The Great Bridge was built by Lord Edward Chichester. Died 1648
Link to petition:
REPORT IN THE Ballymena Weekly
Telegraph - Saturday, 20 March 1937:
THE ROUTE OF ARMIES.
The Great Bridge was built in 1642 by Lord Edward Chichester,
afterwards Viscount Chichester of Carrickfergus, brother to the Lord Deputy and father of the Ist Earl of DonegalI, as appears in the Corporate Records:—“24 die Junii 1642. It is agreed that the Bridge shall be finished att the charge of the Lord
Chichester whoe hath begun itt, the wch his Lord’s Officers have undertaken to do.” In the previous April, 2,500 men, under the command of General Robert Monro, arrived at Carrickfergus from Scotland, and a portion of the armed force was quartered
at “Malone, quite close to Belfast," that Lord Edward saw the importance having a Bridge over the Owynvarra, and, as a soldier, he would realize its strategic importance. Seventy-five years after its erection, the Grand Jury made an assessment (1717)
for building buttresses “to support the Salt Water Bridge and for other repairs about the said Bridge.” It was adjoining what is left of the “Great Bridge of Belfast” that the new Boyne Bridge was opened last December by the Rt. Hon.
the Lord Mayor of Belfast. During the interval, close upon three centuries, between the building of the Great Bridge of Belfast and the opening of the Boyne Bridge, much water, both metaphorically and literally, has flowed beneath the bridge. An armed force
encamped upon the banks of the Owynvarra during the Irish Rebellion of the 17th century: William 111, marching across the Great Bridge and halting at Cranmore, Malone, on his way to the Battle of the Boyne: the old Dublin Coach tumbling along past the Brick
Pitts through which the Great Northern Railway now conveys the passengers to Dublin and the South. All that has been transformed, and today, in the 20th century, what was formerly the Brick Kiln Land has become a busy hive of industrial activity, with the
Whitehall Tobacco Works supplanting the Brick Hills of the 18th century. The celebrated Dutch geographer, Herman Moll, in his coloured Map of Ireland (1714), “according to the newest and most exact observations,” includes “Brickill Br”
and “Drum Bridge" and omits any mention of the Long Bridge. That was not an oversight of the geographer, but the omission was due entirely to the fact that the Long Bridge was of little or no importance from a strategical point: whereas the Brickill
Bridge and Drum Bridge, being on the direct road from the south, the most likely quarter from which an attack would be made on Belfast, were, at least in the opinion of Herman Moll, of sufficient strategical importance to be included in a Map of Ireland.