First Presbyterian Church

 

Designed by Newry-born William J. Barre (1830-67), a student of Thomas Duff and also the designer of the Ulster Hall and Albert Clock (both Belfast). Opened on 17 July 1853. Canavan notes that, until then, Non-Conformist churches had been plain and simple, but Barre's Gothic creation broke with this tradition. The organ now in use was first played in St George’s Chapel, Windsor from 1806 to 1898. It was then removed to Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast, before being installed here in Newry in 1928. The Warnock hall was opened by Lord Grey of Naughton, Governor of N. Ireland, on 14 Sept 1969. Secondary sources: 1. G.H. Bassett (1886), County Down guide and directory, p.93 2. T. Canavan (1989), Frontier town: an illustrated history of Newry, p.152 (Belfast: Blackstaff). 3. Plaque on organ. T-planned Gothic Revival granite church and tower facing west towards John Mitchel Place at junction with William Street. Pitched naturalslate roof with coped and parapeted gables (with a gablet at bottom of each verge). Walls are of squared random granite rubble, with dressed granite buttresses and openings. Main elevation comprises a gable end, with projecting tower and entrance at right. The gable has a stepped buttress to left corner and is surmounted by a stone finial. It contains a large traceried Gothic window with chamfered jambs and cill, and voussoired hood. It has a small lancet vent over. The square-plan tower is three stages high over a raised plinth, and is surmounted by an octagonalstone spire. A pair of stepped ashlar buttresses rise to spire on each corner of tower.

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