Newbridge, County Kildare
The earliest known mention of Newbridge was by traveller and bookseller John Dunton in 1698, though he does not refer to any settlement other than at Ballymany.
A mass house (Roman Catholic Chapel) was built beside the bridge about 1730 and an Inn, called New Bridge Inn, was in existence in 1750. The first bridge was
destroyed by floods in 1789 and William Chapman, engineer on the Grand Canal extension to Naas, was employed to rebuild it the following year. He moved the site from the 'Watering Gates' to its present location and redirected the high road from Buckley's Cross (Wyeth Roundabout) to the new bridge, and continuing as what is today Main Street and Edward Street to the turnpike at Gandogue Lane (near Finlay's Garage). The old high road continued in use to serve the village and mass house, which was taken down in 1852 upon the opening of the new church (St Conleth's).

The origin of the modern town lies in the establishment of Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

Barracks are specialised buildings for permanent military accommodation; the word may apply to separate housing blocks or to complete complexes. Their main object is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training and esprit de corps. They were sometimes called...

 (1815-1819) on land purchased from 3 local landlords: Eyre Powell of Great Connell, Ponsonby Moore of Moorefield and William Hannon of Kilbelin. This barracks originally extended from the River Liffey to Cutlery Road, and from Main Street to Military Road, however little of the barracks remains today except the old walls and gateways which can be found on the Athgarvan Road, and to a lesser degree on Cutlery Road. The "Watering Gates" located at the entrance to the Town Park was also constructed as part of the original Barrack building. At the same Eyre Powell gave land north of the new high road for building houses and shops to serve the new Barracks. Main Street took shape at the same time as the Barracks were being built. From 1819 various Cavalry Regiments were stationed at Newbridge and brought much business to the town.

Newbridge expanded rapidly after the Curragh Camp
Curragh Camp
The Curragh Camp is an army base and military college located in The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland. It is the main training centre for the Irish Army.- Brief history of the Curragh's military heritage :...

 was established in 1855. Eyre Street (named after the local landlord) and Edward Street (named after Prince Edward, later King Edward VII, who was stationed on the Curragh at the time) were built in the years 1855 - 1870. The new railway opened in 1846 and churches were built at Rosberry Common (1819 - St. Eustace', Dominican), at Moorefield (1828 - St Patrick's, Church of Ireland) and at Chapel Lane (1852 - St Conleth's, Roman Catholic) to cater for the increasing population. A National School was opened on the Railway Road in 1844 (now the Parish Office) and a boarding school at the Dominican Friary in 1852. The town continued to prosper until the withdrawal of the Cavalry in May 1922 on the establishment of the Free State. It went into a period of decline thereafter, but since the 1960s has seen considerable growth and has become a busy shopping and commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...



The town is located on the banks of the River Liffey
River Liffey
The Liffey is a river in Ireland, which flows through the centre of Dublin. Its major tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac. The river supplies much of Dublin's water, and a range of recreational opportunities.-Name:The river was previously named An Ruirthech,...

, which provides a range of natural amenities. Upriver are Athgarvan
Athgarvan is a village southwest of Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. It is on the R416 regional road and lies just west of the River Liffey which forms the eastern boundary of the village, while The Curragh forms its western boundary....

, Kilcullen
Kilcullen , formally Kilcullen Bridge, is a small town on the River Liffey in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 2,985 makes it the 12th largest settlement in County Kildare and the fastest growing in the county, having doubled in population from 1,483 in the census of 2002...

 and Blessington
Blessington, historically known as Ballycomeen , is a town in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is located on the N81 road, which connects Dublin to Tullow.- History :...

, while downriver are Caragh
Caragh or Carragh is a village in County Kildare, Ireland. It is located on the R409 regional road between the River Liffey and the Grand Canal approximately 4 km north-west of Naas...

, Clane
Clane is a town on the River Liffey and in the barony of Clane in County Kildare, Ireland, from Dublin.Its population of 4,968 makes it the eighth largest town in Kildare and the 78th largest in the Republic of Ireland....

 and Celbridge
Celbridge is a town and townland on the River Liffey in County Kildare, Ireland. It is west of Dublin. As a town within the Dublin Metropolitan Area and the Greater Dublin Area, it is located at the intersection of the R403 and R405 regional roads....


Newbridge / An Droichead Nua is bounded by the Curragh Plains to the west, Pollardstown Fen and the Bog of Allen
Bog of Allen
The Bog of Allen is a large raised bog in the centre of Ireland between the rivers Liffey and Shannon.The bog's 958 square kilometers stretch into County Offaly, County Meath, County Kildare, County Laois, and County Westmeath. Peat is mechanically harvested on a large scale by Bórd na Móna,...

 and Moulds Bog to the north west. Around the Curragh, and to the east are many important stud farms. To the south the motorway now forms a boundary to the town.

