Top Local Places

Newbridge

, Droichead Nua, Ireland
City
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Description

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Newbridge, officially known by its Irish name Droichead Nua, is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 21,561 (2011 census) makes it the largest town in Kildare and the fifteenth-largest in Ireland.NameThe Irish language name of the town is the official name, "An Droichead Nua", meaning simply "The New Bridge" and was introduced in the 1930s. Noble and Keenan's map of Kildare 1752, drawn before the town was started, marks 'The New Bridge'.HistoryEarly local settlementSettlement in the area dates from the 13th century and the current town is made up of six ancient parishes and portions of others. The parishes are Ballymany, Great Connell, Killashee, Morristown Billar, Old Connell, and Carnalway.Great Connell Priory was an important Priory, founded in 1202 by the Augustinian Canons. This and other sites are a reminder that Newbridge was an early Christian settlement.Beginning of the modern townThe earliest known mention of Newbridge was by traveller and bookseller John Dunton in 1698, though he does not refer to any settlement other than at Ballymany. A mass house (Roman Catholic Chapel) was built beside the bridge about 1730 and an Inn, called New Bridge Inn, was in existence in 1750. The first bridge was destroyed by floods in 1789 and William Chapman, engineer on the Grand Canal extension to Naas, was employed to rebuild it the following year. He moved the site from the 'Watering Gates' to its present location and redirected the high road from Buckley's Cross (Roundabout at Pfizer) to the new bridge, and continuing as what is today Main Street and Edward Street to the turnpike at Gandogue Lane (behind Credit Union). The old high road continued in use to serve the village and mass house, which was taken down in 1852 upon the opening of the new church (St Conleth's).