Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Antrim.
ContentBUSHMILLS, a market and post-town, in that part of the parish of BILLY which is in the barony of CAREY, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 6 1/4 miles (N.E. by N.)from Coleraine, and 125 1/2 (N.) from Dublin, containing 108 houses and 507 inhabitants.
This place is pleasantly situated near the mouth of the river Bush, from which it derives its name: it is neatly built, and is the general place of resort for parties visiting the Giant's Causeway, about two miles distant, for whose accommodation a large and handsome hotel has been erected by Sir F. W. Macnaghten, Bart., who, in 18l7, established a weekly market here. A distillery is carried on, and is much celebrated for the quality of its whiskey, of which about 12,000 gallons are annually made and principally sent to England, Scotland, the West Indies, and America. There is a manufactory of spades, shovels, scythes, and sickles upon the river Bush; extensive paper-mills have been erected by F. V. Ward, Esq., for the supply of the home and Scottish markets, and near them are mills for flour and for dressing flax. The market is on Tuesday, and is well supplied with grain, linen yarn, pork, and provisions of all kinds; and fairs are held on Jan. 28th, March 28th, June 28th, July 21st, Oct. 21st, and Dec, 12th.
Here is a constabulary police station; and the petty sessions for the district are held every fortnight. The court house, a large and handsome building, recently erected by Sir F. W. Macnaghten, contains also apartments for the police, and some cells for the confinement of prisoners.
The parish church of Dunluce is situated in the town; and there are also a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and one for Methodists. A school has been established by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, for the instruction of the children of parishioners, the master of which has a good house and two acres of land ; there are also several schools in various parts of the parish.
In the immediate neighbourhood is Bushmills House, the seat of Sir F. W. Macnaghten, Bart., who has made numerous improvements on his estate: the mansion is at present being rebuilt in a very splendid style, and with the grounds will form an interesting ornament to the place.
In the bed of the river, near the bridge, are some small but beautiful basaltic columns fantastically curved.