Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim
County of Antrim Civil Parishes (Note 4)
Antrim Civil Parishes (Click to enlarge)
||Grange of Ballyscullion
||Grange of Doagh
||Grange of Drumtullagh
||Grange of Dundermot
||Grange of Inispollen
||Grange of Killyglen
||Grange of Layd
||Grange of Muckamore
||Grange of Nilteen
||Grange of Shilvodan
County of Antrim Roman Catholic Parishes
Antrim RC Parishes (Click to enlarge)
Administrative Districts for Kilcurry Note 2
|Electoral Division/Ward||Ahoghil (until 1825) then Portglenone
|Poor Law Union||Ballymena
|Roman Catholic Parish||Portglenone / Ahoghill in Antrim Dioceses
|Today||Ballymena District Council
AHOGHILL, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER ANTRIM, partly in that of KILCONWAY, partly in that of UPPER TOOME, but chiefly in the barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 4 miles (E.S.E.) from Portglenone; containing 14,920 inhabitants, of which number, 421 are in the village.
The district around this place appears, from the numerous remains of forts and the great number of tumuli and human bones found, to have been the scene of much early warfare. During the war of 1688, the ford of the river Bann at Portglenone was regarded as a very important pass between the counties of Antrim and Derry; and Sir I. Magill and Capt. Edmonston were, in 1689, despatched to defend it against the Irish army on their march towards the Bann, in order to enter the county of Derry. In 1760, when the French under Thurot made a descent on Carrickfergus, the inhabitants of this place rose in a body for the defence of the country: a well-appointed force marched to Belfast, numerous parties proceeded to Carrickfergus, while others patroled the country nightly, and these irregular levies had a powerful effect in repelling the invaders.
About the year 1771, an organised system of outrage pervaded the whole of this parish, in common with other parts of the county: the persons who thus combined, called themselves" Steel Men;' or "Hearts of Steel;' and executed their revenge by houghing cattle and perpetrating other outrages; they attacked the house of Paul M'Larnon, Esq., who, in defending himself, was shot. In 1778, a corps was raised by John Dickey, Esq, of Cullybackey, and called the Cullybackey Volunteers; a similar corps was embodied the following year by T. Hill, Esq., of Drumra, called the Portglenone Volunteers, to which was afterwards added a second corps by ??? Simpson, Esq. ; and a corps, called the Ahoghill Vollunteers, was raised by Alexander M'Manus, of Mount Davies.
Parishes of Ahoghill, Craigs & Kirkinriola (Click to enlarge)
The parish, anciently called Maghrahoghill, of which the derivation is unknown, is bounded by the river Bann, which flows out of Lough Neagh in a direction from south to north, and is intersected by the river Maine, which flows into that lough in a direction from north to south. It was formerly more extensive than at present, having included Portglenone, which, in 1825, was, together with 21 townlands, severed from it and formed into a distinct parish. According to the Ordnance survey, including Portglenone, it comprises 35,419 statute acres, of which 14,954 are applotted under the tithe act, and 145 3/4 are covered with water. The system of agriculture is in a very indifferent state; there is a considerable quantity of waste land, with some extensive bogs, which might be drained. The surface is hilly, and many of the eminences being planted, render the valley through which the Maine flows beautiful and interesting. The village is neatly built, and the neighbourhood, is enlivened with several gentlemen's seats.
The castle of Galgorm, a seat of the Earl of Mountcashel, is a handsome square embattled edifice, erected in the 17th century by the celebrated Dr. Colville; the rooms are wainscoted with Irish oak from the woods of Largy and Grange. The other principal seats in the parish and neighbourhood are Mount Davies, the residence of Alex. M'Manus, Esq.; Low Park, of J. Dickey, Esq.; Ballybollan, the property of Ambrose O'Rourke, Esq.; Lisnafillen, of W. Gihon, Esq., of Ballymena; Fenaghy, the residence of S. Cuningham, Esq.; Leighnmore, the property of J, Dickey, Esq.; and Drumona, built by Alex. Brown, Esq.
