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
    Muff Village
  • County
    Derry, Londonderry
  • Parish
    Faughanvale
  • Content
    MUFF, a village, in the parish of FAUGHANVALE, barony of TIRKEEERAN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 6 miles (N. B. by E.) from Londonderry city, on the old road to Coleraine ; containing 192 inhabitants.

    This place owes its origin to the Grocers' Company of London, to whom, on the settlement of Ulster, Jas, I. granted the adjacent lands, on which the company erected a large bawn and a strong castle, defended by a garrison of their own tenantry. The castle was besieged in 1641 by the insurgents under Col. McDonnell, and gallantly defended by the garrison during the winter of that year, till relieved in the following summer by the troops from Derry, but it afterwards fell in the hands of the parliamentarians, by whom it was dismantled. The company, in 1626, erected a church here, which has ever since been the parish church of Faughanvale ; and on the expiration of the leases, which they had granted for long terms, resumed the management of their estate in 1819, since which period very considerable improvements have been made. The company's manor comprehends 38 townlands, extending into the parishes of Lower Cumber and Clondermot, and comprising 16,500 statute acres.

    The village has been entirely rebuilt ; the houses are large and of handsome appearance, the streets spacious and regularly laid out, and the roads leading to it well constructed and kept in good repair. In conjunction with the resident gentry of the neighbourhood, the company established an agricultural school at Templemoyle, with which a classical school at Fallowlee is connected, and for its use allotted 130 acres for experiments in practical farming, in consideration of which they send three free pupils into the school. Fairs are held on the first Thursday in Feb., May, Aug., and Nov., for cattle, sheep, pigs, and various articles of merchandise.

    A penny post has been established to Londonderry, a constabulary police force is stationed here, and petty sessions are held on the first Tuesday in every month. A manorial court is held monthly before the seneschal, for the recovery of debts under 40s. ; the court and market-house is a spacious and handsome building in the centre of the village.

    The old church built by the company having fallen into decay, a new church in the early English style was erected in 1821, towards which a loan of £1000 was granted by the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe-house (erected by the Company), a dispensary, and an almshouse for 20 poor widows, are also in the village.

    There are some remains of the old parish church ; but not a vestige of the bawn or castle, except the vaults of the latter, can be traced.
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