Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentCLARE, an ancient village, in the parish of BALLYMORE, barony of LOWER ORIOR, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Tanderagee; the population is returned with the parish.
It originally formed part of the extensive possessions of the O'Nials; after the attainder of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, it was granted by Jas. I. to Michael Harrison, from whom it passed to Henry Boucher, Esq., who, in 1619, erected a bawn of stone and lime, 100 feet long by 80 wide, and subsequently built a large stone edifice, which was the origin of Clare castle, and located many English and Scottish families here. These settlers soon afterwards erected a meeting-house, which was destroyed, together with the whole village, in the war of 1641.
A patent for a weekly market on Tuesday, and a fair on the 12th of May and two following days, was obtained in the reign of Jas. I. The market has not been held for many years, but the fair still exists, and is well supplied with horses, cattle, and pigs.
The village is situated on the river Cusher, over which is an ancient stone bridge; and on the river are very extensive flour, meal, and flax-mills. Several important privileges were formerly exercised as belonging to the manor, but the estate having been sold by the Earl of Sandwich, in 1807, no manorial court has since been held.
In the village is a meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, occupying the site of that destroyed in 1641; and near it is one in connection with the Seceding Synod.
There are also male and female schools. In the vicinity are the ruins of Clare castle, standing on an eminence which commands extensive prospects over one of the best cultivated districts in the North of Ireland: the castle is the property of Robt. Harden, Esq., of Harrybrook, who intends to rebuild it in the ancient style.