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Dunmurry, Antrim

Historical Description

DUNMURRY, a village, in that part of the parish of DRUMBEG which is in the barony of UPPER BELFAST, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 3½ miles (N. E.) from Lisburn, on the river Glenwater and the road from Belfast to Lisburn; containing 479 inhabitants. This place, which takes its name from two Danish forts, or raths, in its immediate vicinity, was formerly the parish of Ballygosh, which soon after the Reformation was annexed to that of Drumbeg. Its ancient name has been superseded by that of the village which has been recently erected, and which is beautifully situated in a sequestered and fertile vale, and remarkably neat. Over the Glenwater are two bridges, one at the village, an ancient structure, and the other, over which the Dublin road passes, a noble pile of two arches of freestone, quarried on the spot. The surrounding hills being richly planted add greatly to the beauty of the scenery, which is also embellished with several handsome seats, of which the principal are Seymour Hill, that of W. Charley, Esq.; Woodbourne, of M. Charley, Esq.; Dunmurry House, of W. Hunter, Esq.; Suffolk, of J. McCance, Esq.; Glenville, of W, McCance, Esq.; and Collin House, of W. Roberts, Esq.; besides others which are noticed in the account of the parish of Drumbeg, which see. In the village are some extensive flour-mills, worked partly by water and partly by steam, and attached to them are large stores for grain and malt-kilns. Near these is a large bleach-green, in which 14,000 pieces of fine linen are annually bleached; and at Glenburn, a little lower down upon the same stream, is another, in which 12,000 are annually finished. Quarries of freestone for building are wrought here; there are also quarries of basalt, which in the grounds of Glenburn consists of rude columnar masses with concave and convex joints, similar to those of the Giants' Causeway. Beneath the freestone are some thin strata of coal, which have never been worked. The church of Ballygosh has long since disappeared, and the rectorial tithes of the two townlands which constituted the parish were granted by Jas. I. to Sir Arthur Chichester, and the vicarial tithes to the incumbent of Drumbeg, in the proportions of two-thirds and one-third respectively. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians, formerly in connection with the General, but now with the Remonstrant, Synod of Ulster. Closely adjoining the bridge was discovered, while quarrying the stone for its erection, a natural basaltic wall in a direction from north to south, composed of stones of difrerent sizes and forms, and having in a striking degree the appearance of art. On Collin mountain, to the north-west of the village, is a very conspicuous cairn of considerable extent; it consists of small stones piled together in a conical form, and is now almost covered with green sward.

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Dunmurry from the following:


Land and Property

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