two small wetland areas on the outskirts of the town; one at Selshion in the west and another at Annagh in the south. The Ballybay River flows into the town from the west before joining the River Bann. The River Bann[edit]

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Most of the town is built on the western side of the River Bann, and owes much of its prosperity to the river. It was the construction of the Newry Canal
Newry Canal
(linking Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough
with Lough Neagh) in 1740, coupled with the growth of the railway in the 19th century, which put Portadown
Portadown
at the hub of transport routes. There are three bridges across the river at Portadown. Bridge Street and Northway are both road bridges and there is a railway bridge beside the Northway. The 'Bann Bridge' on Bridge Street is the oldest. The story of this bridge is unusual in that it was built without a river running underneath it. After building was complete, the course of the River Bann
River Bann
was diverted by some 100 yards to straighten a meander. The old riverbed was then built upon. An archaeological dig in the area of the old riverbed uncovered the bones of some of those drowned in the 1641 massacre. The current bridge has been widened twice since it was built. Townlands[edit] Like the rest of Ireland, the Portadown
Portadown
area has long been divided into townlands, whose names mostly come from the Irish language. Portadown
Portadown
sprang up along a road (High Street/Market Street) that marked the boundary between two of these – Tavanagh and Corcrain. Over time, the surrounding townlands have been built upon and they have given their names to many roads and housing estates. The following is a list of townlands within Portadown's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies:[28][29][30][31] West bank of the River Bann
River Bann
(parish of Drumcree):

Annagh (from Irish Eanach, meaning 'marsh') Ballyoran (from Baile Uaráin meaning "townland of the spring") Baltylum (from Bailte Loma meaning "bare townlands") Clounagh or Clownagh (from Cluain Each meaning "horses meadow") Corcrain (from Corr Chrainn meaning "round hill of the tree") Garvaghy (from Garbh Achadh meaning "rough field") Mahon or Maghon (from Maigh Ghamhan meaning "plain of the calves") Selshion (from Soilseán meaning "bright", "brightness" or "shining") Tavanagh (from Tamhnach meaning "grassland")

East bank of the River Bann
River Bann
(parish of Seagoe):

Ballyhannon (from Baile Uí hAinchain meaning "Ó hAinchain's townland") Bocombra (formerly Bocomra, from Buaic Iomaire meaning "top of the ridge" or Both Chomair meaning "hut at the confluence") Edenderry (from Éadan Doire meaning "hill-brow of the oak grove") Kernan (formerly Kerhanan, from Caorthannan meaning "place of rowans") Killycomain or Killicomain (from Coill Uí Chomáin meaning "Ó Comáin's woodland") Levaghery (from Leathmhachaire meaning "half plain") Lisnisky (from Lios an Uisce meaning "ringfort of the water") – the fields in Lisnisky separate Portadown
Portadown
from Craigavon Seagoe
Seagoe
Upper (from Suidhe Gabha meaning "seat of the smith" or "seat of St. Gobhan")

Climate[edit] The climate of Portadown
Portadown
is like that of much of the rest of the UK and Ireland, being a temperate oceanic climate. It has mild temperatures throughout the year, with summer temperatures not reaching levels to be deemed very hot and winter not very cold. Summer temperatures can reach more than 20 °C though it is rare for them to go higher than 30 °C (86 °F). The consistently humid climate that prevails over Ireland can make these temperatures feel uncomfortable when they stray into the high 20's °C (80–85 °F), more so than similar temperatures in hotter climates in the rest of Europe. It also receives a steady amount of rainfall throughout the year.

Climate data for Portadown

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 7.4 (45.3) 8.1 (46.6) 10.2 (50.4) 12.6 (54.7) 15.6 (60.1) 18.0 (64.4) 19.7 (67.5) 19.3 (66.7) 16.9 (62.4) 13.4 (56.1) 10.0 (50) 7.7 (45.9) 13.3 (55.9)

Average low °C (°F) 1.9 (35.4) 1.6 (34.9) 3.1 (37.6) 4.3 (39.7) 6.7 (44.1) 9.6 (49.3) 11.7 (53.1) 11.4 (52.5) 9.5 (49.1) 6.8 (44.2) 3.9 (39) 2.1 (35.8) 6.1 (43)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 74.5 (2.933) 54.0 (2.126) 65.6 (2.583) 57.6 (2.268) 57.8 (2.276) 58.4 (2.299) 62.7 (2.469) 76.3 (3.004) 68.1 (2.681) 85.5 (3.366) 74.6 (2.937) 77.1 (3.035) 812.3 (31.98)

