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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    DRUMBALLYRONEY, a parish, in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER; on the road from Newry to Downpatrick; containing, with a part of the market and post-town of Rathfriland, 8544 inhabitants.

    It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 12,338.50 statute acres, of which 1896 are bog, 80 mountain and water, and 10,445 are applotted under the tithe act, all of which is arable or pasture land in excellent cultivation. Here is a lake, called Lough Ballyroney, in the centre of which is a small island. The manufacture of linen and nugget is extensively carried on.

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, united from time immemorial to that of Drumgooland, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is part of the corps of the deanery of Dromore. The tithes amount to £482, of which £321. 6s. 8d. is payable to the dean, and the remainder to the vicar ; the gross tithes of the benefice amount to £630. 9s. 9d. The church, a small neat edifice with a tower, was erected by aid of a gift of £500, in 1800, from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £200, and a loan of £300, in 1821, from the same Board : the glebe, given by the Countess of Clanwilliam in 1820, comprises 20 acres, subject to a rent of 15s. per acre.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union of Annaghlone, and has a small chapel near the Diamond.

    There is a place of worship for Presbyterians of the first class, in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and one for Covenanters.

    About 170 children are taught in two public schools, and there are eight private and four Sunday schools.

    The fine ruin of Seaman castle, which was for ages the strong hold of the Magennises, is situated on the river Bann ; and there are several other fortresses.