All entries for Seagoe



Seagoe

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

PORTADOWN

PORTADOWN, a market and post-town, and district parish, in the barony of ONEILLAND WEST, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 9 miles (N. E.) from Armagh, and 69 (N. by W.) from Dublin, on the road from Armagh to Belfast ; containing 4906 inhabitants, of which number, 1591 are in the town. This place, anciently called Port-ne-doon, or " the port of the fortified eminence," derived that name from an ancient castle of the McCanns or McCanes, who were tributaries of the O'Nials and occupied this very important station, commanding the pass of the river Bann. The adjoining lands were, under the name of the manor of Ballyoran, granted by Jas. I. to William Powell, Esq., and afterwards by Chas, I., in the 7th of his reign, to Prudence Obyns and John Obyns, Esq., who erected a large mansion in the Elizabethan style for their own residence, and built 14 houses, in which they settled fourteen English families, Of the ancient mansion there is scarcely a vestige, except the gardens, and the avenue, which is still tolerably perfect. The town, which has been greatly extended, and the manor, are now the property of Viscount Mandeville. The former is very advantageously situated on the river Bann, over which is a stone bridge of seven arches, connecting it with the small suburb of Edenderry, in the parish of Seagoe. It consists of one spacious and handsome street, with Several smaller streets branching from it in various directions ; and contains 315 houses, of which those in the principal street are large and well built. The town has been greatly improved within the last 40 years, previously to which it was comparatively of little importance ; it is paved and cleansed by a committee appointed under the act of the 9th of Geo. IV., which raises money for that purpose by an assessment on the inhabitants, The river, which falls into Lough Neagh about seven miles below the town to the north, and communicates with the Newry canal about one mile above it to the south, is navigable for vessels of 80 tons burden ; but from a bar at its mouth, and from want of depth in the canal, the vessels generally navigating it seldom exceed 60 tons. The bridge, which is the only one across the river between Knock and Toome, a distance of full 30 miles, was built in 1764, hut has suffered so much from the winter floods, that it has become necessary to rebuild it, and the expense is estimated at #8000. The chief trade is in corn, pork, cattle, and agricultural pro-duce, and is greatly promoted by the situation of the place in the centre of an extensive and fertile district. The corn trade is particularly brisk during the winter ; on an average, from #10,000 to #15,000 is laid out weekly in the purchase of grain, which is shipped to Newry and Belfast for exportation to England, the vessels return-ing with cargoes of timber, coal, slates, iron, and articles for inland consumption. The manufacture of linen, lawn, cambric and sheeting is extensively carried on, chiefly for the bleachers and factors of Banbridge ; and the weaving of cotton goods for the merchants of Belfast also affords employment to a great number of persons. A very large distillery has' been established, consuming annually more than 3000 tons of malt, bere, and oats ; there is also a very extensive porter brewery ; and since the Tyrone collieries were opened, brick-making has been extensively carried on. The market is on Saturday, and is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds, and with linen yarn, which is sold in great quantities. Fairs are held on the third Saturday in every month, and also on Easter-Monday and Whit-Monday, for cattle, pigs, and pedlery, and during the winter great quantities of pork are sold. A large and commodious market-place, with shambles and every requisite, has been recently erected by subscription, and is under the regulation of a committee, A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town ; petty sessions are held every Saturday ; and courts for the manors of Ballyoran and Richmount, at which debts to the amount of 40s. are recoverable, every third Monday, before a seneschal appointed by Viscount Mande-ville,

The district parish comprises 3836 statute acres, mostly in a profitable state of cultivation ; the demesne attached to the ancient mansion of the Obyns family, with the exception of a tract of woodland, has been parcelled out into farms, The principal seats are Ballyworkan, the residence of G. Pepper, Esq. ; Carrick, of Lieu. Col. Blacker, a fine old mansion, embellished with some stately timber; Clowna, of J. Woolsey, Esq. ; Eden Villa, of W. Atkinson, Esq. ; and Fair View, of T. Carleton, Esq. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Rector of Drumcree, who pays the curate a stipend of #150. The church, a handsome edifice in the early English style, with a tower at the east end, and for the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits contributed a gift of #831, and a loan of #461, was built in 1826 ; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted #173 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions the parish gives name to a union or district, including also the parish of Drumcree, where is the chapel. There are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. About 550 children are taught in seven public schools, of which two are supported by the rector, four by Lord and Lady Mandeville, and one partly by Mrs. Henry ; there are also five private schools, in which are about 100 children, and two Sunday schools, A dispensary for the tenants of the Portadown estate is wholly sup-ported by Lord Mandeville, by whom also a lending-library and a loan fund have been established,