Average precipitation days (≥ Days of rainfall >= 1 mm) 14.3 11.0 13.3 11.6 11.8 10.9 11.7 13.0 12.2 13.7 13.6 13.3 150.3

Source: Met Office[32]

Demography[edit] For census purposes, Portadown
Portadown
is not treated as a separate entity by the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Instead, it is combined with Craigavon, Lurgan
Lurgan
and Bleary
Bleary
to form the " Craigavon
Craigavon
Urban Area". However, a fairly accurate population count can be arrived at by combining the data of the electoral wards that make up Portadown. These wards are Annagh, Ballybay, Ballyoran, Brownstown, Corcrain, Edenderry, Killycomain and Tavanagh. On the day of the last census (27 March 2011) the combined population of these wards was 22,899.[33] Of this population:

13,957 (60.9%) were Protestant
Protestant
or from a Protestant
Protestant
background 7,300 (31.8%) were Catholic or from a Catholic background 1,642 (7.3%) were of other religious backgrounds or no religious background.[33]

Immigrants make up about 8% of the town's population, many of whom come from Eastern Europe, Portugal
Portugal
and East Timor, as well as China and India.[34] Governance[edit]

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Old Town Council plaque

Portadown
Portadown
is part of the Upper Bann constituency for elections to the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Assembly and Parliament of the United Kingdom. The boundaries of the Assembly constituency and Parliament constituency are identical. This has long been a safe unionist seat.[35] Portadown
Portadown
came under the governance of Portadown
Portadown
Borough Council following the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. This was abolished with the Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
and the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. Henceforth, the town had been under the jurisdiction of the larger Craigavon
Craigavon
Borough Council. However, after local government reform the town is now part of one of Northern Ireland's largest councils, the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
Craigavon
Borough Council. Councillors are elected to the council every four years by proportional representation. The councillors for the DEA are:

Name Party

Louise Templeton

DUP

Darryn Causby

DUP

Julie Flaherty

UUP

Arnold Hatch

UUP

David Jones

UKIP

Paul Duffy

Sinn Féin

Religious sites[edit] Portadown
Portadown
sits on the boundary between two parishes. This boundary is the River Bann. The part of the town on the west of the Bann is in Drumcree parish, while the part of the town on the east of the Bann is in Seagoe
Seagoe
parish. Protestant
Protestant
churches[edit] A Methodist
Methodist
Chapel was built in 1790. The site of this church has moved several times and it now stands in Thomas Street where it was rebuilt in 1860. There is also a Methodist
Methodist
chapel in the Edenderry area of the town and another smaller Epworth Methodist
Methodist
church, along with a meeting hall on the Mahon road.[36] There is also an Independent Methodist
Methodist
Church. In 1826, Saint Martin's Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
was built, and later renamed Saint Mark's.[37] Before this, Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
members attended either Drumcree Parish Church or Seagoe
Seagoe
Parish Church.[38] This church has a tall clock tower and stands in a commanding position at the centre of the town. Another Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
church is Saint Columba's on the Loughgall
Loughgall
Road which was built in 1970. The current Seagoe
Seagoe
Parish Church of St. Gobhan's (Church of Ireland), was built in 1814, and replaced the many previous church foundations dating from circa the 7th century, which existed in the ancient cemetery of Seagoe
Seagoe
some one hundred yards distant. It is linked to Seagoe
Seagoe
Primary School, which is maintained by the Church, and one of the few remaining Anglican primary schools. The current Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Most Revd David Chillingworth was rector at Seagoe
Seagoe
for 19 years. St Columba's Parish on the Loughhall Road, and Knocknamuckley Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
(St. Matthias) on the Bleary
Bleary
Road are also extant parishes.[39] There are two Presbyterian churches, First Portadown
Portadown
(aka Edenderry) Presbyterian Church (1822) and Armagh
Armagh
Road Presbyterian Church (1859). The Rev Stafford Carson was Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, June 2009–June 2010. There are Baptist
Baptist
meeting halls on Thomas Street and Killicomaine Road; an Elim church on Clonavon Avenue; a Quaker meeting hall on Portmore Street; a Free Presbyterian church in Levaghery and meeting hall on Fitzroy Street. The pentecostal Light of the World Ministries are located in the town, as are the evangelical neocharismatic Vineyard Church. The Salvation Army
Salvation Army
have a hall in the town beside the town hall.[citation needed]