The linen trade appears to have been introduced here by the ancestor of John Dickey, Esq., of Low Park, and now in its several branches affords employment to the greater number of the inhabitants. There are several bleach-greens on the river Maine : and a good monthly market is held in the village, for the sale of linens, on the Friday before Ballymony market. Fairs for cattle and pigs are held on June 4th, Aug. 26th,Oct. 12th, and Dec. 5th. The manorial court of Fortescue, anciently Straboy, has jurisdiction extending to debts not exceeding £5 late currency; and the manorial court of Cashel is held monthly at Portglenone, for the recovery of debts to the same amount. Two courts leet are held annually; and petty sessions are held every alternate Friday.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Crown: tbe tithes amount to £1015:7:8. The church is an ancient edifice; the walls have within the last few years been raised and covered with a new roof. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £100 and a loan of £1500 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1815; the glebe comprises 138 1/2 acres.
In the R. C. divisions this is the head of a union or district, comprising also Portglenone, and containing three chapels, one about half a mile from the village, another at Aughnahoy, and a third at Portglenone.
There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster at Ahoghill and Cullybackey, both of the third class: in the former are also two places of worship for Seceders of the Ahoghill Presbytery, each of the second class, and in the latter is one for Covenanters; there is also a place of worship for Independents, and a Moravian meeting-house at Gracehill.
There are 15 schools in different parts of the parish, in which are about 400 boys and 330 girls; and there are also 12 private schools, in which are about 300 boys and 150 girls; and 16 Sunday schools. John
Guy, in 1813, bequeathed £12 per ann. to the Moravian establishment, which sum is now, by the death of his adopted heir, augmented to £45 per annum.
There are some remains of Rory Oge Mac Quillan's castle of Straboy, and some tumuli at Moyessit.
BALLYSCULLION, a grange, in the barony of TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 4 miles (N. W.) from Randalstown; containing 3351 inhabitants. This place, which is an extra-parochial district, never having paid either church cess or tithe, is situated on the road from Portglenone to Antrim, and is bounded on the north-west by the river Bann; it comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 4279 1/4statute acres. There is no provision for the cure of souls; the members of the Established Church attend divine service in the contiguous parish of Duneane, in the diocese of Connor. In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Ballyscullion, in the diocese of Derry; the chapel is a small plain building; there is also a place of worship for Presbyterians.
Parishes of Ballyscullion & Grange (Click to Enlarge)
BALLYSCULLION, a parish, partly in the barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, but chiefly in that of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER. See Ballyscullion Parish
in the County Derry page.
See Ahoghill map for details of Craigs.
CRANFIELD, a parish, in the barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 1 mile (S. W. by S.) from Randalstown; containing 386 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the road from Randalstown to Toome, and on the western shore of Lough Neagh, of which, according to the Ordnance survey, it comprises 2691 1/2 statute acres, besides 834 1/2 acres of land in a good state of cultivation, agriculture having greatly improved; there is neither bog nor waste land: the spinning and weaving of linen cloth is carried on. It is within the jurisdiction of the manorial court of Mullaghgane, held every month at Toome.
See Below for maps showing the townlands in Cranfield.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down and Connor, partly impropriate in William Cranstone, Esq., of Belfast, and partly episcopally united, from time immemorial, to the vicarage of Duneane, to the church of which the Protestant inhabitants of this parish resort. The tithes amount to £35. 11. 11. The ancient parish church is now a noble pile of ruins, situated on the verge of Cranfield Point, overlooking Lough Neagh. Near them is a celebrated well, to which the peasantry resort in great numbers on June 26th, 27th, and 28th, and booths are erected for their accommodation; they perform "stations", round the ruins of the church, and drink and wash in the waters of the well, which is supposed to have been endued with healing properties by St. Olcan, who is traditionally recorded to have been buried here in earth brought from Rome; and in which are found beautiful yellow crystals, very scarce and held in high estimation. A curiously carved cross of wood, marking the limit of what is considered holy ground, stands a mile from the well.
