History of Newbridge Railway Station
Newbridge Railway Station opened in 1846 when the Great Southern and Western Railway line reached the town. Newbridge was then an important military centre, having its own cavalry barracks and being less than 3 miles from the celebrated camp on the Curragh. The railway station in Newbridge was kept busy with constant troop movements, but it was also a place for meetings, sales and unfortunately, accidents.
The first stationmaster mentioned in newspaper records was Mr. Hynes, who, according to the Irish Times of 15th June 1860, was presented in June 1859 with a silver cup from the officers of the 3rd Light Dragoons. The following year the same gentleman was presented with a lever watch by Colonel Sullivan and the officers of the 5th Royal Lancers, ‘for his uniform attention to those regiments whilst stationed at Newbridge’. A court case covered in the Kildare Observer of 17th December 1881 regarding an unpaid fare mentioned Martin Tighe, Newbridge Stationmaster, as the main witness. Mr. Tighe is also mentioned in Slater’s Directory of 1881 as being the stationmaster in Newbridge. In a court case covered in the Kildare Observer of 7th October 1882 we find that hay, the property of Jonathon Tarlson, stationmaster, Newbridge, was burned. In his evidence Mr. Tarlson said he had bought the hay from the late stationmaster, Martin Tighe, six months previous.
The coverage of the funeral of local man Thomas Farrell in the Kildare Observer of 20th November 1897 mentioned Mr. J. Breen, stationmaster, Newbridge, as being one of those present. The 1901 Census returns for 17 Charlotte Street, Newbridge, give Thomas Manifold as the stationmaster in Newbridge. Thomas Manifold (44) was born in King’s County and was married to Eliza, who was ten years his junior. They had two children – Honora (18) and Mary (8), both born in Co. Cork. Manifold is still stationmaster a year later as he is mentioned as in attendance at the funeral of Peter Sullivan in the Kildare Observer of 4th October 1902. The 1911 Census returns for 2 Piercetown, Newbridge, give Patrick O’ Reilly as the stationmaster in Newbridge. Patrick O’ Reilly (46) was born in Waterford City and had then been married to his Tipperary-born wife, Maryanne for 15 years.
By James Durney
Co. Kildare Online Electronic History Journal (Ehistory)
Attached six-bay single-storey yellow brick railway station, opened 1846, comprising two-bay single-storey central block with single-bay single-storey recessed flaking bay to right (north-east) having single-bay single-storey recessed entrance wing to right (north-east) with single-bay single-storey open cell to attic (sheltering stairwell), and two-bay single-storey recessed wing to left (south-west). Gable-ended roofs with slate. Clay ridge tiles. Rendered chimney stacks (one of yellow brick base having cut-granite quoin dressings). Cut-stone coping to gables. Cast-iron rainwater goods on eaves course. Yellow brick Flemish bond walls. Cut-granite quoins to corners. Square-headed window openings with cut-granite mullions. Cut-granite sills and block-and-start surrounds having hood mouldings over. 1/1 timber sash windows with fixed-pane overlights. Shallow pointed-arch door opening. Cut-granite chamfered doorcase. Timber panelled double doors. Set back from road in own grounds. Tarmacadam forecourt/carpark to site.
Newbridge Railway Station is an attractive long, low yellow brick range that has been well maintained to retain its original form and character. The railway station, together with the various ancillary structures in the grounds, is of considerable social and historical significance, attesting to the development of the Great Southern and Western Railway line in the locality that allowed for improved public transport, while encouraging further trade and industry to the town. The construction of the range almost entirely in yellow brick attests to the improvements made in the manufacturing industry in the nineteenth century that allowed for the mass-production of economic building materials. The railway station retains many important early or original salient features and materials, including timber sash fenestration, timber fittings to the door openings, and slate roofs having cast-iron rainwater goods. The railway station, together with the station master?s house adjacent to north-east (11818096/KD-23-18-96), forms the centrepiece of the railway complex in Newbridge and is an attractive landmark in the locality.