Today Newbridge is a thriving town with a population approaching 20,000, a major centre for industry and commerce, within the South Kildare region.


The area has a strong industrial background with industry such as rope making Irish Ropes PLC and carpet manufacturing Curragh Tintawn Carpets Ltd. dating back to the early 1930s, both of which are now long since closed. Cutlery and silverware is crafted at the famous Newbridge Silverware
Newbridge Silverware
-History:Newbridge Silverware, formerly known as Newbridge Cutlery, was founded in 1933 as a cutlery manufacturer. The company faced hardship right through the 1940s and a trade depression resulted in 1952 which forced large staff reductions. The 1990s saw a major change for the cutlery...

 plant. Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

 and Oral-B
Oral-B is a popular brand of oral hygiene products, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental floss.It all started with a dentist, back in 1950, who created the first Oral-B toothbrush and its soft, end-rounded nylon bristles. Dr. Robert Hutson, a California periodontist, designed...

 have also based themselves in the town.

The Irish peat development authority Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna , abbreviated BNM, is a semi-state company in Ireland, created in 1946 by the Turf Development Act 1946. The company is responsible for the mechanised harvesting of peat, primarily in the Midlands of Ireland...

 has its headquarters in the centre of Newbridge.

The Kildare/Leixlip Branch of General Workers Union SIPTU has its headquarters at Georges Street, Newbridge.

Many people living in Newbridge commute to work in major centres in nearby Naas
Naas is the county town of County Kildare in Ireland. With a population of just over twenty thousand, it is also the largest town in the county. Naas is a major commuter suburb, with many people residing there and working in Dublin...

 and Dublin city.


The town has rail
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 and road links both to Dublin and the South, and as a consequence of the investment in such infrastructure, firms such as Wyeth Medica and Oral B have opened plants in the town.

The M7 motorway
M7 motorway (Republic of Ireland)
The M7 motorway is a motorway in Ireland. The motorway runs continuously from the outskirts of Naas in County Kildare to Rossbrien on the outskirts of Limerick City. The M7 forms part of the Dublin to Limerick N7 national primary road. The section of the motorway bypassing Naas, an 8 km...

 bypasses the town; the R445
R445 road
The R445 road is a regional road in Ireland. The route is a non-motorway alternative route to the N7/M7 motorway between Dublin and Limerick. Indeed, much of the route comprises roads that were formerly part of the N7 between the cities, prior to motorway and other bypasses...

 connects the town to the bypass (Junctions 10 and 12 on the M7) along the route previously forming part of the N7. The N9 to Kilcullen
Kilcullen , formally Kilcullen Bridge, is a small town on the River Liffey in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 2,985 makes it the 12th largest settlement in County Kildare and the fastest growing in the county, having doubled in population from 1,483 in the census of 2002...

, Carlow
Carlow is the county town of County Carlow in Ireland. It is situated in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km from Dublin. County Carlow is the second smallest county in Ireland by area, however Carlow Town is the 14th largest urban area in Ireland by population according to the 2006 census. The...

, Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a city and is the county town of the eponymous County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on both banks of the River Nore in the province of Leinster, in the south-east of Ireland...

 and Waterford
Waterford is a city in the South-East Region of Ireland. It is the oldest city in the country and fifth largest by population. Waterford City Council is the local government authority for the city and its immediate hinterland...

 leaves the M7 west of Naas at Junction 11.

Newbridge is connected to the railway network
Rail transport in Ireland
Rail services in Ireland are provided by Iarnród Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and by Northern Ireland Railways in Northern Ireland.Most routes in the Republic radiate from Dublin...

, on the DublinCork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

 line. Newbridge railway station
Newbridge railway station, Republic of Ireland
Newbridge railway station, Republic of Ireland serves the town of Newbridge in County Kildare.The station opened on 4 August 1846 and was closed for goods traffic on 6 September 1976.- References :...

 opened on 4 August 1846 and was closed for goods traffic on 6 September 1976.

Newbridge has the highest unemployment per capita in the country and has a chronic drug problem which has affected the town in the last 10 years.


There is a wide and diverse selection of shops, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and bars in the town, including everything from the large international brands to long established local traders.