DRUMMAUL, a parish, in the barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Randalstown (which is described under its own head), 9737 inhabitants. During the revolution of 1688, this parish was frequently the head-quarters of the Earl of Antrim's regiment, which marched hence to the attack of Londonderry; and in the disturbances of 1798, the insurgents were driven from Antrim into Randalstown, in this parish, by the king's troops. The parish is situated on the river Main, and on the northern shore of Lough Neagh; it is intersected by the road from Belfast to the eastern parts of the counties of Derry and Tyrone, and by the mail roads from Belfast to Coleraine, and from Antrim to Cookstown. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 32,394 statute acres, of which, 11,472 are in Lough Neagh, and 171 1/4 in the river Main. The land, with the exception of a few farms, is in a very indifferent state of cultivation; the system of agriculture is, however, beginning to improve; there are bogs containing about 2800 acres. The beautiful demesne of Shane's Castle, which contains nearly 2000 acres, the property of Earl O'Neill, and for many years the principal seat of his family, is situated on the margin of Lough Neagh, and the grounds and plantations extend far on both sides of the river Main : the mansion was. destroyed by fire in 1816, and is now in ruins; the park, which is well stocked with deer, is ornamented with fine timber. Millmount, the seat of G. Hand-cock, Esq., agent to Earl O'Neill; Hollybrook and Sharoogues are also in this parish. Coal and ironstone were formerly obtained here, and there are remains of extensive forges and smelting-furnaces at Randalstown. There are quarries of basaltic stone, from which materials are obtained in abundance both for building and for the roads. The spinning of cotton and weaving of calico were extensively carried on at Randalstown, there are excellent sites for bleach-greens and beetling-engines at Hollybrook, and a considerable quantity of linen is woven in various parts of the parish.
Parishes of Drummaul, Cranfield & Shilvodan (Click to Enlarge)
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, and in the gift of the Marquess of Donegal, in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithes amount to £996.6.6., of which £546.6.6. is payable to the impropriator, and £450 to the vicar. The church, which is at Randalstown, is a neat edifice in the ancient English style, with an octagonal spire of freestone : it was built in 1832, on the site of a church erected in 1709, and cost £1800, of which, Earl O'Neill subscribed £300, besides giving a fine-toned organ; his lordship has also built, a beautiful mausoleum for his family close to the church, the family burial-place having been at Edenduff-Carrick since 1722. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Drummaul or Randalstown, comprising the parishes of Drummaul and Antrim, and parts of Connor, Templepatrick, Donegore, and Kilbride; there are three chapels, of which that of Drummaul is a large handsome building near Randalstown. In that town there is a Presbyterian meeting-house in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and one connected with the Seceding Synod, both of the first class; and the Covenanters have a meeting-house at Craigmore. There is a parochial school at Randalstown for children of both sexes, aided by a grant from Earl O'Neill, and six other schools in the parish; also another school at Randalstown. In these schools about 330 children are educated, besides which about 440 are taught in seven private schools, and there are also eight Sunday schools. There are some remains of the ancient church at Drummaul, and the site of an old church at Edenduff-Carrick, or Shane's-Castle. Adjoining the gardens of Shane's-Castle are some very fine columnar masses of basalt, similar to those of the Giant's Causeway, but less perfect in their form and less regular in their divisions; they descend into Lough Neagh, and disappear under the water. There are chalybeate springs in various parts of the parish.
DUNEANE, a parish, in the barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Randalstown, on the road from Belfast to Londonderry; containing 6812 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the west by Lough Beg and the river Bann, and on the south by Lough Neagh, in which, at the distance of half a mile from the shore, is a group called the Three Islands, which are within its limits. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 13,128 statute acres, of which 1628 1/4 are in Lough Neagh, 415 3/4 in Lough Beg, and 29 1/2 in the river Bann. About two-thirds of the land are in a state of good cultivation, one-tenth is bog, and the remainder waste : the soil is fertile and the system of agriculture greatly improved. Basaltic stone is quarried in large quantities for building and for repairing the roads. The principal seats are Reymond Lodge, that of Earl O'Neill; Moneyglass, of J. Hill, Esq.; St. Helena, of -- Reford, Esq.; and Brecart, of Capt. O'Neill. The weaving of calico and union cloths, and also of fine linen, is carried on extensively.
