All Lewis entries for Drumachose


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


DRUMACHOSE, a parish, in the barony of KENAUGHT, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, on the river Roe, and on the road from Londonderry to Coleraine ; containing, with the market and post-town of Newtown-Limavady, 5280 inhabitants. The greater part of this parish formed a portion of the grant made to the Haberdashers' Company, in thereignofJas. I.; part of it was given by the same monarch to Sir T. Phillips, upon which he built a castle, and founded the town of Newtown-Limavady ; and part was confirmed to the see of Derry, In the war of 1641 it was the scene of much calamitous hostility, and the inhabitants were at length driven to seek an asylum in Derry, under protection of Col. Mervyn, who finally routed the Irish. In 1688 the town was besieged, and the inhabitants again retired to Derry ; and on the retreat of the army of .1 as. II., in 1689, it was wasted with fire and sword. The parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 11,683 statute acres (including 243. under water), of which 11,082 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £6032 per ann. Part of the land is very fertile and extremely well cultivated, particularly around Fruit Hill, Streeve, and other neighbouring places, and that portion towards the banks of the Roe is rich gravelly loam, well sheltered. On the mountain range of Cedy, the eastern limit of the parish, at the very summit, are about 1100 acres of mountain pasture. Here is abundance of excellent freestone and limestone, both of which are extensively worked, and there are indications of coal in several parts. The inhabitants combine the weaving of linen cloth with agricultural pursuits. There are two distilleries and a brewery, and two bleach-greens, one only of which is in full operation ; there are also several corn, flour, and flax-mills. The scenery in various parts is highly interesting, the woods and plantations are thriving, and the country is ornamented with many handsome houses, of which the principal are Fruit Hill, the residence of Marcus McCausland, Esq. ; Streeve Hill, of Marcus Gage, Esq. ; Roe House, of W. Moody, Esq. ; the Lodge, of R. Conn, Esq ; Bridge House, of D. Cather, Esq. ; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. J. Olpherts. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the tithes amount to £424. 12. 3-. The glebe-house was erected in 1816 on a glebe of 6- acres purchased by the late Board of First Fruits ; the glebe, of which the greater part is at Gortygarn, 2 miles distant, comprises 112a. 2r. 15p. of arable land. The church, a handsome Grecian structure with a square tower, was erected, in 1750, upon the site of a former edifice at Newtown ; and a north aisle was added in 1825 by aid of a loan of £200 from the late Board. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Newtown-Limavady, comprising the parishes of Drumachose, Balteagh, Tamlaghtfinlagan, and parts of Aghanloo and Bovevagh, and containing three chapels, of which one is at Roe-mills, in this parish. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, the Seceding Synod, and the Remonstrant Synod, all of the second class ; and also for Covenanters, original Burghers, and Wesleyan Methodists. About 360 children are taught in eight public schools, of which one is supported by Erasmus Smith's trustees and endowed with three acres of glebe, one chiefly by the rector, a female school built and supported by Mrs. McCausland, a female work school built and supported by Mrs. Olpherts, and a school supported by Mr. McCausland : there are also seven private and four Sunday schools. Near Fruit Hill are the extensive and beautiful ruins of the ancient church ; and at the Dog-Leap is the site of the ancient castle of the powerful sept of O'Cahan.


