BALBRIGGAN, a maritime town in Balrothery parish, Balrothery east barony, county of Dublin,
19 miles N, by E. from Dublin, comprising an area of 180 acres. Population, 2,959, inhabiting 624 houses.
It is situate on the eastern coast, and on the Drogheda railway, of which it forms the ninth station
It owes its origin to the late Baron Hamilton, who, in 1780 raised it from a small fishing
village to a town of some manufacturing if not commercial importance, by tile introduction of
the cotton manufactures, for which he erected two large factories, and contributed largely by
tile erection of a pier for the improvement of the harbour His descendants (Particularly tile
present proprietor in fee, George Hamilton esq., M.P.) have (lone much to extend and improve
the town and harbour, and forward its manufacturing and commercial prosperity.
The public buildings are, the Church or Chapelry of St. George, with a square embattled
tower, a Roman Catholic Chapel, a Wesleyan Methodist Meeting House, the Sessions' Court house,
and Market House. It has a Dispensary, Savings' Bank, and Loan Fund, the latter having a
capital in 1845 of £1515, which circulated during the year £6,725, leaving, after the
expenses of management and interest, a net profit of £52 ; here is also a Parochial
School. Quarter and Petty Sessions are hold here, the latter on every alternate Tuesday.
It is the head-quarters of the Constabulary Police of the county, and at the Martello
Tower on the Strand there is a Coast Guard Station. The market for corn is on Monday,
of which large quantities are sent to Dublin or exported to Liverpool, for which latter
purpose there are extensive corn stores on the quay. The market for provisions is
on Saturday, and fairs are held on 29th April and 29th September for cattle. The
Cotton factories are worked by steam and water-wheel power, producing upwards of
4,000 lbs. of cotton yarn weekly, and in the town and neighbourhood there are upwards
of 400 looms employed in weaving. The chief articles wrought are fustians, checks,
jeans, and calicoes, and the embroidering of muslin is carried on extensively, and
here are also made a superior description of line cotton stockings, well known
for the last half century as the "Balbriggan hosiery," in which there are at
present about 40 cotton frames employed. Attached to the factories there are dye
works, and in the town there is a tan yard and salt works.
The fishery, prior to the withdrawal of the bounties, was extensive. The commerce
of Balbriggan is chiefly in the coasting trade, and in the import of coals, bark,
and salt, and the export of corn, meal, and flour. In 1885 the estimated value of
the imports were £11,392. and the exports £5,417. The old harbour is safe for
vessels of 150 tons burthen, and is a good roadstead for such vessels at three
quarter tide. The inner harbour is formed by a pier 420 feet in length, with a
curve of 105 feet extending westerly, in which there are 14 feet water at full
tide. It was completed in 1829 at an expense of nearly, £3,000, partly by a
grant of £1,569 from the late Fishery Board, £100 from the Marquees of Lansdowne,
and the remainder by the then proprietor, the late Rev. George Hamilton. At the
end of the pier there is a Lighthouse, 35 feet above high water; it is a fixed
light, and can be seen 10 miles in clear weather. The Drogheda railway crosses
the harbour by a noble viaduct of 11 arches, 30 feet span, and 35 feet high,
on each side of which there is a metal flooring, resting, on the piers, forming
a handsome promenade for the use of the inhabitants.
The Railway trains from Dublin to Drogheda stop at 53 minutes past 8, 47
minutes past 9 (with the mail) 58 minutes past 11, A.M., 45 minutes past 3, 28
minutes past 4, 22 minutes past 6. 6 minutes past 8, and 2 minutes past 9 P.M.
(with the mail), The up trains to Dublin, at 25 minutes past 3 (with the mail),
1 minute past 4, 5 minutes past 8, and 11 A.M., 5 minutes past 2, 48 minutes
past 3 (with the mail) 40 minutes past 5, and 24 minutes past 9, P.M. The fares
from and to Dublin are, first class carriages, 3s.; second class, 1s. 9d.; and
third class, 1s. The mail from Dublin arrives at 46 minutes past 9 A.M. and 2
minutes past 9 P.M. and is despatched at 25 minutes past 3, A.M. and 30 minutes
past 3, P.M. The Post Office giant and pay money orders.