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Dundonald, Down

Historical Description

DUNDONALD, a parish, in the barony of LOWER CASTLEREAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 4 miles (E.) from Belfast, on the mail coach road to Newtown-Ardes; containing 1669 inhabitants. This parish, which is called also Kirkdonald, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 4685 statute acres of fertile land, principally under tillage and in a high state of cultivation. Every improvement in the mode of tillage and the construction of farming implements has been eagerly adopted; there is neither bog nor waste land in the parish. The principal seats are Storemont, that of S. Cleveland, Esq.; Summerfield, of R. Gordon, Esq.; Rose Park, of Major Digby; Bessmount, of T. S. Corry, Esq.; and Donleady, of A. McDonnel, Esq. Near the village is an extensive bleach-green, where 5000 pieces of linen are annually finished. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, and in the patronage of S. Cleveland, Esq.; the tithes amount to £205. The glebe-house, a handsome residence, was built in 1820 by a gift of £300 and a loan of £500 from the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe comprises 15½ acres. The church, a small edifice, was rebuilt on the site of a former church in 1771, and a tower was added to it in 1774. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Newtown-Ardes. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the second class, to the poor of which congregation Mr. John Crane, of London, bequeathed the interest of a sum of money. About 50 children are taught in the parochial school, which is aided by the rector; and there is a private school, in which are about 45 children. A large and handsome school-house has been built and endowed at Church Quarter, by David Gordon, Esq., the principal proprietor of the parish. In the demesne of Summerfield is a chalybeate spring; and close to the church is a large circular fort surrounded by a moat, from which the parish is supposed to derive its name. A little below, in the same ground, is a cave continued to the fort and passing under its base. Near the bleachgreen is a conical hill, or rath, contiguous to which, at the mouth of a small rivulet, is a stone pillar 10 feet high. Gilbert Kennedy, a distinguished Presbyterian divine, was interred in the church in 1687.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Dundonald from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Down is available to browse.