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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    CLONDUFF, or CLANDUFF, a parish, in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 2 3/4 miles (S) from Rathfriland; containing, with the village of Hilltown, 7916 inhabitants.

    This parish is situated on the river Bann, and on one of the roads leading from Newry to Downpatrick; and comprises, according to the Ordnance survcy, 21,241 3/4 statute acres, of which 889 are mountain, with a portion of bog, and the remainder good arable and pasture land, the former producing excellent crops. Eagle mountain, at the southern extremity of the parish, is 1084 feet above the level of the sea,

    The gentlemen"s seats are King's Hill, the residence of W. Barron Esq.; Cabra, the property of A M'Mullan, Esq., recently erected on the site of the ancient residence of the Mac Gennis family; and Hilltown Parsonage, the residence of the Rev J. A. Beers,

    About a mile from the village of Hilltown, and on the river Bann, is a bleach-green, the first or uppermost on that river, which in its course becomes a most important stream to bleachers and manufacturer's of linen.

    The parish anciently formed part of the possessions of the abbey of Bangor, and by an inquisition in 1605 was found to comprise 22 townlands, now increased to 25, which, with the exception of four within the bishop's court at Dromore, are within the jurisdiction of the manorial court of Rathfriland,

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory, with the exception of the tithe of our townlands which belong to the vicar is impropriate in the Earl of Clanwilliam. The tithes amount to £364.1.7 of which £164. 4. 3 is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the incumbent. The glebe-house is a handsome residence at Hilltown: the glebe comprises 21 acres of very good land, The church is also at Hilltown.

    The R, C, parish is coextensive with that of the Established Church; there are two chapels, one at Cabra, and one in the village of Hilltown, where is also a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, or the third class.

    Besdes the parochial school at Hilltown, there are schools at Tamrye, Drumnascamph, Ballycashone, and Ballynagrapog, and a national school near Hilltown; and there are two pay schools, in which are about 100 children.

    About a mile to the east of Hilltown arc the ruins of the old parish church, in a large and very ancient burial-ground, in which were interred, in 1809, John and Felix O'Neill, supposed to have been the last male descendants of the once powerful sept of Tir-Oen. A very handsome antique chalice, now in the possession of A Murphy, Esq., of Rathfriland, and also a quern, in the possession of the Rev J. A. Beers, were dug up in the churchyard in 1832.