SEAGOE

SEAGOE. or SEGOE, a parish, in the barony of O'NEILLAND EAST, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 1 mile (N. N. E.) from Portadown, extending along the river Baun, and intersected by the great roads leading from Arinagh to Belfast, and from Portadown to Banbridge ; containing 9736 inhabitants. This place, which is said to have derived its name from Seagh-Gabha, " the smith's seat," was allotted to Nial Gabha, one of the sons of the great O'Nial. It is traditionally said that, in 836, a battle was fought here, in which Blacar, a Danish chief, ancestor of the family of Blacker, defeated Ail, or O'Nial, and his sept ; and the place, adjoining Carrick demesne, is pointed out, called Lis-na-grilly, signifying "the fort of the dagger," where there are still faint traces of a circular intrenchinent, The parish is bounded on the west by the river Baun, along which it extends for about 4? miles : it contains three manorial districts, subdivided into 47 townlands, comprising, according to the Ordnance survey, 10,982? statute acres : 1236? are in Lough Neagh, and 49? in the river Bann ; the rest are chiefly arable, though, along the banks of the river, there is an extensive tract of low meadow and pasture ground, which is inundated about Christmas, and the water does not disappear till March, when it leaves behind a light deposit of mud, enriching the soil and producing nutritious, though coarse, herbage : there is very little bog. Agriculture is considerably improved ; the crops are corn, flax, and potatoes ; onions are cultivated to a great extent. The fuel used is turf, cut and saved in the months of July and August, great quantities of which are conveyed up the Bann from the large bogs in Moyntaghs. The trade is principally confined to the produce of the land, and a considerable quantity of butter, which finds a market in Portadown ; though there is scarcely a house or family which is not, in one way or other, connected with the linen trade, of which there are extensive manufacturers throughout the parish. On the townland of Balteagh and Kilfergan there is a quarry, the stone of which has been discovered to be highly valuable as marble, and for lithography, for which it is said to equal the best German stone ; and at Killycomain a superior hard blue stone is found. On the hill of Drumlin, in the southern angle of the parish, are fine pits of gravel, particularly adapted for roads and walks. The surface of the parish is a gentle undulation of hill and dale ; the highest point is the hill of Drumclogher, whence is obtained a full view of the parish and the rich scenery on the banks of the Bann, Lough Neagh, and the Mourne mountains ; the river, here navigable for vessels of 60 tons, cannot be surpassed for its majestic appearance as it winds beautifully along the western boundary. It was crossed at Portadown by a bridge of seven arches, built in 1764, but which having given way in several places, a new bridge is now in progress of erection, at an expense to the county of #8000 ; it will be a very fine building of three arches, each more than 50 feet in span. The parish is well in-tersected with roads, there being also a new line of road between Armagh and Belfast, which is carried through it for nearly three miles, besides several minor roads communicating with the county of Down. The farm-houses exhibit much appearance of com-fort, particularly those on the Carrick estate, which are remarkable for their neatness. Manorial courts are held, in Kernan, for the estate of Viscount Man-deville ; Carrowbrack, for that of Col. Blacker ; and the Derry, for that of C. Brownlow, Esq. : the respective senesehals hold their courts every three weeks, for the recovery of debts under 40s., and courts leet are held once in the year. The principal gentlemen's seats are Seagoe House, the residence of the Venerable Archdeacon Saurin ; and Carrick, of Lieut. Col. Blacker, a large edifice, built in 1692, but much improved since that time : the gardens and pleasure grounds retain many specimens of the taste of that age ; in the sheep-walk of the demesne, on the summit of a low ridge or knoll is a curious excavation of an elliptic form, about 80 yards in circumference, sloping gradually inwards on all sides with great regularity ; whether intended as a place of justice, or worship, there is no tradition ; in the demesne are numerous fine old oaks, and well-grown beech and ash. Silverwood House is the seat of T. Cuppage, Esq.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, forming the corps of the archdeaconry, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes (chiefly of corn and hay) amount to #330, and the glebe comprises 500 acres, valued at #652. 7. 7. per ann., making the gross income of the archdeacon #982. 7. 7. The glebe-house is a commodious residence contiguous to the church ; the latter is a large handsome edifice in the early English style, with a square tower, built at an entire cost of #2200, of which #1000 was a loan from the late Board of First Fruits ; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted #319 for its repair : the interior is fitted up in a very superior manner. In the R. C. divisions the parish is united with that of Moyntaghs ; there are two chapels, at Derrymacash and Bluestone. At Edenderry, which forms a suburb to Portadown, there is a meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class. There is also a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Bluestone ; and a dispensary has recently been established. There are male and female schools at Balteagh and Bluestone, with houses for the master and mistress, chiefly supported by Lord and Lady Mandeville, and conducted on the principles of the Moral Agency System, with a lending library attached to each : the loan and clothing fund of Tanderagee, and the dispensary of Portadown, are connected with these schools, and open to the free use of parents and children. There are also schools at Levaghery and Hacknahay, the former built by Col. Blacker, the latter considerably aided by Mrs. Cope ; other schools are aided by annual donations from Archdeacon Saurin and Col. Blacker, and a girls' school at Carrick is superintended by Mrs. Blacker : in all these schools about 550 children are taught. There are also two private schools, in which about 180 children are educated ; and a very extensive Sunday school at Bluestone. Near the spot where the battle was fought, in which O'Nial was defeated, several brazen swords and spear-heads of superior workmanship have been dug up ; two nearly perfect are in the possession of the Earl of Charleville, to whom they were presented by Col. Blacker, who has in his possession a curious battle-hammer head of stone, found in the same place, the handle composed of osier withes, much resembling a smith's punch of the present day, which, from its elasticity, must have been a deadly weapon in close combat.


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