All Lewis entries for Kilmegan


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


CASTLEWELLAN, a market and post town, in that part of the parish of KILMEGAN which is in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Downpatrick, and 64- (N. by E.) from Dublin ; containing 729 inhabitants. This place is situated on the mail coach road from Newry to Downpatrick, on the side of a small lake, and though partly surrounded by mountains, occupies rather a conspicuous site. The town is well built, and consists principally of an upper and lower square connected by a street, containing 122 houses, most of which are neat structures. There are barracks for two companies of infantry, a detachment from the military depot at Newry, usually stationed here. The bleaching of linen, which is the principal trade of the place, was first introduced here by Mr. Moffat, in 1749, since which time it has greatly increased, and several large bleach-greens have been established. Those of Messrs. Murland are capable of bleaching and finishing 20,000 pieces annually, and those of Mr. Steel, 8000 ; a large propor tion of the linen is sent to the American and West India markets, the remainder to England and Scotland. There is an extensive mill for spinning linen-yarn, erected in 1829, and the first for fine yarns ever esta-blished in Ireland ; it is worked by steam and water power, and lighted with gas made on the premises ; another is in course of erection on a very large scale, to be propelled by a water wheel 50 feet in diameter and 10 feet on the face. In these several establishments more than 500 persons are constantly employed. The manufacture of linen is also extensively carried on by Mr. J. Murland and Mr. Steel, the former employing 450 and the latter 300 persons. There are also some large corn-mills, and mills for dressing flax. The market is on Monday, and is amply supplied with provisions and pedlery, and large quantities of brown linen and linen-yarn are brought for sale every market day. Fairs are held on the first of February, May, June, and September, the 13th of No-vember, and the Tuesday before Christmas. The market-house, situated in the centre of the upper square, is a neat building, with a belfry and clock, surmounted by a spire. A constabulary police force is stationed here ; a manorial court, having jurisdiction over nine towalands in this parish and that of Drumgooland, is held every three weeks, in which debts to the amount of £10 are recoverable ; and petty sessions are also held in the market-house every alternate Tuesday. Divine service, according to the rites of the Church of England, is performed every Sunday in the market-house. There are also in the town a R. C. chapel and places of worship for Presbyterians and Wesleyan Methodists. A school-house was built and endowed by J. Murland, Esq., for the gratuitous instruction of children of both sexes ; and a school is supported by Earl Annesley. At the foot of Slieve-na-lat, and on the border of the lake, is an elegant cottage, built by Earl Annesley, and ornamented with gardens and pleasure grounds tastefully laid out, in which is a temple, commanding a fine view of the surrounding scenery. Earl Annesley enjoys the inferior title of Baron of Castlewellan, in the peerage of Ireland. -See KILMEGAN.