Edenderry Methodist 

Armagh
Armagh
Road Presbyterian 

Seagoe
Seagoe
Parish 

Friends Meeting House 

Catholic churches[edit] Saint John the Baptist's Church was built in the townland of Ballyoran in 1783. The original church sat in the middle of what is now a large graveyard. A second Catholic church, Saint Patrick's, was built on William Street in 1835. In the 1980s Saint John's was taken down brick-by-brick, moved and rebuilt at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
in Cultra, County Down.[40] A new Saint John's church was built close to where the original stood; it sits where the Garvaghy Road meets the Dungannon Road.

Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic 

Saint John's Roman Catholic 

Other churches[edit] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Mormon) has a church on the Brownstown Road. In addition the Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
have a Kingdom Hall, on the town outskirts in Kernan. List[edit]

Protestant
Protestant
(33)

St Mark's Church of Ireland St Columba's Church of Ireland St Gobhan's (Seagoe) Church of Ireland Church of the Ascension (Drumcree) Church of Ireland St Saviour's Church of Ireland Knocknamuckley Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
(St. Matthias) Killicomaine Baptist
Baptist
Church Portadown
Portadown
Baptist
Baptist
Church Ballinacorr Methodist
Methodist
Church Battlehill Methodist
Methodist
Church Derryanville Methodist
Methodist
Church Edenderry Memorial Methodist
Methodist
Church Epworth Methodist
Methodist
Church Thomas Street Methodist
Methodist
Church Mahon Methodist
Methodist
Church Independent Methodist
Methodist
Church Armagh
Armagh
Road Presbyterian Church First (Portadown) Presbyterian Church Vinecash Presbyterian Church Newmills Presbyterian Church Bethany Free Presbyterian Church Friend (Quakers) Meeting House Ahorey Gospel Hall Apostolic Church Bible Pattern Pentecostal
Pentecostal
Church Elim Pentecostal
Pentecostal
Church Grace Fellowship Hanover Street Gospel Hall Killicomaine Evangelical
Evangelical
Church Portadown
Portadown
Christian Centre Scotch Street
Scotch Street
Gospel Hall Upper Bann Vineyard Church Salvation Army Light of the World Ministries

Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
(2)

Church of St John the Baptist Church of St Patrick

Other (2)

Portadown
Portadown
Ward (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)) Kingdom Hall
Kingdom Hall
(Jehovah's Witness)

Transport[edit]

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Portadown
Portadown
railway station

A combination of road, canal and rail links, all converging on Portadown
Portadown
railway station, gave it the nickname "Hub of the North" and this created employment through mass industry as well as helping the traditional agronomy of the area. The Newry
Newry
Canal, opened in 1742, linked Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough
and the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
with Lough Neagh. It joined the River Bann
River Bann
a couple of miles to the southeast of Portadown. The canal opened up waterborne trade and left Portadown
Portadown
ideally situated to take full advantage of the trading routes. However, the canal went into decline with the growth of the railway network and it closed to commercial traffic in the 1930s. With the establishment of the Great Northern Railway the overland trading routes were extended and delivery times shortened. The town's first railway station opened in 1842 in Edenderry.[41] At Portadown railway station
Portadown railway station
the line went in four directions – one went northeast toward Belfast, one northwest toward Dungannon, one southwest to Armagh
Armagh
and one southeast toward Newry
Newry
and onward to Dublin. Today only the Belfast– Dublin
Dublin
line remains. Repair yards were opened in 1925[41][42] and these large concrete buildings dominated the skyline on the west of the town centre. In 1970 the current station opened, however this has recently saw mass renovation and refurbishment. This new station was complete in late 2012. The old Edenderry station, on the other side of the river, was demolished. The Northway bypass road opened around this time, linking Portadown
Portadown
more directly with the "new town" of Craigavon. This meant building a new road bridge across the river. The road runs parallel with the railway line for most of its length. Economy[edit]

