Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland

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

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    CONWALL, a parish, partly in the barony of RAPHOE, but chiefly in that of KILMACRENAN, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER, containing with the post-town of Letterkenny, 12,978 inhabitants.

    This parish is situated on the road from Lifford to Dunfanaghy, and contains according to the Ordnance Survey 45,270 statute acres, of which 32,715 are in the barony of Kilmacrenan; there is much waste land and bog.

    Among the seats are Ballymacool, the residence of J. Boyd, Esq.; and Gortlee of J. Cochran, Esq.

    The living is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Raphoe and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. The tithes amount to £800. The glebe house was built in 1816, by aid of a gift of £100 and a loan of £1,500 from the late Board of First Fruits: the glebe comprises 868 acres, of which 328 are arable. The church, to the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £273 11s. 7d., is a small plain structure with a spire, in the town of Letterkenny.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions, this parish forms part of the district of Aughnish, and has chapels at Letterkenny and Glen-Swilly. (Note: In the article on Raphoe, Lewis states that the district of Raphoe also includes the R.C. parish of Conwal)

    There are two Presbyterian Meeting Houses in Letterkenny, one in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class, the other is connected with the Seceding Synod, and is of the second class. There are also places of worship for Covenanters and Methodists.

    The parish school is aided by £12 per annum from the late Colonel Robertson's fund, and an annual donation from the Rector; and there are a Presbyterian Free school and eight other Public schools in the parish, in all of which about 850 children are taught; also eight Sunday schools.

    An abbey existed her so early as the 6th century, and continued at least until the 13th. There are still some ruins of the old parish church.