Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentKILROOT, or KILROI, a parish, In the barony of LOWER BELFAST, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 2.50 miles (E. N, E.) from Carrickfergus, on the road to Larne ; containing 536 inhabitants.
At Kilroot Point, the French general Thurot, with three ships and 600 men, landed in 1760 and attacked Carrickfergus, which being at the time un-provided with a regular garrison, was obliged to capitulate. He also threatened to lay siege to Belfast, but on the approach of the forces which were advancing to expel him, he re-embarked his troops at this place, and set sail for France.
The parish, which is situated on the bay of Carrickfergus, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 2418 statute acres ; the land is in general, in a good state of cultivation, and the most improved system of husbandry prevails. Basalt and limestone exist in great abundance : of the former a regular quarry of the columnar formation has been opened the tops of the columns, which are of four, five, and six sides, are only a few inches below the surface; all dip to the north-ward, and are nearly as perfect as those of the Giants' Causeway, resembling in some degree those massive columns called the Giants' Organ; between them are thin layers of decomposed rock; the ends of the joints are in some almost eat, and in others concave and convex. There is an extensive bleach-green belonging to Michael Andrews, Esq., of Ardoyne, in which the elegant royal damasks from the Ardoyne manufactory are finished, to the number of more than 10,000 pieces annually, affording constant employment to 25 persons. A constabulary police force is stationed here.
Castle Dobbs, the residence of R. Dobbs, Esq., and Bella Hill, the property of Marriott Galway, Esq., are the principal seats : there are some interesting ruins of the ancient mansion of Castle Dobbs.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, united by charter of Jas. I. to the rectory of Ballynure and the vicarage of Templecorran, together forming the union and corps of the prebend of Kilroot in the cathedral of Connor, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is impropriety in the Marquess of Donegal. The tithes amount to £151. 6s. 7d., of which £101 is payable to the impropriator, and £50. 6s. 1d. to the vicar ; those of the entire benefice amount to £560. There is neither glebe-house nor glebe. The church has been in ruins for more than 500 years ; the church of the union is at Ballynure.
In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Carrickfergus and Larne.
A school for girls was built and is supported by Mrs. Dobbs ; and a school-house was built in 1836, which is in connection with the New Board of Education. A nitrous spring rises in a bed of marry clay in the parish, the water of which has an aperient quality. Dean Swift held the prebend of Kilroot, which was his first preferment.