At the centre of the District is the chief town and administrative centre of Banbridge situated in the townland of Ballyvally which, in Irish, means 'the townland of the road' referring to the road which crossed the River Bann on its way to Newry.
The great hill on the south of the river presented a huge problem to the horse drawn Royal Mail coaches of old who threatened to bypass the town which would have resulted in lost trade. The action taken as a result of this threat can be seen today in a feature that makes Banbridge like no other town in Ireland. In 1834 the wide main street was divided into three sections with an underpass cut out into the middle to lower the hill and a bridge built over the gap. The bridge is called the Downshire Bridge, also known locally as 'The Jinglers Bridge' while the underpass is known as 'The Cut'.
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