Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.

  • Place
    Kilrea
  • County
    Derry, Londonderry
  • Parish
    Kilrea
  • Content
    KILREA, a market and post-town, and a parish, partly in the barony of COLERAINE, but chiefly in that of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 28 miles (S. E.) from Londonderry city, and 110 (N.) from Dublin, on the roads leading respectively from Coleraine to Portglenone and Castle Dawson, and from Garvagh to Ballymoney ; containing 4262 inhabitants, of which number, 973 are in the town.

    This place is situated on the western shore of the river Bann, over which is a substantial stone bridge of seven arches, forming a communication between this neighbourhood and the county of Antrim, with which there is a great intercourse. The town, which has a sub-post-office to Portglenone, is near the river, in that part of the parish which is within the barony of Loughinsholin, and consists of a square and four principal streets, comprising 237 houses, of which about 161 are slated, and the remainder thatched. The inhabitants are supplied with water from a public fountain in the south-eastern angle of the square. A spacious and commodious hotel, and a handsome residence for their agent have recently been erected by the Mercers' Company, of London, who are proprietors of the town and surrounding district. Their estate of which this town may be considered the head, comprehends 41 townlands, of which 9 are in this parish, 9 in Desertoghill, 11 in Maghera, 5 in Tamlaght-o'Crilly, 4 in Aghadowy, and 3 in Killylagh, together comprising an area of 21,060 statute acres, of which nearly one-fourth part is bog and rocky ground. The spinning of yarn and weaving of linen are carried on generally throughout the district; and the river is navigable for lighters from Belfast and Newry, through Lough Neagh to Portna, about a quarter of a mile distant from the town. The market is on Wednesday ; a flax and linen market is held every alternate market day; and fairs for cattle and horses are held on the second Wednesday in every month. A large and handsome market-house is now in progress of erection on the north side of the square, at the expense of the Mercers' company, who have also built a barrack in Bridge-street for the constabalary police. Manorial courts are held occasionally, and petty sessions on the first Monday in every month.

    The parish extends along the western banks of the river Bann more than six miles, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 6314.50 statute acres, of which 3486 are applotted under the tithe act, and 138.50 are in the Bann. The soil, though varying in different parts, is generally light, resting upon a substratum of basalt, which in many places rises above the surface, and of which detached blocks of various sizes are scattered in the wildest confusion. There is neither limestone nor stone for building in the parish ; nor is there any timber or plantation in the neighbourhood ; but many of the leases having expired, the Mercers Company have already commenced some extensive and valuable improvements. The land is principally under tillage, producing tolerably good crops ; the system of agriculture, though better than formerly, is still capable of farther improvement ; there is an extensive tract of bog affording an abundant supply of fuel. The line of road between this place and the county of Antrim is now being changed, which will greatly increase the facility of travelling.

    The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to £258. 9s. 3d. The glebe-house, situated near the church on a glebe of three acres, was built in 1774 ; and there is a glebe in the parish of Tamlaght-O'Crilly, comprising 351 acres. The church is a small and very ancient edifice, with a bell turret on the western gable ; arrangements are in progress for the erection of a larger at the expense of the Mercers Company.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Desertoghill, called also Kilrea.

    There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class ; and a small congregation of Seceders assemble in a temporary building.

    About 550 children are taught in five public schools, of which the parochial school is supported by subscriptions, aided by the Rector ; one by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, for which the Mercers' Company erected a handsome stone building, in 1813, at an expense of £700 and two others by the same company. There are also three private schools, in which are about 140 children. The company support 22 schools on their estate, in which together about 1000 children are gratuitously instructed and supplied with books.

    There are some picturesque remains of the ancient castle of Movanagher, about 1.50 miles to the north of the present town : during the parliamentary war it was garrisoned for the king, but shortly after fell into the hands of the parliamentarians, by whom, after being repeatedly taken and retaken, it was anally dismantled in 1649. The ford at Portoneil, and the ferry across the Bann, were in the same war scenes of much slaughter ; and in 1655 they were severely contested and alternately in the possession of both parties.
  • Place
    Kilrea
  • County
    Kilkenny
  • Parish
    Kilrea
  • Content
    KILREA, or KILREE, a parish, in the barony of KELLS, county of KILKENNY, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (N. W.) from Knocktopher, on the road from Kilkenny city to Waterford city ; containing 611 inhabitants. It composes 1895 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act.

    Kilree is the residence of T. Shaw, Esq. ; and Chapel Izod, of W. Izod; Esq.

    It is a rectory, in the diocese of Ossory, forming part of the union of Kells; the tithes amount to £130. 5s. 6d.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions it forms part of the union or district of Donemagan.

    Among the ruins of the church is a very handsome and perfect cross, formed of a single block of freestone, about eight feet high, ornamented with interlaced rings. Tradition states it to have been erected to commemorate the death of Neill Callan, King of Ireland, who it is stated was drowned while endeavouring to save the life of a nobleman who bad fallen into a river. Here is also the tomb of Richard Comerford and his wife, dated 1622, and ornamented with hieroglyphics of the crucifixion, &c. About 10 feet from the north-western angle of the church, is an ancient round tower, which at four feet above the ground is 50.50 feet in circumference : it is about 90 feet high, and the door is five feet from the ground.
Link to this post:

<a href="http://www.from-ireland.net/lewis-topographical-dictionary/">Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland</a>