NEWTOWN-LIMAVADY, a corporate, market and post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough), in the parish of DRUMACHOSE, barony of KENAUGHT, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 12- miles (E. N. E.) from the city of Londonderry, and 131 (N. by W.) from Dublin, on the road from Londonderry to Coleraine ; containing 2428 inhabitants. The district in which the town stands was anciently the territory of the O'Cahans or O'Canes, the head of a powerful and warlike sept, whose castle on the brow of a romantic glen was called Lima-vaddy, or " the Dog's Leap." The estimation in which these chieftains were formerly held appears from the fact that Dermod O Cahan was summoned by Edw. II. to attend him with his forces on his disastrous expedition against Scotland. He went, but instead of joining the army of the invader, was found in the ranks of the Scottish king at the battle of Bannockburn. After the general forfeiture of Ulster, in 1608, arising out of the attainder of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel, Sir Thomas Philips, surveyor of the forfeited estates, obtained a grant of 1000 acres in this district, on which he erected a castle and a bawn on the eastern bank of the Roe, on a spot near the site on which a town, named Ballyclose, now a suburb of Newtown-Limavady, previously existed. The town took its name from the circumstance of its modern erection ; and to distinguish it from several others, it acquired the adjunct of Limavady from its contiguity to O'Cahan's castle. It increased rapidly under the fostering care of its founder, who, in 1610, brought hither 25 English families. In 1613 the town obtained a charter, which is stated to have been granted on the petition of the inhabitants and for the better plantation of Ulster. By this charter the inhabitants were incorporated under the name of " the provost, 12 burgesses and commonalty," and a court of record was created, of which the provost was to be judge, and also to be clerk of the market and collector of the tolls and customs, which he retained for his own use : it also conferred a licence for holding a market on Monday, and a fair on July 1st (to which three others were added a few years afterwards), granted 300 acres of land for a common, and 375 for the maintenance of a free school, to be erected at Limavady, and the right of sending two members to parliament ; a discretionary power of electing freemen was given to the provost and burgesses by the same charter. In the war of 1641, the castle was besieged by the Irish army under Col. O'Nial, but the garrison under Capt. Philips, the governor, supported by many of the townspeople, among whom were some women, held out during the entire winter, until relieved by the approach of the parliamentary forces under Col. Mervyn, who routed the besieging army with much slaughter : the castle, however, was subsequently taken by the Irish and burnt, together with the church and the entire town. A new town sprang up from the ruins, which suffered a similar fate in the war of 1688, being burned by the army of Jas. II. on its retreat from Derry, It was again rebuilt after the Revolution, and some of the houses then erected are still standing. The borough was disfranchised at the Union, from which period the corporation has declined ; the only official proof of its existence being the collection of the tolls and customs, which was relinquished in consequence of the resistance given to the payment of them : on the death of the provost some years since, no successor was appointed, and the corporation may now be considered extinct. The land granted for commonage seems to have merged in the general estate on its sale by the Philips' family, in the reign of Chas, II. The school was never founded, nor can any particulars be procured relative to the lands set apart for its endowment. The borough and manor courts are discontinued, and the place is now, like all the rest of the county, governed by the magistrates and the police.

In point of size the town is the third in the county and the first in the barony. It comprises four principal and several smaller streets ; three of the streets are large and well built. There is a handsome sessions-house, where the general sessions for the county are held in June and December, and petty sessions on alternate Tuesdays ; adjoining it is a small bridewell. It is a constabulary police station, which is provided with a good barrack in one of the main streets. The market-house is a large, old, inconvenient building, over an arch which connects two of the principal streets. Large and commodious grain stores and shambles were erected in 1820, by Edw. Boyle, Esq., who also established grain markets on Tuesday and Friday, which are well attended and productive of much advantage to the town and neighbourhood : connected with these buildings is a news-room, well supplied with journals and periodicals. The Monday market is the mart for cattle, butter, and flax : the potato market is held in an adjoining street. The fairs are held on the second Monday in February, March 28th, June 13th, July 12th, and Oct. 29th : they are all well attended and largely supplied with cattle of every description : that of February is a great horse fair. Distillation is carried on extensively in the neighbourhood. A dispensary in the town is maintained in the usual manner. The church, which is the parochial church of Drumachose, is a large and handsome edifice, built in 1750 on the site of a former one, and enlarged in 1825 by the addition of an aisle, by a loan of £200 from the late Board of First Fruits : it now consists of a nave and a north aisle, in the Grecian style. In the suburb of Ballyclose are meeting-houses for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and with the Remonstrant and Associate Synods : near the church is a meeting-house of the Wesleyan Methodists. Of the castle built by Sir Thos, Philips nothing now remains : the site is pointed out as being in the grounds and gardens of the Lodge, at the north-western extremity of the main street. Time environs of the town are extremely beautiful : to the north-west is the rich vale of Myroe, extending to the shores of Lough Foyle ; to the east and north-east the lofty range of Benyevenagh, and to the south the summits of Donald's Hill and Benbradagh, beneath which is spread out the vale of the Roe, with its numerous plantations, villas, mills, and bleach-greens, the rich foliage of the oak woods and the plantations of Roe Park, the beautiful residence of Edm. Chas, McNaghten, Esq., and the other seats interspersed throughout the district, which are noticed in the article on the parish, as are also the schools.

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