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.
ContentKILSKERRY, a parish, in the barony OMAGH, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Enniskillen (Co. Fermanagh), on the road to Omagh ; containing, with the market-town of Trillick, 8790 inhabitants.
This place, during the war of 1641, was attacked by the Irish forces under Sir Phelim O'Nial, whom the inhabitants succeeded in driving back to the mountains ; but they suffered severely in a subsequent attack in which the assailants were successful. Near Corkhill Lodge are the remains of a fortress, which was garrisoned by the inhabitants, who resolutely defended the ford of the river, where a handsome bridge was subsequently erected. The army of Jas. II. encamped twice in this parish during his contest with Wm. III., and marched hence against Enniskillen. The parish, which is six miles long and as many broad, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 20,439 statute acres, of which 14,650 are applotted under the tithe act; the surface is boldly undulating and the soil generally fertile. The system of agriculture is rapidly improving; more than 1000 acres of waste land have been already brought into cultivation, principally under the encouragement of the rector.
The principal seats are Trillick Lodge, the property of Gen. Archdall, near which are the remains of Castle Mervyn, built by a person of the name of Mervyn, from whom Gen. Archdall derives his title to his estate in this county ; Relagh, of J. H. Story; Esq. ; Corkhill Lodge, of J. Lendrum, Esq. ; Corkhill, of the Rev. A. H. Irvine; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. J. Grey Porter. There are two other seats almost dilapidated, which were formerly the residences of the Barton and Bryan families.
There are several mountains in the parish, and several lakes, from which small streams descend to Lough Erne, between which and Lough Foyle it is in contemplation to form a communication by a canal. There is a small establishment for milling blankets. A. manorial court, petty sessions, and fairs are held at Trillick.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Clogher, constituting the corps of the prebend of Kilskerry in the cathedral of Clogher, in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to £675. 9s. 4d. The glebe-house, a spacious and handsome residence, surrounded by old plantations, was built in 1774 at an expense of £1200, of which £92. 6s., was a gift from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe comprises 380 acres of profitable land, valued at £1 per acre, besides which there are 636.75 acres of mountain glebe, which is annually in process of being reclaimed and rising in value. The church, an elegant structure in the early English style, with a square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire was built in 1790, at an expense of £1060, defrayed by the Rev. Dr. Hastings; the original spire was taken down and the present one erected in 1830, at the expense of the parish.
Divine service is performed by the clergymen of the Establishment in the Wesleyan meeting-houses at Trillick, monthly in winter, and once a. fortnight in summer.
The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapels a spacious building, is at Maralough.
There are places of worship for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists at Trillick.
The parochial school is supported by the rector and the Association for Discountenancing Vice, and a school-house at Magheralough was built by the Rev. A. H. Irvine, curate, on land given by Col. Perceval, who allows a salary to the master ; one by J. H. Story, Esq., a female school on the glebe by Mrs. Porter, and there are four other public schools 12 private, and six Sunday schools, and a dispensary. Here was a monastery in the 7th century, of which no vestiges can be traced, nor are any particulars of its history recorded.