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Portadown
Portadown
has a manufacturing sector that has grown beyond its roots in linen production to include carpet-weaving, baking and engineering. There are a number of companies that have been a major part of Portadown's history:

Irwin's Bakery was established in 1912 by William David Irwin, grandfather of the existing joint managing directors, as a grocery retailer. The town centre bakery at Woodhouse Street was moved to larger premises at Carn in 1994, and the High Street Mall shopping centre now stands in place of the old bakery. Today Irwin's bakery is the largest independent bakery in Northern Ireland. Wade (Ireland) Ltd. Wade Ceramics[43] had a substantial plant in Portadown[44] between 1946 and 1989 in Watson Street, Edenderry, adjacent to the Victorian Railway Station which was closed in the 1970s. Ulster Carpets Ltd[45] were established in the town in 1938 and was the major employer through most of the 1950s to the 1980s producing woolen Axminster. Henry Denny & Sons (NI) Ltd. meat processors were originally established in Obins Street, but moved to Corcrain after being acquired by the Kerry Group in 1982.

Other industries have vanished from the town such as; whisky distilling and brewing, cider making by Grews in Portmore Street, milling of animal feed by Clows and Calvins in Castle Street, iron and brass manufacturing from Portadown
Portadown
Foundry and other smaller firms, ham/bacon curing by McCammons and Sprotts. Several nurseries were established in the town, most notably Samuel McGredy & Son Ltd., and James Walsh Ltd., these too have gone. There were also a number of small industries related to farming and agriculture, like packing and distribution of eggs, butter, poultry and apples. But these firms have been replaced by large scale employers like Moypark, who process chickens on a modern industrial scale and employ around 600 in the town, as well as Almac, a pharmaceutical firm that employs around 1,000. Linen
Linen
manufacturing[edit] Much of the town's industry in the 19th and 20th century was centred around the linen trade. The 1881 edition of Slater's Directory (a comprehensive listing of Irish towns) gives the following as manufacturing employers in Portadown
Portadown
at that time:[46]

Acheson J. & J. & Co. Bannview Weaving Factory Bessbrook
Bessbrook
Spinning Co. Limited, Bridge Street & at Bessbrook Castle Island Linen
Linen
Co. Castle Island Factory; & at Belfast Cowdy Anthony & Sons, Thomas Street Gribbin Edward & Sons, Market Street & at Belfast Harden Acheson, Limited, Meadow Lane & at Belfast Lutton A. J. & Son, Edenderry & at Belfast Moneypenny & Watson, Cornascrebe Montgomery John, Derryvore Reid Robert & Son, Tarson Hall Robb Hamilton, Edenderry Sefton J. R. & Co. Edenderry and at Belfast Sinton Thomas, Thomas Street and at Laurelvale and Tanderagee Turtle W. J. Bridge Street Watson, Armstrong & Co. Edenderry Factory and at Belfast

Some of these linen mills survived as manufacturers and major employers into the 1960s, such as Robbs and Achesons but all eventually closed as the demand for Irish Linen
Linen
fell due to the manufacture of cheaper, man made, fabrics. Culture and community[edit] Street nicknames[edit] Many of Portadown's streets have widely used but unofficial nicknames, some of which date back from the town's early days. These are:

Official name Nickname Etymology

Watson Street Was known as Railway St. As the main station was at the bottom of the street.

Annagh Hill Bucket Row Water had to be drawn from a pump well into the 1960s.

Bridge Street Guinea Row The weekly rent was twenty one shillings.

Armagh
Armagh
Road Rheumatism Row The houses were always said to be damp due to flooding from a nearby river

Obin Street The Tunnel The pedestrian underpass leading to it and the fact that the road was excavated underneath a railway bridge.

Fowlers Entry The Orange Cage Strong association with Orangemen.

William Street Chapel Street Site of a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
church

Charles Street Charlie's Walls Site of a boundary wall built by Charles Wakefield around his 'Corcrain Villa'.

Woodhouse Street Dungannon
Dungannon
Street It led to Dungannon.

Parkmount The Walk Formed part of the route Orangemen took on their annual "walk" from Drumcree Church.

