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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    KILCLIEF, a parish in the barony of LECALE, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 2 miles (S.) from Strangford ; containing 841 inhabitants, of which number 351 are in the village.

    Here was formerly an abbey under St. Eugene and St. Neill, disciples of St. Patrick ; also an hospital for lepers, of which there are still some small remains. The castle of Kilclief, of which part also remains, was anciently the palace of the bishops of Down, to whom the manor belongs. According to the ordnance survey, the parish contains 2424 1/2 statute acres ; there is no waste or bog, and the land is extremely well cultivated, furnishing much wheat, barley oats and potatoes for exportation.

    The living is a rectory in the diocese of Down and in the patronage of the bishop : the tithes amount to £216. The church is a small plain building on an elevated spot near the sea shore. There is a glebe house for the erection of which £450 was given and £50 lent, in 1816, by the late Board of First Fruits : the glebe comprises 10 acres.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions, the parish is the head of a union or district, including also the townland of Ballyargan, and two others in Ballyculter, and containing a small chapel.

    About 90 children are educated in the parochial school, which was built in 1804.