Medium to dark bluish-grey granite-type building stone of Devonian age (400 million years old). The grandiorite is medium-grained with feldspar, quartz, biotite, hornblende and accessory titanite. A key feature of this stone type is the occurrence of XENOLITHS (‘foreign stones’) visible as dark patches of various shapes and sizes within a relatively uniform texture. The xenoliths are the partially assimilated remnants of the country rock through which the granodiorite was intruded.
Newry Granodiorite is extracted from quarries in the Newry area (e.g. Bessbrook Quarry) and Ballymagreehan quarry near Castlewellan and was used as rock-faced building stone and dressings on buildings predominantly in the Newry and County Down area. Some examples are seen in Belfast on buildings and as kerb stones. It was used as one of the ornamental stones on the Albert Memorial in London.
Newry Granodiorite is an extremely hard and resistant building material rarely showing any signs of decay or deterioration.
It is still quarried (Ballymagreehan Granite) and used as building stone today.