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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    GLYNN, a parish, in the barony of LOWER BELFAST, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 1.50 miles (S.) from Larne ; containing 1668 inhabitants, of which number, 379 are in the village.

    This parish, anciently called Glinus, and also Gleno or Glenco, is beautifully situated in a pleasant glen, through which a mountain stream takes its course into Lough Larne, which forms the entire eastern boundary of the parish ; and also on the royal military coast road. The harbour of Larne is very capacious, and may be entered at all times of the tide. In 1597, Sorley Mac Donnel, having assaulted the garrison of Carrickfergus and taken the governor, Sir John Chichester, prisoner, brought him to this place, and beheaded him on a stone that had formed the plinth of an ancient cross, and which then pointed out the boundary of North Clandeboy. The parish comprises 4484.50 statute acres, which are generally in a state of high cultivation ; the system of agriculture is greatly improved, and there is neither bog nor waste land.

    Here are some very extensive lime-works, called the Maghramorne Lime Works, the property of John Irving, Esq., from which large quantities of lime are exported to Scotland and the northern parts of England. These are the largest lime-works in the united kingdom : in 1836, there were 459 vessels, of the aggregate burden of 18,040 tons, exclusively employed in the trade ; the average export is 16,228 tons, and the demand is annually increasing ; the sum paid weekly for labour amounts to £1804, On a chemical analysis by Dr. Thomson, of Glasgow, the stone is found to contain 99 per cent. of pure lime, and it has been ascertained by experience that whether employed as a manure or a cement for building, it will go twice as far as lime of the ordinary quality. Rail and tram roads have been laid down, which greatly facilitate the operations ; there are also convenient wharfs, so that any quantity of the article can be furnished without delay or detention of the shipping.

    The principal seats are Maghramorne House, a modern mansion, beautifully situated on the bay of Larne, the residence of Mr. Irving, who is also the chief proprietor of the lands in the barony ; Glynn House, that of Randall W. Johnston, Esq. ; and the Cottage, of Miss Mcclaverty.

    The village is pleasantly situated and contains 75 houses neatly built. One of the first bleach-greens established in Ireland was at this place ; it was subsequently the site of a cotton-mill, and in 1830 the machinery was applied to the spinning of fine linen yarn, in which about 120 persons are at present employed.

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Donegal, in whom the rectory is impropriety : the vicarial tithes amount to £52. There is no glebe-house or glebe, and the church is a picturesque ruin ; the Protestant parishioners attend the different places of worship in Larne.

    About 35 children are taught in the parochial school, for which a house was built by R. W. Johnston, Esq.; and there are two private schools, in which are about 100 children. A nunnery was founded here at a very remote period, of which St. Darerca, sister of St. Patrick, was abbess ; it was called Finn, and is supposed to have been situated at Glynn, near Larne, where some traces of a chapel still exist ; the site, with all its possessions, was granted by Jas. I. to Sir Arthur Chichester, by the designation of the "Chapel of Glynn." Here is a powerful vitriolic spring, in which the star stone is found in great perfection.