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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    DRUMGATH, a parish, in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN and province of ULSTER, on the road from Downpatrick to Newry ; containing. with the greater part of the post-town of Rathfriland (which is separately described) , 4448 inhabitants. According to the Ordnance survey, it comprises 5330 .50 statute acres, of which about 100 are bog.

    It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and patronage of the Bishop; the rectory forms part of the union of Clonallon, and corps of the chancellorship of Dromore cathedral. The tithes amount to £258, of which £168. 13 shillings 4 pence is payable to the chancellor, and £89. 6 shillings 8 pence to the vicar. There is a glebe-house, with a glebe of 150 acres. The church, which is in Rathfriland, is a neat building for the repair of which the late Board of First Fruits lent £150, in 1829, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently given £119.

    The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and has chapels at Rathfriland, Barnmeen, and Drumgath.

    In Rathfriland is a large and handsome meeting-house for Presbyterians, in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class and a second is now being built; there is also one in connection with the Seceding Synod, of the second class, and one each for Covenanters, Wesleyan Methodists, and the Society of Friends

    About 350 children are educated in two public and two private schools.

    Some ruins of the ancient church exist in a large burial-ground, and a curious antique bell was found in a bog in 1764.