Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentBALLYKELLY, a village, in the parish of TAMLAGHTFINLAGAN, barony of KENAUGHT, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (W. by S.) from Newtownlimavady; containing 290 inhabitants.
This place, with the lands around it, was granted by Jas I., on the plantation of Ulster, to the Fishmongers' Company of London, who, in 1619, erected large and handsome castle, the custody of which was entrusted to James Higgins, Esq., who had a garrison of 40 able men, with arms for its defence. The estate was held under lease from the company, by the Hamiltons and Beresfords, from the year 1628 till the death of Geo. III., when it reverted to the company, who immediately commenced improvements on an extensive scale.
The village is situated on the road from Londonderry City to Coleraine, and contains 67 houses, of which the greater number are handsomely built. The proprietors have built in it several very neat cottages; a large and handsome meeting-house, in the Grecian style of architecture, for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster ; an excellent dispensary, with a very good house for a resident surgeon; and large and substantial school-rooms, With residences for the master and mistress; and various other improvements are in progress in and around the village.
Nearly adjoining are several large and handsome houses, the principal of which are Walworth, the residence of the Rev. G. V. Sampson; Walworth Cottage, of Major Stirling ; Drummond, of A. Sampson, Esq. ; and Finlagan, of the Rev. O. M'Causland. Walworth was built by the Beresfords in 1705, and occupied by that family till the death of Geo. III. ; the woods around it contain some of the finest timber in the county, and are among the most extensive in the north of Ireland.
Corn stores have been built; and a market for grain is occasionally held. A penny post from Londonderry City to this place has been established. Close to the village is the parish church of Tamlaght-Finlagan, a small but handsome edifice, with a large square tower surmounted by a lofty octagonal spire; and here is a Presbyterian meeting-house, a spacious and handsome edifice, of the first class.
Near the church are the ruins of Walworth castle, erected by the company in 1619; and adjoining are the ruins of a church, built by the Hamilton family in 1629