DUNDRUM, a maritime village, in that part of the parish of KILMEGAN which is in the barony of LECALE, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 1? mile (S.) from Clough, on the road from Newry to Downpatrick : the population is returned with the parish. This place is situated on an inner bay, about 1? mile long by ? of a mile broad, at the head of the larger one to which it gives name ; and was distinguished for its ancient castle, of which though twice besieged and taken by the lord-deputy, and finally demolished by Cromwell, there are still considerable and very interesting remains. It is said to have been built by Sir John de Courcy for Knights Templars, who kept possession of it till the suppression of their order in 1313, when it was transferred to the Prior of Down. On the dissolution of the monasteries, the castle, with several townlands, was given to Gerald, Earl of Kildare, and subsequently to the Maginnis family, on whose attainder it was forfeited to the Crown and granted to the Earl of Ardglass ; it afterwards became the property of Viscount Blundell, from whom it descended to the Marquess of Downshire, its present proprietor. The village, which previously consisted of one narrow street, containing only a few houses very indifferently built, has been recently much improved by the Marquess of Downshire, who has widened the old street and opened several new lines of road, and has promoted the erection of many neat and comfortable dwelling-houses. He has also built a spacious and commodious hotel, hot and cold baths, and adjoining the latter a lodging-house for himself, which is occasionally let to strangers during the summer. The principal trade is the export of grain, for which a small but convenient quay has been constructed by his lordship, who has also built warehouses and stores for grain. Fairs are held on Jan. 3rd, Feb. 5th, May 12th, Aug. 6th, and Oct. 10th. The larger bay, which affords great facilities for bathing, extends from the foot of the mountain of Slieve Donard to St. John's Point, a distance of nine miles, and nearly four miles inland. The ground is mostly clean and the depth moderate ; but the bay is exposed to severe gusts of wind from the Mourne mountains ; the south, and south-east winds send in a heavy sea, and vessels should never remain here unless when the wind is from the north or northeast. The ground immediately outside the larger bay is said to be one of the best fishing grounds in the British seas, affording always in their respective seasons large supplies of excellent haddock, cod, whiting, plaice, sole, and turbot. The western shore is a continued range of sand hills, through which is an inlet deep enough to admit vessels of 50 tons laden with coal, lime, and slate to the quay at the village, In the inlet, during the summer months, there are large shoals of sand eels, to take which several hundreds of the neighbouring peasantry assemble every tide, and provide themselves with an. abundant supply for some months. The remains of the castle consist chiefly of a lofty circular tower of more than 30 feet internal diameter, built on the summit of a rock overlooking the bay ; the walls and the winding staircase leading to the battlements are nearly perfect, but the roofs and the floors of the several stories have fallen in ; and the vault or dungeon, deeply excavated in the rock, is exposed. The tower is surrounded by a deep fosse hewn in the solid rock, and on the east are the remains of two lofty bastions : the walls of the ancient gatehouse are still standing. Dr. Thomas Smith, consecrated Bishop of Limerick in 1695, was a native of this place. -See KILMEGAN.


KILMEGAN, a parish, partly in the barony of KINELEARTY, partly in LECALE, but chiefly in UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER ; containing, with the post-town of Castlewellan (which is described under its own head), 6921 inhabitants. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 13,971- statute acres, of which 1793 are in Kinelearty, 5983- (of which 22- are water) in Lecale, and 6195- (of which 107 are water) in Upper Iveagh. Of these about 500 are woodland, 800 pasture, 150 bog, and the remainder arable land. The greater part of the townland of Murlough is covered with sand, which is constantly drifted in from Dundrum bay: the land near Castlewellan is stony, cold, and marshy, but in other parts of the parish it is rich and well cultivated. There are several quarries of granite ; lead ore has been found in different parts, and there are mines of lead and zinc in Slieve Croob and the hill above Dundrum, which see. Slieve Croob, situated on the northern boundary of the parish, rises, according to the Ordnance survey, 1755 feet above the level of the sea. The principal seats are that of Earl Annesley at Castlewellan lake ; Bally wilIwill, the residence of the Rev. G. H. McDowell Johnston ; Mount Panther, of 3. Reed Allen, Esq. ; Wood Lodge, of H. Murland, Esq. ; Woodlawn, of J. Law, Esq. ; Greenvale, of J. Steele, Esq. ; Annsbro', of J. Murland, Esq. ; and Clanvaraghan, of T. Scott, Esq. It is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, forming part of the union of Kilkeel ; the tithes amount to £500. The church is a large handsome edifice, for the repairs of .which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £109 : divine service is also performed in the market-house at Castlewellan. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Castlewellan, and has chapels at Castlewellan, Aughlisnafin, and Ballywillwill. At Castlewellan is a meeting-house for Presbyterians of the Seceding Synod, of the second class, and one for Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school, near the church, is supported by the Marquess of Downshire and the rector ; his lordship has given the master a house, a garden, and an acre of land ; he also supports a school at Dundrum. There are four other public schools, one aided by Earl Annesley, and three in connection with the National Board of Education, one of which is patronised by J. R. Allen, Esq., another by J. Murland, Esq., and the third is under the charge of trustees: there are male and female teachers in each school. There are also five private schools, in which latter about 360 children are educated. At Sliddery ford, near Dundrum, is a cromlech, of which the table stone is flat on the upper surface, and convex beneath, resting upon three upright stones, each four feet high ; near it is a circle of upright stones, of which the entrance is marked by two stones larger than the rest. On a hill called Slieve-na-boil-trough, and near a small lake, is another cromlech, consisting of a table stone of rough grit, in the shape of a coffin, ten feet long and five feet in the broadest part resting on three supporters, about 6- feet from the ground.

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