Events[edit] Country Comes to Town[47] is a flagship festival held on the third week of September since 1998. Its future is uncertain due to funding difficulties.[48] Landmarks[edit]

Portadown
Portadown
Town Hall

Portadown
Portadown
Town Hall, in Edward Street, was once the seat of the town's local government until reform of local government in 1972. It is an 1890 Victorian building that has been extensively refurbished and offers an in-house theatre and conference facilities.[49] The Millennium Court Arts Centre[50] contains two galleries allowing local artists to exhibit their work. Ardress House is a 17th-century farmhouse that was remodelled in Georgian times and is today owned by the National Trust. It is open to the public offering guided tours, local walks, and recreations of farmyard life.[51][52] The Newry Canal
Newry Canal
Way is a fully accessible restored canal towpath now usable as a bicycle route between Newry
Newry
Town Hall and the Bann Bridge in Portadown. The Canal was the first summit level canal in Britain and Ireland and has 14 locks between its entrance at Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh.[53] One of the attractions on the Newry Canal
Newry Canal
Way is Moneypenny's Lock, a site that includes an 18th-century lock-keeper's house, stables and bothy. This provided accommodation for workers on the canal and their horses in the days when the canal was part of the industrial transport network. Today it is administered jointly by the Museum Services and the Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
Discovery Centre at Oxford Island.[54] McConville's Hotel/Public House on Mandeville/West Street dates back to 1865 but moved in 1900 to its current corner location. The pub is fully preserved with original wooden snugs inside, etched glass windows at ground floor level, original gas light fittings which now run on bottled gas and an iron door canopy and lantern. Local legend has it that some of the Russian Oak fittings in the bar were made to the same design as those used on the Titanic.[citation needed] Located just outside the town off the Dungannon
Dungannon
Road is the only fully restored Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
Cold War
Cold War
Nuclear Monitoring Bunker in Northern Ireland. Opened in 1958 it, plus a further 57 other bunkers spread throughout Northern Ireland, would have been used to monitor and report the effects of a Nuclear Attack. The bunker was restored and opened as a museum in 2010 by members of the Royal Observer Corps Association.[55][56] Notable people[edit] Deceased people[edit]

D'Arcy Wentworth (1762-1827), surgeon and founder of an Australian political dynasty. Sir Robert Hart
Sir Robert Hart
(1835–1911) was a British consular official in China, who served from 1863–1911 as the second Inspector-General of China's Imperial Maritime Custom Service (IMCS).[57] Marion Greeves MBE (1894–1979) was the first of only two female members of the Senate of Northern Ireland.[58] She served as an independent from June 1950 until June 1969.[59][60] George Gilmore (1898–1985) was a Protestant
Protestant
Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1934 he left the IRA and helped set up the Republican Congress
Republican Congress
and the Connolly Column. Thereafter, Gilmore remained a significant left wing figure within the republican movement. Eric Mervyn Lindsay OBE (1907–1974) was an astronomer who was instrumental in setting up Armagh
Armagh
Plantetarium. He was also responsible for persuading the Irish government and Harvard University to found a telescope at Boyden Station in South Africa for the purpose of charting the southern skies. He has a crater on the moon named after him. Alexander Walker (1930–2003) was a film critic who worked for the Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
in the 1950s and the London Evening Standard
London Evening Standard
from 1960 until his death. He was a highly influential figure within the film industry and also wrote a number of books on the topic. Harold McCusker
Harold McCusker
(1940-1990) was a Ulster Unionist politician who served MP for Upper Bann till his death, and was tipped to be a future party leader. Harris Boyle
Harris Boyle
(1953–1975) was a high-ranking Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) member who was blown up when he and another member planted a bomb onto the Miami Showband's minibus. Billy Wright (1960–1997) was a loyalist paramilitary leader who spent much of his life in Portadown. He led the Mid Ulster Brigade of the UVF before founding a breakaway group called the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) in 1996. He was assassinated by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Living people[edit]

