At the southern end of Limavady Main Street is a very different building. Single storey with a projecting central tower, this is the courthouse. It dates from 1914 and was designed by the county surveyor CL Boddie.
The Roe Valley Cultural Centre has its own early twenty first century take on classical architecture. A brightly coloured but well proportioned colonade faces a specially created public square. It creates a quieter space for art within the busy street. The building opened in 2010.
The facade of the Alexander Memorial Hall, half way down the street, dates from the mid nineteenth century, but its classical style perfectly complements the neighbouring Georgian buildings. The rest of the building has been replaced by a modern arts centre, but the regular spacing of trees ensures that it is hard to see both as a single building. Instead, the facade remains an important remnant that brings its own presence to the street.
Limivady Main Street has a number of tall brick houses in the Georgian Style. These are thought to date from the late eighteenth century. A number of those to the western side of the street, such as the Alexander Arms, have double pile roofs, that is, is a central gutter joining two pitched roofs. These were probably built earlier in the century. The two shown here have a single pile roof enclosing a longer span and are probably from later in the century. Brick making was once a major local industry with ‘brick fields’ noted in many locations on the 1830 map. The effect of these buildings was to create an elegant space which was remarked upon by travellers. This effect was complemeted by trees planted at regular intervals
At the other end of Limavady Main Street, also within a garden well back from the building line, is Christ Church. This modest looking building is quite decorative inside and well worth a visit. A church is recorded here from the late seventeenth century and the present building was constructed in 1750. The tower was added in 1765. It is a haven of calm away from the main street. In recent years a new bypass has revealed a dramatic view of the building from the opposite side. From there it is revealed as located on a high platform comanding the plain beyond.
Tucked away at the southern end of Main Street in Limavady is this important building. Indicated on a 1699 map as ‘New Hall’ it was occupied at that time by George Philips grandson of the original lessor of the Limavady Estate at the time of the Ulster Plantation. The building today is Georgian in style suggesting construction in the eighteenth century. Records show that in 1742 New Hall was leased to Thomas Smith of Limavady after he had spent “£300 on building the house and improving the office houses”. It sounds like a substantial rebuild. Until 1900, however, the entrance gates of the building terminated the view down Main Street helping to emphasise its former importance. In that year part of the garden was sold off to allow construction of the Masonic Hall.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West of Ireland and further afield with a little information about their history.