Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentKILMEGAN, a parish, partly in the barony of KINELEARTY, partly in LECALE, but chiefly in UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER ; staining, with the post-town of Castlewellan, 6921 inhabitants.
It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 13,971.75 statute acres, of which 1793 are in Kinelearty, 5983.50 (of which 22.25 are water) in Lecale, and 6195.25 (of which 107 are water) in Upper Iveagh. Of these about 500 are woodland, 800 pasture, 150 bog, and the remainder arable land. The greater part of the townland of Murlough is covered with sand, which is constantly drifted in from Dundrum bay: the land near Castlewellan is stony, cold, and marshy, but in other parts of the parish it is rich and well cultivated. There are several areas of granite ; lead ore has been found in different parts, and there are mines of lead and zinc in Slieve Croob and the hill above Dundrum, Slieve Croob, situated on the northern boundary of the parish, rises, according to the Ordnance survey, 1755 at above the level of the sea.
The principal seats are that of Earl Annesley at Castlewellan lake ; Ballywillwill, the residence of the Rev. G. H. McDowell Johnston ; Mount Panther, of J. Reed Allen, Esq. ; Wood Lodge, of H. Murland, Esq. ; Woodlawn, of J. Law, Esq. ; Greenvale, of J. Steele, Esq. ; Annsbro', of J Murland, Esq. ; and Clanvaraghan, of T. Scott, Esq.
It is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, forming part of the union of Kilkeel; the tithes amount to £500. The church is a large handsome edifice, for the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £109 : divine service is also performed in the market-house at Castlewellan.
In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Castlewellan, and has chapels at Castlewellan, Aughlisnafim and Ballywillwill.
At Castlewellan is a Meeting-house for Presbyterians of the Seceding Synod, of the second class, and one for Wesleyan Methodists.
The parochial school, near the church, is supported by the Marquess of Downshire and the rector; his lord-ship has given the master a house, a garden, and an acre of land ; he also supports a school at Dundrum. There are four other public schools, one aided by Earl Annesley, and three in connection with the National Board of Education, one of which is patronized by J. Allen, Esq., another by J. Murland, Esq., and the third is under the charge of trustees : there are male and female teachers in each school. There are also 5 private schools, in which latter, about 360 children are taught.
At Siddlery ford, near Dundrum, is a cromlech, of which the table stone is flat on the upper surface, and convex beneath resting upon three upright stones, of which the entrance is marked by two stones larger than the rest. On a hill called Slieve na Boil Trough, and near a small lake, is another cromlech, consisting of a table stone of rough grit, in the shape of a coffin, ten feet long and five feet in the broadest part, resting on three supporters, about 6.50 feet from the ground.