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The stream that named the Street!



The town of Bandon Bridge had four gates. One of these gates differed to the other three gates to the town.

The North Gate (East of todays Kilbrogan Hill, in a garden), West Gate (Castle Road, now marked in the footpath) and East Gate (Castle Street/Pearse Street near Boyles Sports) were more than just gates. These three gates were also known as Castles and contained 17 rooms each. They had various names for the gates such as Kinsale Port, Carbery Port, Cork Port and Francis Port. This is where we get our 3 castles from, which can be seen on old coins and on the today footbridge. Bandon Athletic Club shows these 3 castles on its crest.

Bandon had a 4th much smaller gate. It was known as postern gate (side gate) in the towns early years but the towns people over time gave it the name Watergate. We suspect that you would be doing well to fit a car through this gate today but that's purely speculation and is based on postern gates of this era.

While studying some old maps it was noticed that one map was different to the rest. It may have revealed why Watergate got its name. As you can guess water was involved. The map showed Kilbrogan Stream flowing from todays Town Park down towards Bandon River.

Aside- The original plan suggested for the north side of the town was to have an additional street each side of Kilbrogan Stream with houses either side facing it a bit like Westport looks today. But when the settlers surveyed the stream upon arriving to Bandon they deemed it far too small for such a layout. The south side houses were an easier sell, the agents (like todays estate agents) could boast that all properties off South Main Street had gardens with fresh water/river access from the Bridewell or Bandon Rivers. There certainly was cons to living on the south side....flooding, don't we know. The settlers quickly set about preventing the river from damaging their homes by designing a system that restricted the flow of the Bandon River as it approached the town. This caused areas of land upstream to flood with clever use of walls and gates.

Back to Kilbrogan Stream and the fourth gate of Bandon...the Watergate. As the stream made its way toward the river it passed though the centre of this postern gate. For whatever reason it was deemed more sensible to let the flow of water pass though the gate. So overtime the postern/side gate became known as the Watergate.

The stream that named the street....Watergate Street.

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