All Lewis entries for Ballyscullion



Ballyscullion

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

BALLYSCULLION

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; containing, with the post-town of Bellaghy, 6453 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the roads leading respectively from Castle-Dawson to Portglenone, and from Maghera to Bellaghy, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 12,750- statute acres, of which 10,617- are in the county of Londonderry, 2406 are part of Lough Beg, and 72- part of the river Bann, which here forms the boundary of the parish, barony, and county. On the plantation of Ulster, these lands were granted by Jas. I. to the Irish Society, and by them transferred to the Vintners' Company of London, who founded the castle and town of Bellaghy, described under its own head. At a very early period a monastery was founded on an island in Lough Beg, about two miles from the shore, then called Ynis Teda, but now Church island, from the parish church having been subsequently erected there: this establishment continued to flourish till the dissolution, and some of the lands which belonged to it are still tithe-free. Two townlands in the parish belong to the see of Derry, and the remainder has been leased in perpetuity by the Vintners' Company to the Marquess of Lothian, the Earl of Clancarty, Lord Strafford, and Sir Thomas Pakenham. There are from 400 to 450 acres of bog, part of which in summer affords coarse pasturage for cattle; a portion of it lying remote from the Bann is of a blackish colour, and capable of cultivation for rye and potatoes; the other part, which from its white colour is called "flour bog,' is quite incapable of cultivation till it has been cut away for fuel, when the subsoil appears, varying from 5 to 10 feet in depth. The land is fertile, and under the auspices of the North-West Agricultural Society, of which a branch has been established here, is generally in an excellent state of cultivation; mangel-wurzel, rape, turnips, and other green crops, are being introduced with success. There are indications of coal in several parts, particularly on the Castle-Dawson estate; hut there is no prospect of their being explored or worked while the extensive bogs afford so plentiful a supply of fuel. Of the numerous seats the principal are Castle-Dawson, the seat of the Right Hon. G. R. Dawson; Bellaghy Castle, the residence of J. Hill, Esq. ; Bellaghy House, of H. B. Hunter, Esq. ; Fairview, of R. Henry, Esq.; and Rowensgift, of A. Leckey, Esq. The splendid palace built here by the Earl of Bristol, when Bishop of Derry, one of the most magnificent in the country, was scarcely finished at his Lordship's decease, and was soon after taken down and the materials sold: the only entire portion that has been preserved is the beautiful portico, which was purchased by Dr. Alexander, Bishop of Down and Connor, who presented it to the parish of St. George, Belfast, as an ornament to that church. A small portion of the domestics' apartments and a fragment of one of the picture galleries are all that remain. There are some extensive cotton-mills at Castle-Dawson, also flour, corn, and flax-mills; and about a mile above the town is a small bleach-green. Fairs for cattle, sheep, and pigs are held at Bellaghy on the first Monday in every month; and a manorial court is held monthly, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £2.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £350. The church, situated in Bellaghy, is a large and handsome edifice, erected in 1794 on the site of a former church built in 1625: it is in the early English style, with a lofty and beautiful octagonal spire erected at the expense of the Earl of Bristol, and is about to be enlarged by the addition of a north aisle. There is a chapel at Castle-Dawson belonging to the Dawson family, by whom it was built and endowed; it is open to the inhabitants. The glebe-house is about a quarter of a mile from the town on a glebe comprising 70 acres; and there is also a glebe of 84 acres at Moneystachan, in the parish of Tamlaght-O'Crilly, all amble land. In the R. C. divisions this parish comprehends the grange of Ballyscullion, in the diocese of Connor, in which union are two chapels, one at Bellaghy and the other in the grange. At Ballaghy are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, Methodists, and Seceders. There is a male and female parochial school, aided by annual donations from the rector and the proprietors of the Bellaghy estate, who built the school-house; and there are five other schools, which afford instruction to about 300 boys and 240 girls; also three private schools, in which are about 100 boys and 20 girls. Here is a dispensary conducted on the most approved plan; and the proprietors of the Bellaghy estate annually distribute blankets and clothes among the poor. The ruins of the old church on Ynis Teda, or Church island, are extensive and highly interesting; and close to them a square tower surmounted by a lofty octangular spire of hewn freestone was erected by the Earl of Bristol, which is a beautiful object in the landscape. A large mis-shapen stone, called Clogh O'Neill, is pointed out as an object of interest; and not far distant is a rock basin, or holy stone, to which numbers annually resort in the hope of deriving benefit from the efficacy of the water in healing diseases.

BELLAGHY

BELLAGHY, a village and post-town, in the parish of BALLYSCULLION, barony of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 9- miles (S.) from Kilrea, and 100- (N.) from Dublin: the population is returned with the parish. This place became the head of a district granted in the reign of Jas. I. to the Vintners' Company, of London, who, in 1619, founded the village, and erected a strong and spacious castle, the custody of which they entrusted to Baptist Jones, Esq., who had a well-armed garrison of 76 men for its defence. In the war of 1641 the castle was besieged and taken by a party of insurgents under the command of one of the Mac Donnells, and in the following year burned to the ground. It occupied a gentle eminence on the north-west side of the village, but no portion of it is remaining; the very site has been cultivated as gardens, and the only traces are sonic of the arched cellars beneath the roots of some large trees. The village is situated on the western shore of Lough Beg, and on the roads leading respectively from Castle Dawson to Portglenone and from Kilrea to Toome; it consists of one long street intersected at right angles by two shorter streets; the houses are generally small, but well built; and the environs are remarkably pleasant, and are embellished with gentlemen's seats, of which the principal near the village are Bellaghy Castle, the residence of J. Hill, Esq., and Bellaghy House, of H. B. Hunter, Esq. Fairs are held on the first Monday in every month, for the sale of cattle, sheep, and pigs, and are well attended. A court for the Vintners' manor is held once every month, for the recovery of debts under £2 : its jurisdiction extends over the parishes of Ballyscullion, Kilrea, Tamlaght-OCrilly, Termoneeny, Maghera, Desertmartin, Kileronaghan, Magherafelt, and Killelagh. Adjoining the village is the parish church of Ballyscullion, a large and handsome building; and at a short distance is a small R. C. chapel. Here is also a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists; and a meeting-house is now being built for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster. The parochial school for boys and girls, a large and handsome building, was erected at the joint expense of the Marquess of Lothian, Earl of Clancarty, Lord Strafford, and the Hon. T. Pakenham, G.C.B., proprietors of the estate by purchase from the Vintners' Company, who have also endowed it with £5 per annum, and a like sum is granted by the rector: and there is a school for girls, supported by subscription, also a school built and supported by the Methodists.-See BALLYSCULLION.

