Drummaul, co. Antrim
DRUMMAUL, a parish, in the barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Randalstown (which is described under its own head), 9737 inhabitants. During the revolution of 1686, this parish was frequently the head-quarters of the Earl of Antrim's regiment, which marched hence to the attack of Londonderry; and in the disturbances of 1798, the insurgents were driven from Antrim into Randalstown, in this parish, by the king's troops. The parish is situated on the river Main, and on the northern shore of Lough Neagh; it is intersected by the road from Belfast to the eastern parts of the counties of Derry and Tyrone, and by the mail roads from Belfast to Coleraine, and from Antrim to Cookstown. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 32,394 statute acres, of which, 11,472 are in Lough Neagh, and 171¼ in the river Main. The land, with the exception of a few farms, is in a very indifferent state of cultivation; the system of agriculture is, however, beginning to improve; there are bogs containing about 2800 acres. The beautiful demesne of Shane's Castle, which contains nearly 2000 acres, the property of Earl O'Neill, and for many years the principal seat of his family, is situated on the margin of Lough Neagh, and the grounds and plantations extend far on both sides of the river Main: the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1816, and is now in ruins; the park, which is well stocked with deer, is ornamented with fine timber. Millmount, the seat of G. Handcock, Esq., agent to Earl O'Neill; Hollybrook and Sharoogues are also in this parish. Coal and ironstone were formerly obtained here, and there are remains of extensive forges and smelting-furnaces at Randalstown. There are quarries of basaltic stone, from which materials are obtained in abundance both for building and for the roads. The spinning of cotton and weaving of calico were extensively carried on at Randalstown, there are excellent sites for bleach-greens and beetling-engines at Hollybrook, and a considerable quantity of linen is woven in various parts of the parish. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, and in the gift of the Marquess of Donegal, in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithes amount to £996. 6. 6., of which £546. 6. 6. is payable to the impropriator, and £450 to the vicar. The church, which is at Randalstown, is a neat edifice in the ancient English style, with an octagonal spire of freestone: it was built in 1832, on the site of a church erected in 1709, and cost £1800, of which, Earl O'Neill subscribed £300, besides giving a fine-toned organ; his lordship has also built a beautiful mausoleum for his family close to the church, the family burial-place having been at Edendulf-Carrick since 1722. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Drummaul or Randalstown, comprising the parishes of Drummaul and Antrim, and parts of Connor, Templepatrick, Donegore, and Kilbride; there are three chapels, of which that of Drummaul is a large handsome building near Randalstown. In that town there is a Presbyterian meeting-house in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and one connected with the Seceding Synod, both of the first class; and the Covenanters have a meeting-house at Craigmore. There is a parochial school at Randalstown for children of both sexes, aided by a grant from Earl O'Neill, and six other schools in the parish; also another school at Randalstown. In these schools about 330 children are educated, besides which about 440 are taught in seven private schools, and there are also eight Sunday schools. There are some remains of the ancient church at Drummaul, and the site of an old church at Edendulf-Carrick, or Shane's-Castle. Adjoining the gardens of Shane's-Castle are some very fine columnar masses of basalt, similar to those of the Giant's Causeway, but less perfect in their form and less regular in their divisions; they descend into Lough Neagh, and disappear under the water. There are chalybeate springs in various parts of the parish.