Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Down

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. Down.

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    BALLYCULTER, a parish, in the barony of LECALE, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post town of Strangford, 2221 inhabitants,

    It is situated on Lough Strangford, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, including islands and detached portions) 5177.50 statute acres, of which 1753 are applotted under the tithe act ; about four-fifths are arable and pasture, and the remainder, excepting about 70 acres of woodland and 40 of water, is waste land and bog. The soil is very fertile, and the land is in a state of excellent cultivation; a considerable quantity of corn is sent to Liverpool and Glasgow. At Tallyratty are some lead mines, which were worked in 1827, and found very productive; the ore is considered to be of superior quality , but they are not now worked.

    Castle Ward, the splendid seat of Lord Bangor ; Strangford House, the residence of the Hon. Harriet Ward ; and Strangford Lodge, that of J. Blackwood, Esq., are situated in the parish.

    The village is neatly built. and is one of the most pleasant in the county. A manor court is held at Strangford every three weeks by the seneschal of the of the lord of the manor, in whom are vested very extensive privileges ; its jurisdiction extends over the parish and the river of Strangford.

    The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down and was formerly annexed to the rectory of Down from which it was separated in 1834, and made a distinct rectory, in the patronage of the Crown ; the tithes amount to £387 15s. 7d. The church, a spacious and handsome structure, was erected in 1723, an the tower and spire were added to it in 1770 : the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £295 for its repair. There is a chapel at Strangford, the private property of Lord De Roos, of which the rector is chaplain. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £450 and a loan of £50 from the late Board of First fruits, in 1817 : there is a glebe at Strangford, comprising 6a. 2r. 37p. Lord Bangor is about to build a glebe-house in or near the village for the residence of the rector.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parts forms part of the union or district of Ballee ; there are two chapels, one at Strangford and the other at Cargagh; and there are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. (Note: two townlands from this civil parish belong to the Roman Catholic parish of Kilclief)

    In the village is a handsome school house, with residences for a master and mistress, built in 1824, and supported by an annual donation £50 from Lord Bangor, and a. small donation from the rector. An infants' school is supported entirely by the Hon. Harriet Ward.. These schools afford instruction to about 94 boys and 84 girls ; and there are also two pay schools, in which are about 85 boys and 48 girls, and four Sunday schools. Near the church are four handsome alms-houses, built in 1832 at the expense of Lady Sophia Ward, who endowed them with £40 per annum, payable out of the estate of Lord Bangor for ever ; the management is vested in three trustees, of whom the rector for the time being is one. Within the parish are three castles erected by De Courcy and his followers after the conquest of Ulster ; one is situated close to the quay at Strangford, one on the creek below Castle Ward, and the third is Audley Castle on a rock opposite to Portaferry.