Sion Mills

Sion Mills

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Sion Mills

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Description:
Sion Mills is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland on the River Mourne. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 2,050 people. It lies within the Strabane District Council area. It is a pleasant tree-lined industrial village and designated conservation area, particularly rich in architectural heritage.

History

Sion Mills was laid out as a model linen village by the Herdman brothers, James, John and George. In 1835 they converted an old flour mill on the River Mourne into a flax spinning mill, and erected a bigger mill behind it in the 1850s. Nearly everything in Sion Mills was designed by James Herdman's son in law, the English architect W. F. Unsworth. Sion House, a half timbered Elizabethan style mansion, was planned by Unsworth at the same time as he was designing the first Shakespeare memorial theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, destroyed by a fire in 1926. More modest half timbered buildings include the gatehouse, the recreation hall and Old St. Saviour's church. Unsworth based his design for the polychrome Anglican church, the Church of the Good Shepherd, (1909) on a church in Pistoia in Tuscany. By contrast the modern Catholic church of St Teresa (1963 by Patrick Haughey) is admirable for its severely plain lines - a long rectangle with a striking representation of the Last Supper on the slate facade. Oisín Kelly was the artist.

Sport

Sion Mills has a strong cricket tradition and was the venue for a celebrated moment in cricket history when the Irish team...
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