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Ballinderry Parish

The Area in the 1830s

The following extract relating to Ballinderry is taken from "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland; Comprising the several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate, Market, and Post Towns, Parishes, and Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions" by Samuel Lewis published in 1837. In two volumes.

It gives an interesting account of the area prior to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.

Ballinderry, a parish, in the barony of Upper Massereene, county of Antrim, and province of Ulster, 3½ miles (N.) from Moira; containing 5356 inhabitants.

At Portmore, an extensive castle was erected by Lord Conway, in 1664, on the site of a more ancient fortress; it contained accommodation for two troops of horse, with a range of stabling 140 feet in length, 35 feet in breadth, and 40 feet in height; the remains consist only of the ancient garden wall, part of the stables, and the ruins of one of the bastions. During the Protectorate the learned Jeremy Taylor retired to this place, and remained at the seat of Lord Conway till the Restoration, when he was promoted to the bishoprick of Down and Connor. On a small island in the lough are still some remains of a summer-house, in which he is said to have written some of the most important of his works, and in the neighbourhood his memory is still held in great respect. The parish is situated on the road from Antrim to Dublin, and is intersected by the mail coach road from Lurgan to Antrim; it comprises, according to the Ordnance Survey, 10,891 statute acres, of which 283½ are in Portmore Lough. The land is almost all arable and in a good state of cultivation; the system of tillage is improving. There is little or no waste land; in the north-east and south-west parts of the parish are some valuable bogs. The weaving of linen and cotton affords employment to a considerable number of persons, but the greater number of the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture. The Lagan canal from Lough Neagh, on the north-west, to Belfast passes within the distance of a mile. The parish is within the jurisdiction of the manorial court of Killultagh held at Lisburn. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Hertford, in whom the rectory is impropriate; the tithes amount to £480, of which £400 is paid to the vicar, and £80 to the impropriator. The church was erected in 1827, through the exertions of Dean Stannus, at an expense of £2200, of which the Marquess of Hertford gave £1000, and the late Board of First Fruits the remainder; it is a handsome edifice, in the later style of English architecture, with a tower and spire 128 feet in height, and is beautifully situated on rising ground near the small village of Upper Ballinderry. There is a glebe of eight acres, but no glebe house. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Aughagallon and Ballinderry : the chapel is a small building. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class; also a Moravian meeting house.

In addition to the parochial school, there are schools at Lower Ballinderry, Killultagh, and Legartariffe; all, except the last, were built within the last ten years, chiefly through the benevolent exertions of Dean Stannus, at an expense of £600; they are well conducted, and will accommodate 300 children; there are also several private pay schools. - Murray, Esq., bequeathed £100 British; J. Moore Johnston, Esq., £83. 6. 8. ; and Hugh Casement, Esq., £25 Irish currency, to the poor of the parish. The old parish church, which was built after the Restoration of Chas. II., still remains; and on the eastern side of it is a burial-place, called Templecormack, in the centre of which the foundations of a small building may be traced. There are also some remains of an ancient church close to Portmore Lough, at the western extremity of the parish, The manor of Killultagh gives the title of Baron Conway of Killultagh to the Seymour family.

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