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.

  • Place
    Loughbrickland Town
  • County
  • Parish
  • Content
    LOUGHBRICKLAND, a post-town, in the parish of AGHADERG, agony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (N. E.) from Newry (Co. Armagh) , and 58.50 (N.) from Dublin, on the road from Newry to Belfast (Co. Antrim); containing 618 inhabitants.

    This town, which is prettily situated on the lake from which it takes its name, owes its rise to Sir Marmaduke Whitchurch, to whom Queen Elizabeth, in 1585, granted the adjacent lands. Sir Marmaduke built a castle on the shore of the lake, for the protection of a pass where three roads united, and soon after a church and a mill, and laid the foundation of a town, in which a Protestant colony was settled, for which he obtained the grant of a market and two fairs. In 1641 the castle was dismantled and the town and church were destroyed by fire; in this desolate condition it remained till 1688, when the church was rebuilt and the town began gradually to improve.

    It consists of one principal street, from which two smaller streets branch off, and contains 123 houses, most of which are well built and of lonesome appearance; the whole town has a cheerful and thriving aspect. The lake, which is supposed to have taken its name from the speckled trout with which it is said to have formerly abounded, comprises an area of about 90 Irish acres and is bordered on its western side by the road from Dublin to Belfast ; it forms the summit level of the Newry canal, to which its waters are conveyed through Lough Shark, and is itself supplied from a spring within, its superfluous water escaping through a sluice at the north-western extremity. Fairs are held here on the third Tuesday in every month, for horses, cattle, pigs, and pedlery. There are several handsome seats in the immediate neighbourhood, which are noticed under the ends of their respective parishes.

    The parish church, a handsome edifice, with a square tower and octagonal spire, is situated in the centre of the town ; and nearly opposite to it is the Roman Catholic chapel, in the later English style, built at an expense of £1700 on a site presented by N. C. Whyte, Esq., who also gave £400 towards its erection. There are also places of worship for Presbyterians and Primitive Methodists.

    On the shore of the lake is a modern house, erected in 1812 on the site of the ancient castle, which was then taken down. The Danes, who had ravaged the north of Ireland, were defeated here by the Irish under Mac Lorriagh, in 1187.