Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentFAHAN (LOWER), a parish, in the barony of ENNISHOWEN, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Buncrana, 5614 inhabitants.
This parish originally formed the Lower, or Northern portion of the extensive parish of Fahan, from which it was separated in 1795 ; it is bounded on the west by Lough Swilly and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 24,782.75 statute acres. A great portion is mountain, affording good passage, of which Slieve Snaght, on the north-eastern boundary, rises, according to the above surveys 2019 feet above the level of the sea. The valleys are well watered and productive, and agriculture is improving. Freestone is abundant, and limestone is found in almost every part : there are also indications of lead, copper,. and iron ore. There is a coast-guard station at Ballinary; and at Neids' point is a battery, erected in 1812, now under the care of a master-gunner and five artillerymen. Lough Swilly is very spacious and deep, affording anchorage for large ships ; vast numbers of oysters, cod, and haddock are taken in it.
Here are many gentlemen's seats, the principal of which are Buncrana Castle, the residence of Mrs. Todd, which was once the seat of the powerful sept of the O'Doherty, who governed the entire country for several centuries ; the Lodge, unoccupied ; Rockfort of the Rev. W. H. Stuart; Townsend Lodge, of Col. Downing; River-View, of W. Camac, Esq. ; and the Cottage, belonging to Dr. Evans.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Rector of Upper Fahan : the tithes amount to £420. The church, in the town of Buncrana, was built in 1804, by aid of a gift of £500, and considerably enlarged by a loan of £390 in 1816, from the late Board of first Fruits ; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £370 for its further enlargement and repair.
In the Roman Catholic Divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Upper and Lower Fahen and Desertegney ; these is a large chapel at Cock Hill.
At Buncrana is a meeting-house far Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster ; and the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists have each a place of worship.
The parochial school, at Buncrana, is aided by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity : there are also male and female schools at Luddon, and a national school at Cock Hill. In these schools about 280 children are instructed; and there are eight private schools, in which are about 320 children, and a Sunday school.. Not far from Ballinary is a very curious fort, or cairn called Dooninary chiefly composed of loose stones, having smaller ones as outposts.