All Lewis entries for Kirkinriola


More information on Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
Accompanying Lewis map for Antrim


BALLYMENA, or BALLYMANIA, a market and post-town, in the parish of KIRKINRIOLA, barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 24- miles (N. W.) from Belfast and 105 miles (N.) from Dublin; containing 4067 inhabitants. In the disturbances of 1798 this place was the scene of an obstinate battle between the yeomanry and the United Irishmen of the surrounding district who, on the 7th of June, entered the town and proceeded to attack the market-house, which was defended by a party of the yeomanry aided by a few of the military and some of the loyal inhabitants; the insurgents having gained possession of the lower part of the market-house, the yeomanry surrendered themselves prisoners of war; but while a party of them was marching out of the market-house, those who were within being instigated by a person named Davis to give the United Irishmen another volley, the fire was returned from the street and several of the loyalists were killed while descending the steps. Some straggling parties of the enemy brought into the town Captain Ellis, of Innisrush, and Thomas Jones, Esq., of Moneyglass, with a number of the yeomanry, whom they took prisoners at Straid, in this parish, and lodged them in the market-house; and on the day following, several of the yeomanry were marched into the town as prisoners. Great divisions took place in the committee of the United Irishmen, on the propriety of marching direct to Antrim, which they had been informed was in the possession of the king's troops; but on hearing of the royal proclamation, offering a free pardon to all, with the exception of officers, who should lay down their arms and disperse, almost all the men from Route were disposed to accept the terms; some, who were determined on making a stand, joined the united camp at Donegore, while others departed homewards, leaving the town to be taken possession of by Col. Clavering and the military, who, after the recapture of Antrim, had encamped at Shanescastle, in the neighbourhood.

The town is pleasantly situated on the river Braid, over which is a large bridge of stone: it owes its rapid rise and present importance to the linen manufacture, which was introduced into the neighbourhood by the Adairs and Dickeys about the year 1732, since which time it has greatly increased in extent wealth, and importance. It comprises more than 700 houses, in general large and well-built, among which are a few of very ancient character, with gabled fronts. The linen trade is carried on extensively in the neighbourhood, and within a circuit of 5 miles round the town are 14 bleach-greens, at each of which, on an average, about 15,000 pieces are annually bleached, exclusively of considerable quantities of brown and black goods, which are also finished here, and for the manufacture of which there are several large establishments. Several linen merchants unconnected with the bleaching department reside in the town. There is a mill for spinning linen yarn by machinery; and an extensive ale brewery, originally established in 1729, continued in operation for more than a century, and was afterwards purchased by Clotworthy Walkinshaw, Esq., who, in 1831, converted it into a distillery, in which great quantities of barley, grown in the neighbourhood, are annually consumed. Branches of the Provincial Bank of Ireland and of the Belfast and Northern Banking Companies have been established here. The market is on Saturday for the sale of linens, of which 4000 pieces are on an average sold every market-day; there are two weekly markets for grain, pork, and other provisions, of which great quantities are bought and sent to Belfast either for home consumption or for exportation; great numbers of horses, cattle, and pigs are also sold on the market-days. Fairs for every description of live stock are annually held on July 26th and Oct. 21st; but the sales on the market days preceding and following these dates are frequently greater than at the fairs. The market-house is a commodious edifice in the centre of the town, with a steeple 60 feet high. Here is a chief constabulary police station. Courts leet and baron are annually held for the manor; a court under the seneschal is held every month for the recovery of debts; and petty sessions are held every alternate Tuesday. The quarter sessions for the county are held in January and June, alternately with Ballymoney. There is a secure and well-built bridewell, containing seven cells. The parish church, a large plain structure with an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, is situated in the town ; and there are also a R. C. chapel, built in 1820; two places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, one for Seceders, and one for Wesleyan Methodists. The diocesan school, originally established at Carrickfergus in the reign of Elizabeth, was removed to this place in 1829, when an acre of land was given by William Adair, Esq., on which the building was erected, at an expense of £900: the master, who is appointed by the Lord-Primate and the Bishop of Connor alternately, derives his stipend from the beneficed clergy of the dioceses of Armagh and Connor, and is allowed to receive private boarders. A free school was founded here in 1813, by John Guy or Guay, who bequeathed £24 per annum to the master, and £50 towards the erection of a school-house, which, with a house for the master, was built in 1818: there are 200 children in the school, who are gratuitously taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and supplied with books and stationery. In connection with this establishment a female school is now being built, for the instruction of the girls in needlework. A parochial school was established in 1832, in which 170 children are instructed and occasionally clothed by subscription. The Parade school, to which is attached an adult school, was rebuilt in 1833, and is in connection with the London Hibernian Society. The only remains of antiquity are some terraces and foundations of walls of a castle built in the reign of Jas. I.-See KIRKINRIOLA.


