Newry & Mourne
The Newry and Mourne area has a rich and ancient heritage with many archaeological sites and places of historic interest. The origins of Newry can be traced back to St. Patrick and a Cistercian monastery was founded here in the 12th century. Newry was further developed by the Bagenal family in the 16th century and, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it became a flourishing merchant and industrial town facilitated by the building of Newry Canal - the first summit level canal in the British Isles.
During this period other small towns and villages began to grow in the area. Kilkeel became an important fishing port, while the arrival of the railways in the 1840s–50s, stimulated the emergence of Warrenpoint and Rostrevor as successful holiday resorts.
Recent decades have witnessed an exciting regeneration in Newry with the development of major new commercial, industrial and leisure activities. City status, conferred in 2002, is a testament to this growth and to the position of Newry as a significant regional centre in Northern Ireland. Part of this success rests on the unique geographical location of Newry, enabling it to benefit from economic collaboration between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.