Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Tyrone

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. Tyrone.

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    BALLYGAWLEY, a market and post-town, and a parish, partly in the barony of CLOGHER, and partly in that of DUNGANNON, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 13 miles (S. E.) from Omagh, and 74 miles (N. W. by N.) from Dublin; containing 4428 inhabitants, of wich number, 927 are in the town.

    The lands and manor of Moyenner and Balegalle were granted by Jas. I. to Capt. William Turvin, but he neglecting to comply with the conditions of the grant, they were afterwards granted, in 1614, to Sir Gerard Lowther, who erected on the bank of a small river a very extensive castle, which he enclosed within a bawn of stone and lime and made a place of great strength. This castle was destroyed, in 1642, by the insurgents under Sir Phelim O'Nial: the walls and two towers of the bawn, with part of the castle walls, are still remaining; and a modern house has been recently erected on the site. The town is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Londonderry, and consists of three streets and a market-place; it contains about 250 houses, some of which are large and well built, and is the property of Sir Hugh Stewart, Bart., whose handsome mansion, Ballygawley House, is about two miles distant from the town. Innismagh, the seat of Col. Verner; Anahoe, of H. Crossle, Esq.; and Martry, of Mervyn Stewart, Esq., are within the parish.

    A small manufacture of gloves is carried on in the town, which, from the goodness of the materials and the neatness of the workmanship, are in general demand. There is an extensive brewery, that has asquired celebrity for the quality of its ale, and a large distillery of malt whiskey has been established. The market is on Friday; it is amply supplied with provisions of all kinds, and every alternate week a large quantity of linen cloth is exposed for sale. Fairs are held on the second Friday in every month, principally for the sale of cattle, sheep, and pigs. A constabulary police force has been stationed here; petty sessions are held once a fortnight; and as the head of the manor of Moyenner or Ballygawley, manorial courts are held in the town for the recovery of debts not exceeding 40s.

    This district was constituted a parish in 1830, by an order of council under the provisions of an act of the 7th and 8th of Geo. IV., when eighteen townlands were separated from the parish of Errigal-Kerogue, in the barony of Clogher, and twelve from that of Carrenteel, in the barony of Dungannon, and formed into the parish of Ballygawley. These townlands are situated near the mountains and contain some good land, particularly on the north-east, where the soil is good and well cultivated.

    The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the alternate patronage of the Rectors of Errigal-Kerogue and Carrenteel. The curate's income if £80 per annum, and the archdeacon of Armagh, as incumbent of Carrenteel. The church is a small but handsome edifice, in the later English style, erected at an expense of £1000, of which sum, £900 was a gift from the late Board of First Fruits.

    There is a place of worship in the town for Presbterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class; also a Baptist meeting-house in the parish.

    A boys' school is supported by Sir Hugh Stewart, and there is a school at Knockany, together affording instruction to about 130 boys and 130 girls; there is also a private school as Lisgonnell of about 70 boys and 30 girls.