Gloria Hunniford (born 1940) is a TV and radio presenter and formerly a singer. She is the mother of Caron Keating, who died of breast cancer in 2004. Victor Sloan
Victor Sloan
MBE (born 1945) is a photographer and artist who lives and works in Portadown. Employing primarily the medium of photography, he manipulates his negatives and reworks his prints with paints, inks, toners and dyes. In addition to photography, he also uses video, and printmaking techniques. David Simpson (born 1959) is the Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP) Member of Parliament for Upper Bann. Brendan McKenna is an Irish republican activist and spokesman of the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition. He was a Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
political advisor until 2007 and became General Secretary of éirígí in 2009. Les Binks
Les Binks
is a drummer who is best known for having been the drummer of Judas Priest
Judas Priest
between March 1977 and July 1979. Aaron McCusker (born 1978) is an actor most famous for playing Jamie Maguire in Channel 4's comedic drama series Shameless. Paddy Johns (born 1968) was an Irish rugby union player from 1990 until 2000 who represented Ulster and Ireland. He played at the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals and the 1999 Rugby World Cup
1999 Rugby World Cup
finals. Colin Turkington
Colin Turkington
(born 1982) is an auto racing driver and is the reigning British Touring Car Champion. Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll
(born 1982) is also an auto racing driver[61] who is currently signed to race for A1 Team Ireland in the A1 Grand Prix series. Carroll has also raced for FMS International in the GP2 Series. Leigh Alderson (born 1986) is an award-winning male ballet dancer, model, actor and choreographer. Alderson was nominated for The Arts Personality of the Year Award in the Ulster Tatler Awards in two consecutive years, 2009 and 2010 Newton Emerson is a journalist and founder of the satirical online newspaper Portadown
Portadown
News. Chris Pennell, English rugby union player, was raised in the town.

Education[edit]

Portadown
Portadown
Library

Portadown
Portadown
boasts a large selection of academic institutions, past and present. Today, schools in Portadown
Portadown
operate under the Dickson Plan, a transfer system in north Armagh
Armagh
that allows pupils at age 11 the option of taking the 11-plus
11-plus
exam to enter grammar schools, with pupils in comprehensive junior high schools being sorted into grammar and non-grammar streams. Pupils can get promoted to or demoted from the grammar stream during their time in those schools depending on the development of their academic performance, and at age 14 can take subject-based exams across the syllabus to qualify for entry into a dedicated grammar school to pursue GCSEs and A-levels.[62] Primary education[edit] The state-run Thomas Street Primary School, and Church Street Primary School, formerly the "Duke's School", were both incorporated into Millington Primary School 1970.[63] Other state-run primary schools include Ballyoran Primary School, Bocombra Primary School,[64] Edenderry Primary School, Hart Memorial Primary School,[65] Moyallan Primary School,[66] Portadown
Portadown
Primary School,[67] Richmount Primary School,[68] and the Anglican Seagoe
Seagoe
Primary School.[69] Derrycarne Primary School is now used as an Orange Hall by the Orange Order.[70] Primary schools managed by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools are Presentation Convent Primary School,[71] St John the Baptist Primary School (Irish: Bunscoil Eoin Baiste),[72] which has both English-medium and Irish-medium units within it,[73] and St. John's Primary School.[74] St Columba's Primary School in Carleton Street is now closed. There is a multi-denominational or integrated primary school in the town, Portadown Integrated Primary
Portadown Integrated Primary
School, which opened in 1990.[citation needed] Post-primary education[edit] The town is home to Portadown
Portadown
College, a grammar school which was opened in 1924. Other state-run secondary schools in the town are Clounagh Junior High School, Craigavon
Craigavon
Senior High School,[75] Drumcree College and Killicomaine Junior High School,.[76] Secondary schools in the Catholic maintained sector are St Brigid's Secondary School for girls and St Malachy's Secondary School for boys. Portadown
Portadown
Technical College, later Portadown College
Portadown College
of Further Education, was merged with Lurgan
Lurgan
CFE and Banbridge
Banbridge
CFE to form the Upper Bann Institute of Further Education. Further Education in the region was consolidated again when the institute was merged with other FE colleges in Armagh, Newry
Newry
and Kilkeel
Kilkeel
to form the Southern Regional College.[77] Healthcare[edit]

