Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentKILLELAGH, or KILLELA a parish, in the barony of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 2 miles (N.) from Maghera on the river Clody ; containing 3045 inhabitants.
This parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 10,270 statute acres, of which more than half is good mountain pasture and the remainder under tillage ; the substratum is basalt, and the soil generally thin and cold, but the lands have been lately improved by a judicious use of lime ; there is a sufficient tract of turbary for fuel, but no waste land. On its eastern boundary is Carntogher mountain, rising 1521 feet above the level of the sea. In the mountain district the inhabitants are principally native Irish, and in the plains, of Scottish extraction. Five townlands are in the manor of Maghera and belong to the see of Derry, three in the manor of Kilrea belong to the Mercers Company, and four in the manor of Bellaghy to the Vintners' Company, of London. The parish was formerly united to Maghera, but in 1794 was separated from it and now forms a distinct benefice.v The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to £197. 7s. 4d. The church is a small plain edifice without tower or spire, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits gave £500, in 1808, and in 1810 £100 towards the erection of the glebe-house ; the glebe comprises 272 acres, constituting the townland of Gortinure, of which 70 acres are under cultivation.
In the Roman Catholic divisions it forms part of the union or district of Maghera ; the chapel is a small ancient building.
About 60 children are taught in three public schools, of which the parochial schools are supported by the rector, and a school at Tirhew is aided by Mr. Holmes ; and there are two private schools, in which are about 30 children.
In the townland of Tirnony is a perfect cromlech, and near it an artificial cave formed of held stones and covered with lags. In the southern part of the parish are the ruins of a very ancient church, which was destroyed in the rebellion of the Earl of Tyrone, and subsequently rebuilt.