Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentRACAVAN, or RATHCAVAN, a parish, in the barony of LOWER ANTRIM county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Larne to Ballymena ; containing, with the post-town of Broughshane, 4479 inhabitants.
This parish which is also called Rathcoon, is situated on the river Braid, and according to the Ordnance survey comprises, including a small detached portion, 17,563 statute acres, of which 12,271 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5176 per annum. The surface is boldly varied ; there are large tracts of mountain, bog, and waste ; the remainder is arable land of a light gravelly soil, There are several basaltic quarries in operation; greenstone is found in great abundance ; and near the base of Slemish, a detached mountain of greenstone, gold is said to have been found.
There are four extensive bleach-greens, with beetling engines and other apparatus, in which together more than 100,000 webs of linen are finished annually ; there is also a large mill for spinning linen yarn, and the weaving of linen cloth is extensively carried on in various parts of the parish. A large fair is held at Broughshane on the 17th of August, for horses, cattle, and pigs; and great numbers of carcasses of pigs are sold in the market every Tuesday, to the agents of the Belfast merchants. The parish is within the jurisdiction of the manorial court of Buckna held every month at Broughshane, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £20.
Race View, the seat of R. Harrison Esq., is in the parish.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Connor, forming part of the union of Skerry, or the Braid ; the tithes amount to £316. l 6s. 1d. The church at Broughshane has been built within the last 50 years.
There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class, a spacious handsome building with a cupola, containing a bell ; also for Covenanters at Craigamuoy.
About 100 children are taught in the national school at Broughshane ; and there are four private schools, in which are about 800 children, and two Sunday schools.
Here is an excellent institution for the accommodation of the poor, and a clothing society, affording clothing to 50 males and 50 females annually; both are supported by subscription. Mr. Jamieson, in1829, bequeathed £600 to the poor, but the legacy has not been yet paid over for that purpose.
There is a small ancient churchyard at some distance from the main roads and difficult of access; it is of triangular form and well walled, and is now used exclusively as a burial place for Presbyterians.