Portadown
Portadown
Health Centre

Access to a GP is provided at Portadown
Portadown
Health Centre.[78] Hospital care and Accident and Emergency services are available at Craigavon Area Hospital, built 1972 on the outskirts of town as part of the Craigavon
Craigavon
development. This replaced Lurgan
Lurgan
Hospital and the Carleton Maternity Hospital in Church Street as the primary source of care for the town. It serves approximately 241,000 people from Mid Ulster and is one of the main cancer treatment centres outside Belfast. Sport[edit]

Shamrock Park

Association football is played by Portadown F.C.
Portadown F.C.
who play in the NIFL Premiership, Annagh United
Annagh United
of the NIFL Championship, and Bourneview Young Men F.C., Hanover F.C., St Mary's Youth F.C. and Seagoe
Seagoe
F.C. of the Mid-Ulster Football League. Rugby is played by Portadown
Portadown
Rugby Club.[citation needed] Gaelic football is played by Tír na nÓg GAA Club.[79][80] Portadown
Portadown
Boat Club is located on the River Bann. It is the town's oldest sports club and holds an annual regatta as part of the Irish Rowing Union calendar.[citation needed] There is also Portadown
Portadown
Cricket Club Portadown
Portadown
Cycling Club (PCC) were established 2014 There is also Ladies and Men's Hockey, based at Edenvilla Park, Bachelors Walk, Portadown.( Noel Carville).

Media[edit] Portadown's main local newspaper is the Portadown
Portadown
Times, which is published by Johnston Publishing (NI). Although the newspaper focuses on the Portadown
Portadown
area, it also serves towns and villages across north Armagh. It was founded in 1924 and is issued weekly. Until recently it was situated in the town centre at Church Street, but has moved three miles out of town to Carn Industrial Estate. Between 2001 and 2005, Portadown
Portadown
resident Newton Emerson ran a controversial satirical online newspaper called the Portadown
Portadown
News. The website, which was updated biweekly, attracted media attention by poking fun at Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
politics and culture.[81] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Portadown.

List of towns in Northern Ireland List of villages in Northern Ireland

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

Craigavon
Craigavon
Borough Council Elections 1993 – 2005 NI Conflict Archive on the Internet Craigavon
Craigavon
Museum Culture Northern Ireland

v t e

Towns in Northern Ireland

List of towns by population

Large

Antrim Ballymena Bangor Carrickfergus Coleraine Enniskillen Larne Lisburn Lurgan Newry Newtownabbey Newtownards Omagh Portadown

Medium

Armagh Banbridge Cookstown Craigavon Downpatrick Dundonald Dungannon Holywood Limavady Strabane

Small

Ballycastle Ballyclare Ballymoney Ballynahinch Carryduff Coalisland Comber Donaghadee Dromore Kilkeel Magherafelt Newcastle Portrush Portstewart Randalstown Warrenpoint

Italics denote settlements that are classed as towns but also have city status

v t e

Geography of County Armagh

List of places in County Armagh

Cities and towns

Armagh Craigavon Lurgan Newry
Newry
(part) Portadown

Villages and townlands

Acton Aghacommon Annaghmore Annahugh Ardress Aughanduff Ballydugan Ballymacnab Bannfoot Belleeks Bessbrook Blackwatertown Broomhill Camlough Carrickaness Charlemont Cladymore Clonmore Collegeland Corrinshego Creeveroe Creggan Crossmaglen Cullaville Cullyhanna Darkley Derryadd Derrycrew Derryhale Derrymacash Derrynoose Derrytrasna Dorsey Drumnacanvy Drumintee Edenaveys Forkill Granemore Hamiltonsbawn Jonesborough Keady Kernan Killeen Killylea Kilmore Lislea Lisnadill Loughgall Loughgilly Madden Maghery Markethill Meigh Middletown Millford Millvale Mountnorris Mullaghbawn Mullaghbrack Mullaghglass Mullavilly-Laurelvale Newtowncloghoge Newtownhamilton Poyntzpass Richhill Scotch Street Silverbridge Tandragee Tartaraghan The Birches Tullynawood Tynan Whitecross

Landforms

Coney Island Derrywarragh Island Eamhain Mhacha Lough Clea Slieve Gullion/Ring of Gullion

Baronies

Armagh Fews Lower Fews Upper Oneilland
Oneilland
East Oneilland
Oneilland
West Orior Lower Orior Upper Tiranny

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Portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Por

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