Parishes of Duneane, Drummaul & Cranfield (Click to Enlarge)
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, united from time immemorial to the rectory of Cranfield, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Donegal; the rectory is impropriate in W. Cranston, Esq., of Belfast. The vicarial tithes, as returned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1831, amounted to £240, and of the whole union to £270; there is neither glebe nor glebe-house. The church is a small plain edifice, nearly in the centre of the union. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; there are chapels at Moneyglass and Cargin, the former built in 1826. There is also a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class. About 840 children are taught in nine public schools, of which the parochial school is aided by donations from the vicar; and there are eight Sunday schools. There are some remains of a circular camp, called Ballydonnelly fort, similar to the Giant's Ring in the county of Down.
PORTGLENONE, a market and post-town, and district parish, in the barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 32 3/4 miles (N. W.) from Belfast, and 104 (N.) from Dublin, on the road from Ballymena to Castle-Dawson; containing 6860 inhabitants, of which number, 773 are in the town. This place is situated on the river Bann, which is navigable to Lough Neagh; the fords, which are now superseded by a bridge, were regarded as one of the most important passes between the counties of Antrim and Londonderry, on the confines of which it is situated. The town consists principally of one long street, and contains 148 houses, of which several are neatly built; the inhabitants carry on a small trade on the river by lighters, which bring up timber and slates, and at the bridge there is a considerable eel fishery; the weaving of linen is also carried on in the town and neighbourhood, and large quantities are exposed for sale in the linen market, which is held on the first Friday in every month. Fairs, chiefly for cattle and pigs, are held on the first Tuesday in every month. A constabulary police force is stationed here; petty sessions are held on alternate Wednesdays; and the manorial court of Cashel is held monthly, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £5 late currency.
Portglenone Parish (Click to Enlarge)
The parish was instituted in 1825, by separating 21 townlands from the parish of Ahoghill, with which its acreable extent is returned in the Ordnance survey; that part which is on the Londonderry side of the Bann is called Glenone; on the other, Portglenone. Portglenone House, the residence of the Rev. Archdeacon Alexander, occupies the site of an ancient castle of the O'Nials; and Mount Davies, the present residence of Alex. McManus, Esq., was originally built by Col. Davies, about the year 1700, and rebuilt in 1758 by the late Alex. McManus, Esq. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the iiocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Incumbent of Ahoghill; the curate's stipend is £92. 6. 7 1/2., of which £69. 4. 7 1/2. is payable by the Incumbent of Ahoghill, and £23. 2. from the augmentation funds in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The church, a neat plain edifice, was built as a chapel of ease to the mother church of Ahoghill, prior to 1739, by the late Bishop Hutchinson, who was interred under the chancel. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Ahoghill: the chapel is situated at Aughnahoy, about a mile from the town. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, and with the Seceding Synod, of the second class, and for Wesleyan Methodists. About 600 children are taught in ten public schools, of which one is supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, who pay the master £32 per ann.; seven are under the London Hibernian Society, and two under the National Board. There are also three private schools, in which are about 70 children; and eight Sunday schools.
RASHARKIN, a parish, in the barony of KILCONWAY, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 2 1/2 miles (E.) from Kilrea, on the road to Ballymena; containing 7481 inhabitants. This parish, called also Rath-Arkin and Magherasharkin, lies on the border of the county of Londonderry, from which it is separated by the river Bann: it is 6 miles long and 5 broad, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 19,337 3/4 statute acres, of which a very large quantity is mountain waste land, or bog; the remainder is of a light soil, but of excellent quality for flax, potatoes, oats and clover; the system of agriculture in some parts is very good, in others the reverse.
The linen manufacture is carried on to a considerable extent, the cloth being sold at Ballymena; and there are two bleach-greens, one at Dunroin, belonging to John Cunningham, Esq., in which about 34,000 webs are annually bleached; the other at Dunminning, belonging to Tho. Birnie, Esq., which bleaches about 20,000 webs, principally for the English market. These gentlemen have elegant residences attached to their respective establishments.
At Killymurris is a very extensive vein of coal, chiefly of the kind called cannel, which is very productive, though by no means skilfully wrought: there are some quarries of basalt, from which the stone is raised for building and road-making.
The Bann is navigable from Lough Neagh to Portna, where there is a convenient wharf, at which considerable business is done at times. A fair for cattle and pedlery is held annually in the village of Rasharkin, which is also a chief constabulary police station.