KIRKINRIOLA, or KIRCONRIOLA, a parish, in the barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Belfast to Londonderry ; containing, with the post-town of Ballymena, (which is separately described), 7297 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called Kilconriola and Ballymena, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 6390 statute acres, in a very indifferent state of cultivation. The soil is light and sandy, and in some parts intermixed with stones, and consequently unproductive without great labour and expense ; the farms are small, and are chiefly in the occupation of persons who, dividing their attention between agriculture and the spinning of yarn and Weaving of linen, expend but little capital on the land, and pay but little attention to its improvement. There are considerable tracts of wasteland and a large extent of bog. In the valley of the river Braid are indications of coal, but no mines have yet been opened ; and there are extensive quarries of stone in several parts of the parish, from which has been raised all the stone for building the houses and bridges in the town and neighbourhood. The principal seats are Ballymena Castle, the residence of P. Cannon, Esq. ; the Green, of A. Gihon, Esq.: Hugomont, of H. Harrison, Esq. ; Brigadie, of J. Tracey, Esq. ; and Ballygarry, of D. Curell, Esq. It is an im-propriate curacy, in the diocese of Connor, forming part of the union of Ballyclugg ; the rectory is impropriate, by purchase from the Earl of Mountcashel, in William Adair, Esq. The tithes amount to £223. 10. 4., the whole payable to the impropriator, who is proprietor of the parish, and charges them in the rent of the lands. The stipend of the curate is £71. 16. per annum, of which £31. 10. is paid by the impropriator, and £40. 6. from Primate Boulter's augmentation fund. The glebe-house, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £73. 16. 11., in 1823, is near the church ; the glebe comprises six acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church of the union was built in 1712, at the extremity of the parish, near Ballyclugg, and repaired in 1822, for which purpose a loan of £100 was granted by the late Board of First Fruits. In the R. C. divisions it is the head of a union or district, called Ballymena, and comprising also the parish of Ballyclugg ; there are chapels at Ballymena and Crebilly respectively: there are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first and second classes, one in connection with the Seceding Synod of the third class, and one for Wesleyan Methodists. Guy's free school is supported by a bequest of the late John Guy, Esq. ; the school-house was built at an expense of between £400 and £500, and the master has a house and garden rent-free ; there also ten other public schools, the master of one of which, the diocesan school, receives a salary of £120 per annum: they afford instruction to about 850 children. In ten private schools about 400 children are taught, and there are nine Sunday schools. There are some remains of the ancient parish church, which appears to have been a spacious and handsome structure, but they are diminishing rapidly by the removal of the materials for gravestones. There are several ancient encampments in the parish, of which the most conspicuous is on the high grounds above Ballingarry, near which, in the townland of Bottom, is a fine circular fortress, surrounded by a fosse and vallum. Near the glebe-house is a mass of rock, 30 feet in circumference and 8 feet high, called the Standing stone, of which no tradition is extant ; and near Ballymena, on the Braide water opposite the castle, is a very remarkable moat rising from the brink of the river to a great height, and now covered with a plantation.

Irish Times subscribers | | John Grenham | | Sitemap | | Login | | Subscribe | | Contact | | FAQs | | What's new?| | Privacy policy

Copyright © John Grenham, Eoin Grenham 2022