The Whitewater Shopping Centre
Whitewater Shopping Centre
The Whitewater Shopping Centre, opened in Newbridge, County Kildare in April 2006, is the biggest shopping centre in the country outside of Dublin and the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick...

 opened on 6 April 2006, and is the largest shopping centre in Ireland outside of Dublin and the Crescent Shopping Centre
Crescent Shopping Centre
The Crescent Shopping Centre is a major shopping centre in Limerick, Ireland. Located on what was at one time the outskirts of the city, in Dooradoyle, the centre now lies between the suburb of Raheen and the city proper...

 in Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

. Major retailers such as Debenhams
Debenhams plc is a British retailer operating under a department store format in the UK, Ireland and Denmark, and franchise stores in other countries. The Company was founded in the eighteenth century as a single store in London and has now grown to around 160 shops...

, Marks and Spencer, Eason and HMV
His Master's Voice is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone...

 along with others such as Zara, Bershka, and River Island are all tenants of the shopping centre. The Whitewater development has recently caused some local unrest due to the developers reneging on their promise to construct a cinema in the centre. Proposals had been made to construct a cinema elsewhere in the town by the developers but this had not lessened public outcry. A 6 screen all-digital cinema, operated by UCI, is now open within the original reserved space, it opened in December 2009.


There are many churches in Newbridge and the town is home to a number of denominations.

In the Roman Catholic divisions, Newbridge is situated in St. Conleth's Parish ( in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, and the parish has a total of three churches in the town: St Conleth's Parish Church (1852), Cill Mhuire (1983) and the Dominican St. Eustace's Church (1966). A Church of Ireland church (1828) is located in the Moorefield area of town, and is part of St. Patrick's Anglican Parish.

Newbridge Sports Centre hosts the African faith group "The Kingdom of Heavenly Water, Fire and Mountains" and a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall
Kingdom Hall
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii...

 is located just outside the town, near Milltown
Milltown, County Kildare
Milltown is a village in County Kildare, Ireland. It is 7 km from the town of Newbridge. It is on the R415 regional road between Allenwood and Crookstown.-Demographics:...

. Open Arms Community Church is located within Newbridge Industrial Estate. Newbridge Bible Fellowship Church is located in the Roseberry section of the town, (Loc8 Code M30-83-99A).


Primary schools in the town include Scoil Mhuire, Gaelscoil Chill Dara (an Irish-medium school), The Patrician Primary School, St Conleth's Infant Primary School, St Conleth's & St Mary's Primary School, St Patrick's National School, Newbridge Educate Together National School, and Scoil Bride in Athgarvan.

The large growth in the town's population has led to a shortage of places at primary school level.


Secondary schools in the area are the Patrician Secondary School
Patrician Secondary School
The Patrician Secondary School in Newbridge, County Kildare was founded on 26th August 1958 by the Patrician Brothers in Charlotte House, Station Road. It is now situated on its own grounds, opposite St Conleth's Parish Church...

, the Holy Family Secondary School, St Conleth's Vocational School, Newbridge College
Newbridge College
Newbridge College is a co-educational fee-paying secondary school in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland, run by the Dominican Order. The Dominican Fathers founded Newbridge College in 1852 as a boarding school for boys...

, a fee-paying co-educational secondary school, run by the Dominican Order
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 and, near the town, Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara
Gaelcholaiste Chill Dara
Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara is an Irish-language post-primary school on the Curragh, in County Kildare, Ireland....

, Kildare's only Irish-speaking second-level school: established in 2003, it provides a full programme of study through the medium of the Irish language.

St Conleth's is also home to a branch of the National College of Ireland
National College of Ireland
National College of Ireland offers full and part-time courses from foundation to degree and postgraduate level. All courses are fully accredited and delivered from the IFSC campus and across a network of regional centres....

, which offers a small number of "level-five" courses to Leaving Certificate students.

Adult education

  • The Kildare VTOS adult education centre is located in the town centre. VTOS offers level five qualifications to mature students.


  • Christy Moore
    Christy Moore
    Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore is a popular Irish folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is well known as one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts...

     - singer and musician
  • Luka Bloom
    Luka Bloom
    Luka Bloom is an Irish folk-rock singer-songwriter. He is the younger brother of Irish folk singer Christy Moore.-Early life:...

     (born Barry Moore), musician
  • Dónal Lunny
    Dónal Lunny
    Dónal Lunny is an Irish folk musician. Lunny has been at the forefront of the evolution of traditional Irish music for more than thirty-five years and has participated within the renaissance of traditional Irish music in that time period...

    , musician
  • Sinéad O'Carroll, singer
  • Kathleen Lonsdale
    Kathleen Lonsdale
    Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, DBE FRS was a crystallographer, who established the structure of benzene by X-ray diffraction methods in 1929, and hexachlorobenzene by Fourier spectral methods in 1931...

    , scientist
  • Band Super Extra Bonus Party
    Super Extra Bonus Party
    Super Extra Bonus Party were a Choice Music Prize winning indie-electronica band, formed in November 2005 and based in Kildare, Ireland. Their music spanned various genres such as electronica, indie and hip hop...