Parish of Rasharkin (Click to Enlarge)
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, united by charter of. Jas. I. to the rectories of Finvoy and Kilraghts and Kildallock grange, which together form the corps of the prebend of Rasharkin in the cathedral of Connor, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The rectory is impropriate; one portion of the rectorial tithes, amounting to £55. 15. 8., belongs to Robert Harvey, Esq.; two other portions, amounting to £101. 16. 8., belong, one moiety to Sir Tho. Staples, Bart., and the other to Edw. Caulfield, Esq.; the residue, amounting to £46. 3. 1., has been appropriated to the use of Castle-Dawson chapelry; the total of the rectorial tithes is £203. 15. 5. The vicarial tithes payable to the incumbent are £222. 7., and the aggregate value of the union, including the glebe, is £811. 17. per annum. The parishes of Rasharkin and Finvoy are held with cure of souls, those of Kilraghts and Kildallock without cure. The glebe-house, having been found by the present incumbent in a dilapidated and uninhabitable state on his admission to the benefice, has been put into complete repair by him, at an expense of £3692, without having any demand on his successor for the repayment of any portion thereof: the glebe consists of 50a. 0r. 34 1/2p. statute measure, valued at 18s. 6d. per acre. The church is a small but very beautiful edifice on a commanding situation.
In the R. C. divisions the parish is united with that of Finvoy; both have chapels: that of Rasharkin is in the village, in which there are also two places of worship for Presbyterians. A parochial school is chiefly supported by the rector: at Dromore are two schools under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Wilson; a male and female school at Dunminny were built and are supported, the former by Mr. Birnie and the latter by Miss Birnie; a school at Glenback is in connection with the Board of National Education, another is in connection with the London Hibernian Society, and there are two others, aided by grants from individuals. In these schools about 130 boys and 120 girls are instructed: besides whom, 418 boys and 160 girls are educated in 13 private schools: there are also 8 Sunday schools.
There are several raths in the parish: one of these, at Lisnacannon, is of very large dimensions; it has two fosses and three ramparts, and covers nearly an acre and a half of ground. Several silver coins, of the reigns of Stephen, John and Rich. III., and of Robert and David Bruce, were found here; and an artificial cavern was discovered near the church. The body of a man who had committed suicide in 1776, and had been buried in a bog in the mountain, was found in 1827, without the smallest signs of decomposition.
TOOME, a post-town, in the parish of DUNEANE, barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 22 1/2 miles (W. N. W.) from Belfast, on the road to Londonderry, and 102 1/2 (N. by W.) from Dublin; containing 122 inhabitants. This place, which gives name to the barony, had at a very early period a ford or ferry across the river Bann, which formed the only pass from one part of Ulster to the other, and on the first invasion of the English was considered to be of so much importance that De Courcey erected a castle here for its protection. It has been the scene of many sanguinary contests, its name being conspicuous in the history of all the insurrections that have occurred in this part of the country.
In the parliamentary war the castle was surprised and taken by the R. C. bishop of Clogher, in 1650, but was soon after taken by Col. Venables, an officer in Oliver Cromwell's army, by whose orders it was subsequently dismantled. In the disturbances of 1798, a body of insurgents, after their defeat at Antrim, retreated from Randalstown to this place and posted themselves on the eastern side of the river, where they remained for two days, and on the approach of Gen. Knox, who was marching hither with 1500 of the yeomanry, to prevent the disaffected of Derry from joining them, they broke down one of the arches of the bridge, with a view to interrupt his progress.
The town, which contains only about 20 houses, is situated on the eastern bank of the river Bann, over which in its short course from Lough Beg into Lough Neagh is a handsome bridge, erected at the sole expense of the late Earl O'Neill. It has a sub-post-office to Randalstown and Castledawson, and is a constabulary police station. In the court-house are held petty sessions every fortnight, and the court for the manor of Mullaghgane. Near the spot where the river unites with Lough Neagh is a good wharf with a commodious quay. Fairs are held on March 28th and Dec. 4th, and a pleasure fair is held at the bridge on Easter-Monday. The remains of the castle have fallen from the cliff and are scattered on the strand of Lough Neagh; many cannon balls have been found near its site.