How Sligo's Streets got their Names

Stephen Street Castle Street - is one of the oldest thoroughfares in Sligo. Castle Street was un-named until the latter half of the 17th century and is likely to have been named after either Crean's Castle which stood on the corner of Castle Street and Teeling Street, on the site of the present day Foley's Pub, or Jones' Castle which stood on the opposite corner of Teeling Street and Abbey Street.

These so called "Castles" were more reminiscent of fortified houses which were built in the 16th and 17th centuries and which were commonly called "castles" at that time.

Charlotte Street was named after the wife of the English King George 3rd.

Union Street was named after the 1800 Act of Union, which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with effect from 1 January 1801.

Both of these Acts have since been amended, though they still remain in force in the United Kingdom, but have been repealed in the Republic of Ireland.

High Street - named after the Radcliffe family. is known to date back to medieval times and earned its name as a consequence of its elevated position overlooking Sligo Town.

Middleton's Row was a small lane which ran off the east side of Adelaide Street. Middleton's Row consisted of 19 single storey thatched cottages, all of which were leased from the streets builder, John Middleton, after whom the street was named.

Despite the houses being slated by the late 1800's, the housing conditions in Middletons Row deteriorated and the street was condemned by the local sanitary inspector, after which the Corporation issued a Clearance Order and the houses were demolished in the mid 1930's.

Market Street is one of the oldest streets in Sligo Town, possibly dating back to the 13th century and was once an extension of the more elevated High Street.

Market Street is named to mark the location of the main market in Sligo Town which took place around the Market Cross, site of the present day Lady Erin monument which was erected in 1899.

Radcliff (or Ratcliffe Street) now known as Gratten Street, was named after Sir George Radcliffe (1593-1657) who owned most of the land in Sligo Town in the 17th century.

The street was renamed Gratten Street, after the politician Henry Gratten in 1898, when a number of streets in the town were renamed by a Nationalist Corporation.

Corkran's Mall, better known today as JFK Parade, runs beside the Garavogue River and to the rear of Sligo Abbey.

The street was constructed in 1782 and named after its builder Thomas Corkran, a local catholic merchant and a key player in the Sligo linen industry.

Previous to the construction of Corkran's Mall, the Sligo Abbey ran almost as far as the banks of the Garavogue River, however, Thomas Corkran is documented as having demolished parts of the Abbey and using the stone as building materials for houses he built in Corkran's Mall and in nearby Thomas Street.

Quay Street is one of the oldest parts of Sligo Town dating back to at least the 15th century and takes its name from the Upper Quays, as this area was known at the time.

Bridge Street, which dates back to the 16th century, was named after it's bridge crossing of the Garavogue River. The official name for the bridge is actually New Bridge, though it hasn't been referred to by this name since the building of the nearby Hyde Bridge in 1845.

Gore Street, better known today as The Mall was originally part of a very long Stephen Street which ran right up as far as Ash Lane.

The formation of Gore Street came about in 1782 when the street consisted of 36 houses, most of which were tall 3 storey buildings designed for wealthy buyers in this "select" area of Sligo Town.

Gore street was named after Lady Anne Gore nee Parke who was married first to Sir Francis Gore, who in 1661 was elected MP (member of Parliament) for County Sligo. Lady Anne Gore went on to marry Percy Gethin, owner of Gethin Castle in Castle Street.

She died in 1671 having bore Sir Francis Gore 9 sons and 4 daughters and became an ancestor to the Gore-Booth family of Lissadell.

Knox Street (Now known as O'Connell Street) which is the main shopping and business street in Sligo Town was originally named Bridgefoot Street as far back as 1689, though many people of the time are known to have shortened the name to Bridge Street.

The name of Knox Street came about in 1784 when Sligo Corporation renamed Bridgefoot Street after the Knox family, a family of wealthy merchants, ship owners and importers of Scottish origin, who had settled in Farmhill on the Strandhill Road, in the 15th century.

Holborn Street, one of the oldest streets in Sligo Town, received its name in the middle of the 15th century, being curiously named after the equally steep Holborn Hill in London.

The Slip, the short road linking Markievicz Road and Holborn Street appears to have been just that, a slipway, for the launching of small boats into the Garavogue River.

It must be remembered that at the time there was no Markievicz Road and the area from Holborn Street to the river was a steep riverbank leading down to the river's edge.

Stephen Street is unofficially known as being the main financial street of Sligo Town, being lined with banks, insurance brokers and the like.

Stephen Street was named after Edmund Stephens (or Stevens), who owned a considerable number of local properties in the middle of the 17th century.

The Ropewalk, which is now a road linking Pearse Road with Mail Coach Road through St Brigids Place, is so named after a 19th century open-air rope manufacturing facility which existed here.

The manufacture of rope was a major income earner in the early 19th century, with ropes being used for a wide variety of jobs, ranging from tying down hay stacks to mooring and tying up ships.

Lynn's Place, which was originally called Finisklin Road and which leads from the Inner Relief Road adjacent to TD's public house, towards the Finisklin industrial estate, was named after John Lynn, a prominent local architect and merchant who lived here in the 1830's.

St Johns Lane now known as John Street which is itself one of the oldest streets in Sligo Town, was named after the church built in the mid 13th century, probably by Maurice Fitzgerald. The present day Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist which is in this street, is the second oldest building in Sligo Town.

Temple Street was laid out in the mid 1830's as a by-pass, avoiding the narrow streets of the town centre. The Temple family, after whom the street is named, owned large tracts of land in and around Sligo

Burton Street was constructed in 1850-51 to enable a quicker route for traffic from the Albert Line now known as Pearse Road into High Street, it was built on open land which was the property of William Burton, but leased to Rev. Ambrose Power O.P. for use as a garden surrounding their small chapel to the rear of Pound Street. However, Burton Street was named after Benjamin Burton who in 1697 purchased Lord Stafford's Sligo estate.

Adelaide Street was laid out in 1813 to provide a link between John Street and the Wine Street, Lord Edward Street and Union Street junction, heading down towards the quays. The street was named after Princess Adelaide, wife of King William IV, one of the Hanoverian Kings who reigned from 1830-1837.

Wine Street was named after the extensive wine vaults which existed at one time, on the corner of Wine Street and Knox Street (O'Connell Street).

Lynn's Place, which was originally called Finisklin Road and which leads from the Inner Relief Road adjacent to TD's public house, towards the Finisklin industrial estate, was named after John Lynn, a prominent local architect and merchant who lived here in the 1830's.

Teeling Street was named after the 24 year old hero of the Battle of Carricknagat in Collooney in 1798.

The Chief of Staff to General Humbert, after the French had surrendered, Bartholomew Teeling was handed over to the English during an exchange of officers, after which he was court-martialled and publicly hanged like a criminal outside Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin, whilst still wearing his French uniform.

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This page was last updated on Sunday 8 May 2016.

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