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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    MAGHERADROLL, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER IVAGH but chiefly in that of KINELEARTY, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Dromore to Saintfield; containing, with the post-town of Ballinahinch, 7530 inhabitants.

    This parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 12,552 statute acres, of which 628.50 are in the barony of Lower Iveagh, and the remainder in Kinelearty ; 176.75 acres are water, and of the remainder, about two-thirds are land of the richest quality and in the highest state of cultivation ; the other portion, though inferior, is still fertile, and there is scarcely any waste land. Slate of excellent quality is found in the town-land of Ballymacarne, but not worked. During the disturbances of 1798, a party of the insurgents took up a position in the park, from which they were driven by the kings forces with great loss. The weaving of linen, cotton, and muslin is carried on extensively, and there are two large bleach-greens in the parish.

    Nearly in the centre of the parish is Montalto, formerly the seat of the Earl of Moira, by whom it was built, and now the property and occasional residence of D. Kerr, Esq. : the mansion is spacious and the demeans extensive.

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the Bishop, to whom the rectory is appropriate : the tithes amount to £775. 3s. 8.50d., of which £200 is payable to the vicar, and the remainder to the bishop. The glebe-house, towards which the late Board of First fruits granted a gift of £1400 and a loan of £400, in 1817, is a handsome residence ; and the glebe comprises 42 acres, valued at £86 per annum, and some gardens let to labourers at £5 per annum. The church, built in 1830 at an expense of £850 advanced on loan by the same Board, is a neat edifice with a tower and spire, and is situated close to the town of Ballinahinch.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Dunmore, or Maghera-hamlet; the chapel at Ballinahinch is a large and handsome edifice.

    There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class, and with the Seceding Synod, of the first and second classes.

    About 650 children are taught in seven public schools; the parochial school-house was built in 1824, by aid of a grant from the lord-lieutenant's school fund ; and there are six private schools, in which are about 180 children, and six Sunday schools.

    The late S. M. Johnstone, Esq., bequeathed one-third of the profits of a work entitled the "Medley," published in 1802, amounting to about £4. 3s. 4d., per annum, which is annually distributed among the poor at Christmas.

    There are some remains of the ancient church, about a mile from time town, with a large cemetery, in which are interred several of the amount and powerful family of the Magennises of Kilwarlin.