Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
PlaceBallykennedy, Grace Hill
ContentBALLYKENNEDY, or GRACE-HILL, a village, in the parish of AHOGHILL, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 14 miles (W. S. W.) from Ballymena; containing 826 inhabitants.
This place is situated on the river Maine, over which is a bridge of four arches, connecting it with the village of Galgorim (sic). 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 are divided in small portions among the brethren.
The village consists of 89 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 boarding-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.
Druidical altars, and several moats and tumuli, scattered over the surface of this parish.