All Lewis entries for Ahoghill


More information on Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
Accompanying Lewis map for Antrim


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 McLarnon, 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 Volunteers, was raised by Alexander McManus, of Mount Davies.

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 l45- 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. McManus, 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: the 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- 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.


BALLYKENNEDY, or GRACE-HILL, a village, in the parish of AHOGHILL, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 1? mile (W. S. W.) from Ballymena; containing 326 inhabitants. This place is situated on the river Maine, over which is a bridge of four arches, connecting it with the village of Galgorim. It owes its origin to the Rev. John Cennick, who, in 1746. founded here an establishment of Moravians, or United Brethren, who hold under Lord O'Neill,on lease renewable in perpetuity, about 200 plantation acres of land, which arc divided in small portions among the brethren. The village consists of 39 family residences, of which the greater number are small cottages, exclusively of the chapel, and the two principal houses for unmarried brethren and sisters respectively, which occupy three sides of a quadrangle, of which the area is ornamented with shrubs. The sisters support themselves by various kinds of needlework, particularly tambour and embroidery, which are much admired, and also superintend an extensive hoarding-school for young ladies. The inhabitants of the brethren's house having greatly diminished in number, the greater part of the building has been appropriated as a boarding-school for young gentlemen, conducted by the minister of the establishment and several assistants, and a daily school for boys and girls of the surrounding country. A small linen manufacture and several other trades are carried on.Each family has land sufficient for the keep of a cow and the raising of potatoes. The chapel is a neat and commodious building; the burial-place is on the summit of a rising ground, at a distance from the village. In a bog in this townland is a curious artificial mount ; and within its limits may be yet seen the ruins of an ancient church.-See AHOGHILL.


CARNEARNEY, a hamlet in the parish of AHOGHILL, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, on the river Maine; containing 12 houses and 60 inhabitants.


CULLYBACKEY, a village, in the parish of AHOGHILL, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (N. W.) from Ballymena ; containing 235 inhabitants. This vilage, which is situated on the river Maine, contains about 50 houses, including a place of worship for Presbyterians. The manufacture of linen is extensively carried on, and a fair was formerly held for its sale. Gullybackey House was formerly the residence of John Dickey, Esq., by whom, in 1778, a corps was raised, called the Gullybackey volunteers ; it is now the seat of John Dickey, Esq. Iron-works are said to have formerly existed here, and vitrified substances have been found.


GALGORM, a village, in the parish of AHOGHILL, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 1 mile (W.) from Ballymena, on the river Maine ; containing 37 houses and 226 inhabitants. The castle of Galgorm, built by the celebrated Dr. Colville, is a handsome square embattled structure, now the seat of the Earl of Mountcashel : the whole of the rooms are wainscoted with Irish oak.


PORTGLENONE, a market and post-town, and district parish, in the barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 32- 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.

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. Portgle-none House, the residence of the Rev. Archdeacon Mexander, occupies the site of an ancient castle of the O'Nials ; and Mount Davies, the present residence of Alex. Mc Manus, 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 euracy, in the diocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Incumbent of Ahoghill ; the curate's stipend is £92. 6. 7-., of which £69. 4. 7-. is payable by the Incumbent of Ahoghill, and £23. 2. from the augmentation funds in the bands 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.

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