Clubs and societies

  • Newbridge is home to Kildare Gaelic Athletic Association
    Gaelic Athletic Association
    The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

    's county grounds and sports two strong local club teams, Sarsfield's GAA and Moorefield GAA
    Moorefield GAA
    - Current panel :Moorefield is a Gaelic Athletic Association club in County Kildare, Ireland winner of six county senior football championships and three senior hurling championships.-History:...

    , both of which regularly win the county's club championship title.
  • Newbridge Rugby Club is situated in nearby Rosetown.
  • The town is also home to Kildare County FC, Kildare's former representative in the League of Ireland
    League of Ireland
    The League of Ireland is the national association football league of the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1921, as a league of eight clubs, it has expanded over time into a two-tiered league of 22 clubs. It is currently split into the League of Ireland Premier Division and the League of Ireland...

  • Ryston pitch and putt club
  • The Kildare History & Family Research Centre is based at the library in Newbridge and houses an extensive local history collection as well as a genealogical research service.
  • Newbridge Tidy Towns Association's main aim is to improve the living environment in the town, the Association also enter the town into the National Tidy Towns Competition.
  • Newbridge RFC is the town's only Rugby Club. Founded in 1996, with the amalgamation of the Curragh RFC, Kilcullen RFC and Athgarvan RFC, Newbridge RFC compete in the J1 Division 1 Leinster League.
  • Newbridge cycling club (NCC) is the towns only cycling club, founded decades ago it is now a strong club of about 25 members and even hosts FBD ras stage winner Liam Baxter.
  • Newbridge Musical Society has been in operation since the 1980s, and brings yearly musical productions of the highest calibre to the stage of Newbridge College. The society has been nominated for, and indeed has won many A.I.M.S. (Association of Irish Musical Societies) awards over the past decade. Its previous acclaimed productions include "Oklahoma!", "Singin' in the Rain", "Sweet Charity", "Oliver!", "My Fair Lady", "42nd Street" and most recently "Little Shop Of Horrors" amongst many others. They are currently preparing for their 2011 production of "JesusChrist Superstar" which will be directed by Newbridge native Sharon McNamara and the musical direction will be by another native of Newbridge, Owen C Lynch.
  • Newbridge is home to the Newbridge Racing Pigeon Club which has its club house on the grounds on the Ryston Social Club and is affiliated to the Ryston Club. It has over twenty flying members which fly in the South Road Central Federation as part of the greater Irish Homing Union South Road. Newbridge Invitational does very well in their federation. Memembers range from the young to the experienced and all people are welcome to apply for membership.


  • Newbridge has a library and arts centre.
  • There are also a sports centre, three gyms, two swimming pools and a substantial Town Park, which runs along the banks of the River Liffey
    River Liffey
    The Liffey is a river in Ireland, which flows through the centre of Dublin. Its major tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac. The river supplies much of Dublin's water, and a range of recreational opportunities.-Name:The river was previously named An Ruirthech,...

  • There are a large number of first class golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

     courses in the area, with water sports, fishing
    Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

     and the Curragh
    The Curragh is a flat open plain of almost 5,000 acres of common land in County Kildare, Ireland, between Newbridge and Kildare. This area is well-known for Irish horse breeding and training. The Irish National Stud is located on the edge of Kildare town, beside the famous Japanese Gardens. Also...

     Racecourse all within easy access.
  • Newbridge hosts Kildare's only greyhound racing
    Greyhound racing
    Greyhound racing is the sport of racing greyhounds. The dogs chase a lure on a track until they arrive at the finish line. The one that arrives first is the winner....

  • In recent years the Riverbank Arts Centre has provided a new venue for a wide array of live performances, adding a new dimension to the town's long established dramatic and musical traditions.
  • Newbridge is a popular venue by night, as well, with plenty of bars and nightclubs serving the area.
  • For young people interested in music, local bar Rose Earley's hosts an open mic night every week.
  • For snooker, pool and table tennis enthusiasts there is a new venue called Sharkx open.
  • There is a Fully Digital 3D 6 Screen Cinema in the Whitewater Shopping Centre.

Twin towns — Sister cities

Newbridge is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with the town of Bad Lippspringe
Bad Lippspringe
Bad Lippspringe is a town in the district of Paderborn, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Geography:Bad Lippspringe is situated on the western slope of the Teutoburger Wald, approx. 10 km north-east of Paderborn...

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and the city of: Ocala, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Ocala is a city in Marion County, Florida. As of 2007, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 53,491. It is the county seat of Marion County, and the principal city of the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated 2007 population of 324,857.-History:Ocala..., United States (2008).

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland

External links

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