South Down

Saturday 15 December
An investigation was made into Warrenpoint to compare it with the photographs featured in Newry, Warrenpoint & Rostrevor: Early Photographs from the Lawrence Collection 1865-80 by Fergus Hanna Bell.

Only the church and possibly the Town Hall are all that remain of the north side of Church Street (p46). At the Square at the end of Church Street Begg’s shop (1864) has a remodelled front but is essentially the same as shown an pages 40 and 41. The south side of the street has none of the original buildings (p48). Most of the buildings on the west side of the Square have been remodelled but the groupings of buildings and the roof levels are the same as in the early photograph (p48). The buildings at the north-east corner of the Square have been totally replaced. Warrenpoint windmill-stump is now four storeys high. A stone over the south-east doorway is dated 1802. The Victoria Hotel is essentially unchanged except for the removal of a shop-front and the porch. Some of the neighbouring buildings are recognisable. The building at the corner of the Dock and the Seafront (p38) has been modified although the original window arrangements can be clearly seen.

Many of the existing buildings in Havelock Place/Osborne Terrace can be seen in the early photographs. The INF building is flanked by two buildings with stepped gables topped by lions. The Mercantile House still has its iron balcony. The modern single-storey building beyond this may incorporate part of the original building.

At Seaview (p50) the building on the left now has its central round-headed doorway replaced by a window and the two square projections now have front doorways. Some of the dormers in the long terrace beyond this may still be seen but most of them have been greatly modified. A building has been inserted where there is a walled garden between the first building and the long terrace. The other section of Seaview (p51) is almost unchanged but is now partly derelict.
Sunday 16 December

At Hanna's Close one house is still inhabited. There are remains of at least six other houses with many ruins and outhouses. The area is being considered as the site for a Heritage Centre. It sits in the edge of a hill overlooking the Kilkeel River which is crossed at this point by a ford and a fine set of stepping-stones.

The remains of a megalithic tomb in Ballintur (J225152) were inspected. It is a court grave aligned approximately NW-SE with the court at the SE end. The west side of the gallery is well represented but the east side is very fragmentary especially at the front. The rear of the gallery is easily visible but it is now full of small stones. The dividing stones are not visible but there may have been 2 or 3 chambers. The gallery is about 8m long and the court is about 3m deep and 6m wide. Part of the facade may be seen. There is a great deal of cairn material present. Some of it may not be original.