08 Aug 2022

Trip Through Time: Where in Dundalk are the 'Rawson Houses'?

Looking back at Dundalk's past, with former Democrat editor Peter Kavanagh

Trip Through Time: Where in Dundalk are the 'Rawson Houses'?

Answers to last week's questions:

Where was Dundalk's Linen Hall?

Dundalk's old two storey Linen Hall stood at the north end of Church Street, facing towards Clanbrassil Street, about where the green at the side of St. Nicholas Catholic Church is now. It was built in about 1760 as a place where the Cambric industry traded. It became known as the 'Market House' until the new Market House, (originally known as 'The Guildhall') was built at the Square. The old Linen Hall was demolished after St. Nicholas Chapel was renovated in the late 19th Century.

What was Dundalk's 'Ragged School'?

This was a small charity school for destitute children in the old Linen Hall in the middle of the 19th Century, after the original use for the building had ceased. Not much is known about this school other than it was part of the movement started in London in 1844 to provide education for the hordes of homeless orphans who roamed the streets of the world's large towns and cities. It had the support of socially minded people, like Charles Dickens, who were not motivated by conventional religious morality. It came to Ireland in the wake of the Great Famine and seems to have reached Dundalk about 1850. The Dundalk Ragged School is listed in the Atlas of Irish Historic Towns, edited by the Harold O'Sullivan, where it is recorded as having been in existence in 1857 and again in 1877.

Where in Dundalk are the 'Rawson Houses'?

This was the local name for the group of five red-brick detached houses built by Benjamin Rawson about 1950 for his top executive employees in his footwear factory in the Military Barrack, at the Long Avenue end of St. Alphonsus Road. They were sold off privately after the factory was destroyed by a disastrous fire in the premises in August of 1966 and the company liquidated.

Where are the 'Brickell Houses'?

These are two semi-detached red-brick houses that were built along St. Alphonsus Road about the beginning of the last century when it was still known as the Windmill Road. They were the first and only dwellings along the stretch of road between the former Railway Hill over the Barrack Street railway line and the Long Avenue, until 'Dunbar House' was built along the Blackwater Stream about 1930. These houses got their name from Joe Brickell, who had them built. Joe was a substantial livestock dealer who lived in Barrack Street and leased the lands beside the railway line owned by the Jones family of Castle Road.

Questions for next week:

When did the Marshes Shopping Centre first open?

Where in Dundalk is 'Hemingway House'?

Where in Dundalk was 'Pig Nut Hill'?

Which part of Dundalk was once known as 'The Furry Glen'?

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