CASTLE-DAWSON

CASTLE-DAWSON, or DAWSON'S-BRIDGE, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of BALLYSCULLION, but chiefly in that of MAGHERAFELT, barony of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 28 miles (N. W.) from Belfast, and 97 (N.) from Dublin; containing 674 inhabitants. This place derives its name from its proprietors, the Dawson family. On the plantation of Ulster, the eight townlands of Mayola were granted by Jas. I. to Sir Thomas Philips, whose sons sold them, in 1633, to Thomas Dawson, Esq., from whom they have descended to the Right Hon. G. R. Dawson. The town appears to have assumed its present form and name in the year 1710, during the proprietorship of Joshua Dawson, Esq., chief secretary for Ireland, and for many years member of parliament for the borough of Wicklow. It is delightfully situated on the two sides of the Mayola, over which is a handsome stone arch, erected by the Dawson family, and from this circumstance the town derived its former name of Dawson's Bridge: it consists of two principal and some smaller streets, containing, in 1831, 129 houses, many of which are large and well built. Here are extensive cotton twist mills, built in 1803, and furnishing employment to about 100 persons in the buildings and about 800 in the adjoining parishes. Near the town are large flour and oatmeal-mills; and in several places in the neighbourhood are manufactories of coarseearthenware, bricks, &c., and a bleach-green in which 800 pieces of linen are annually prepared for the London market. The market is on Saturday, and is well supplied with every kind of provisions; and in the season great quantities of grain, pork, and butter are purchased here, principally for the Belfast merchants: the market-house and grain stores are extensive and well built. Fairs are held on the last Saturday in each month, for the sale of linen cloth, yarn, cattle, pigs, sheep, and pedlery. The eight townlands of Mayola were, by letters patent, in 1712, erected into the manor of Castle-Dawson, with extnsive privileges; and a manorial court is held monthly by the seneschal, in which debts to the amount of £20 are recoverable. Petty sessions are held every alternate week; and there is a constabulary police station. The soil in every part of the neighbourhood is fertile, and under an excellent system of cultivation. Coal is found, but no attempt has been made to work it, the seams being too thin to pay the expense, while turf is abundant. Nearly adjoining the town is The House, the residence of the Right Hon. G. R. Dawson, situated in a beautiful demesne, in which is an ancient avenue three miles in length, opening to a magnificent view of Lough Neagh, to which it extends. On an eminence close adjoining the town stands a beautiful and lofty obelisk, erected by the Earl of Bristol, to commemorate the virtues and benevolence of the Dawson family. There are several other handsome houses in the town and neighbourhood, the principal of which are Fairview, the seat of R. Henry, Esq.; Rowens Gift, of Capt. Crofton; Millbrook, of A. Spotswood, Esq.; Mount Aeriel, of S. J. Cassidy, Esq.; with those of Capt. Bouverie, W. Graves, Esq., and others. The church is small, but very neat; it stands on the western side of the Mayola, in the parish of Ballyscullion. The former edifice was built in 1710, by Joshua Dawson, Esq., and having fallen into ruin some years since, the present structure was erected by the Right Hon. G. R. Dawson, by whom it has been beautifully ornamented; on a brass tablet in an ancient carved oak frame is inscribed the genealogy of the Dawson family; it has also a beautiful window of stained glass. There is a large meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the second class. A school for boys and girls is supported by subscriptio s; and at Hill Head is a school supported by the London Hibernian Society. Of the castle built by Thomas Dawson, Esq., who was deputy-commissary in the reign of Chas. I., and which stood in the demesne near the church, little now remains, but the foundations of the walls and terraces are still traceable. The castle built by Joshua Dawson, Esq., in the year 1713, is now in ruins; and The House, built in 1768 by Arthur Dawson, Esq., who was member of parliament for the county of Londonderry, and chief baron of the exchequer, is now the family mansion. The present proprietor has made some extensive plantations around it and on other parts of his estate which flourish luxuriantly, and greatly embellish the surrounding scenery: Shillgray wood is very ancient, and contains some remarkbly fine oak and beech trees. Ancient urns, ornaments of gold, spears, celts, and other relics have been found here. In the neighbourhood are some bogs, 30 feet deep, in which four separate layers of timber are imbedded: the lowest is principally oak, in a very sound and perfect state; the next chiefly yew, the third fir, and the uppermost birch, hazel, hawthorn, &c. Nuts, acorns, and the cones of fir are frequently found in these bogs, in very perfect condition.-See BALLYSCULLION and MAGHERAFELT.


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