Bridge Street c1900. Courtesy of the Wynne Collection
Known as ‘The bottom of Main Street’ the street crosses the Siuir River, the line dividing the North and South of the town. After the Binghams defeated both the De Burgos and the O Connors who held lands in the South and North of the river respectively, they built a bridge close to the Castle which was built in 1235 on the site of the barracks. The bridge would have been busy as the ‘whole territory is bog or Moorland’ and difficult to cross. Trading stalls would have sprung up around the bridge as it was the only crossing point near the Castle and traders would have taken advantage of the increased amount of traffic at the toll station. The small street is probably home to the oldest houses in the town after the stalls morphed into shops and the buildings became permanent. A look at the 1840s Housing Survey shows that the street was still a major commercial area with over 20 shops, almost 50 offices and numerous store houses and animal holdings.