All Lewis entries for Drumballyroney


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


DRUMBALLYRONEY, a parish, in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER ; on the road from Newry to Downpatrick ; containing, with a part of the market and post-town of Rathfriland, 8544 inhabitants. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 12,338- statute acres, of which 1896 are bog, 80 mountain and water, and 10,445 are applotted under the tithe act, all of which is arable or pasture land in excellent cultivation. Here is a lake, called Lough Ballyroney, in the centre of which is a small island. The manufacture of linen and drugget is extensively carried on. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, united from time immemorial to that of Drumgooland, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is part of the corps of the deanery of Dromore, The tithes amount to £482, of which £321. 6. 8. is payable to the dean, and the remainder to the vicar ; the gross tithes of the benefice amount to £630. 9. 9. The church, a small neat edifice with a tower, was erected by aid of a gift of £500, in 1800, from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £200, and a loan of £300, in 1821, from the same Board : the glebe, given by the Countess of Clanwilliam in 1820, comprises 20 acres, subject to a rent of 15s. per acre. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Annaghlone, and has a small chapel near the Diamond. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians of the first class, in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and one for Covenanters. About 170 children are taught in two public schools, and there are eight private and four Sunday schools. The fine ruin of Seafin castle, which was for ages the strong hold of the Magennises, is situated on the Bann ; and there are several other fortresses.


RATHFRILAND, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of DRUMBALLYRONEY, but chiefly in that of DRUMGATH, barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 16- miles (W.) from Downpatrick, and 57- (N.) from Dublin, on the mail road from Newry to Downpatrick ; containing 200 inhabitants. This town was founded, soon after the Restoration, by Alderman Hawkins, of London, to whom, in acknowledgment of his very important services during the parliamentary war, Chas. II. granted the whole of the extensive manor, which is now the property of his lineal descendant, Gen. Meade. The benevolent alderman, at his own cost, provided food, clothing, and lodging for 5000 Protestant royalists, who, during the calamitous progress of the war, had fled to London for protection ; collected in England £30,000 for the purchase of corn, wearing apparel, and other necessaries for the support of such as had not been able to effect their escape ; and, with the assistance of a few of his friends, raised the sum of £45,000 for the public service and the use of the king. The town is situated on an eminence, previously the site of an ancient fortress, about three miles to the north of the Mourne mountains ; and consists of a spacious square, and five principal and several smaller streets, containing together 447 houses, which are in general well built and of handsome appearance, surrounding the crown of the hill. The principal streets communicate with five great roads from different parts of the county, but, from the acclivity of the site, form steep entrances into the town, from which in every direction are extensive and interesting views of the surrounding country. A considerable traffic is carried on with the adjacent district, and the town itself is the residence of numerous respectable families. The market is on Wednesday and is amply supplied ; and fairs are held on the second Wednesday in April (O. S.), the Wednesday after Trinity, the second Wednesday in September (O. S.), and the second Wednesday in December. The market-house is a handsome building in the centre of the square ; the lower part is appropriated to the use of the market, and the upper part contains accommodation for holding courts. A constabulary police force is stationed in the town, and petty sessions are held on alternate Fridays. The manorial court, with which has recently been incorporated that for the manor of Gilford, is held on the first Tuesday in every month before the seneschal ; its jurisdiction extends to pleas of debt to the amount of £100, which may be recovered by civil bill process. The parish church of Drumgath, a small neat edifice with a tower on the north side, is situated on the south side of the square : it was originally founded by Alderman Hawkins, and rebuilt in 1818. There are also in the town a spacious R. C. chapel, and places of worship for the Society of Friends, Presbyterians, Covenanters, and Wesleyan Methodists, and a dispensary. On the very summit of the hill round which the town is built are some slight remains of the ancient castle of the powerful sept of the Magennises, Lords of Iveagh, commanding the entire country for ten miles round ; a modern house was erected on the site in 1812, when, in digging the foundation, many small cells were discovered, in some of which were found human bones, pieces of armour, coins, and other relics.

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