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BRADSHAW's Directory - Tanderagee (1819)
Extracted from: General Directory of Newry, Armagh and the Towns of... For 1820; by Thomas Bradshaw
(printed by Alexander Wilkinson at Telegraph-Office, Newry; 1819)
TANDERAGEE - a market town in the county of Armagh, is situated eleven miles north of Newry, nine west from Armagh, seven and a half south-west from Lurgan, four south from Portadown, and about twenty-four south-west from Belfast.
It consists principally of one long and wide street, upon the south-eastern side of a hill, with a spacious market-place near the upper end. It is very beautifully situated, in a fine, populous and improved country - sheltered from the prevailing winds by fine trees, and almost surrounded by the picturesque and highly ornamented demense of Miss Sparrow, and that of the Rev. Dean Carter. On the top of the hill, there is a long and very handsome public walk, overshadowed by a row of the finest lime-trees in the kingdom.
There is a very handsome church, surrounded by trees, finely situated on high ground, which deserves to be visited by travellers. It was built within these few years, on the site of an old church, which had become ruinous and too small for the congregation. The funds appropriated for its erection, having been unequal to its completion, it has very lately been finished at the sole expense of Miss Sparrow, the munificent proprietor of the town and large adjoining estate. It is a Gothic building, of great simplicity and elegance, with a high tower and pinnacles, which forms a beautiful object to the surrounding country. The interior is fitted up with singular taste; and on the whole, it is one of the handsomest and most convenient parish churches in the kingdom. In the centre of the town, there is also a neat and convenient Methodist chapel.
The mansion house, usually called the castle, is situate close to the town and church, upon the top of a steep bank, which commands a beautiful view of the romantic and finely wooded demesne. It was built some time ago, on the site of an old castle, formerly the residence of the chief of the seat of the O’Hanlons, and afterwards of the St. Johns, to the ancestor of whom, Lord Grandison, lord-deputy of Ireland, it was granted by Queen Elizabeth, and has, with the estates, descended to the present proprietor, Miss Sparrow - the only remaining representative of that ancient and illustrious family.
The river Cusher passes near the lower end of the town. It is a fine stream, and runs through beautiful wooded banks, from the Fews mountains, where it rises, until it falls into the river Bann, near Portadown; giving motion to a great number of mills and bleach works, and sending off, near the town, the principal supply to the Newry canal.
There has been, in addition to the fine ancient woods near the town, a very great number of new plantations made, which already are making a beautiful appearance.
Miss Sparrow has lately built a very handsome school-house, for the education of thirty boys and thirty girls, to be supported entirely at her own expense. This building forms a fine object from many points of view.
Near the town stands the glebe-house, at present occupied by the Rev. Thomas Carter, Dean of Tuam, and rector of the parish. It is finely situated on a bold eminence, and commands a delightful prospect.
The country around Tandragee has been long celebrated for the manufacture of the best description of middle-priced yard wide linens in the kingdom, which are sold in the market, to a very large amount, every Wednesday. The market is one of the largest in the county, and the weekly sales fall very little short of £7,000. The principal articles of trade are linens, yarn, butter, flax, flour and all sorts of provisions, with some cattle and pigs, and, in the season, a very great quantity of pork, which is mostly bought up for the Belfast and Newry markets.
Spacious as the street and market place is, it is thronged every Wednesday with such busy crowds as are astonishing to strangers; and the dealers frequenting it, are particularly commendable for their correctness and punctuality. There are four fairs in the year - on the 5th day of July and 5th of November, and on the first Wednesday in February and May, at which great number of horses and black cattle, &c. are disposed of. The Newry navigation passes within a mile of the town, and affords an easy conveyance, for weighty goods to and from Newry, and the country around Lough Neagh.
The post arrives daily at half-past eight o'clock in the morning, and is despatched at five in the afternoon.
The population of Tandragee amounts to about 1,200, of whom about two-thirds are Protestants. The town contains a great number of well-supplied shops, and has been, for some years, increasing in business and respectability. The flax which is sold in this market, nearly to the amount of 2000 stones weekly, is reckoned the best in Ireland.

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