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Innismacsaint or Churchhill, Fermanagh

Historical Description

INNISMACSAINT, or CHURCHHILL, a parish, partly in the barony of TYRHUGH, county of DONEGAL, but chiefly in that of MAGHERABOY, county of FERMANAGH, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Churchhill, the market-town of Derrygonnelly, and part of the post-town of Ballyshannon, (each of which is separately described), 14,801 inhabitants. The name Innismacsaint is derived from an island in Lough Erne, about half a mile from the shore, where a celebrated abbey was founded by St. Nenn, or Nennid, early in the sixth century. This afterwards became the parish church until, in the reign of Queen Anne, one was built at Drumenagh; part of the ancient building still exists. According to the Ordnance survey the parish comprises 52,994¼ statute acres, of which 9505 are water, including a considerable portion of Lough Erne and part of Lough Melvin: of these, 45,867¼, including several small islands, are in the county of Fermanagh, and 7127 in Donegal. About two thirds of it are arable and pasture, and the remainder waste and bog: 23,616 acres are applotted under the tithe act. Agriculture is in a backward state, especially in the Fermanagh part of the parish. There is a great quantity of bog, particularly on the Wyault mountains, where there is a basaltic dyke. Coal appears in several places in thin layers, and there are quarries of good sandstone used for building. The mountain of Glennalong rises 793, and Shean North 1133, feet above the level of the sea. Lough Erne affords a navigable communication with Enniskillen, Belturbet, and Ballyshannon. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Clogher, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Ely: the tithes amount to £500. The glebe-house at Benmore, the residence of the Rev. H. Hamilton, was built by a loan of £1000 and a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1829; it is situated on a glebe of 540 acres. The church is a handsome building with a tower, erected in 1831 by a loan of £1385 from the same Board, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £101 for its repair. There are also chapels of ease or district churches at Slavin and Finner. In the R. C. divisions parts of this parish are united to Bohoe and Devenish, and the remainder forms the union or district of Bundoran. There are plain chapels at Roscor, Knockaraven, Bundoran, and Carrickbeg. At Churchhill is a meeting-house for Wesleyan Methodists, and at Cosbystown one for Primitive Methodists. The parochial school was built by a bequest of £200 from the late Rev. J. Nixon, and is aided by an annual subscription of £5 from the rector; there is a school at the rector's gate-house, where girls are taught needlework by his family; a girls' school is supported by the Marchioness of Ely; and a school has been recently erected at Fasso, by the Marquess of Ely, who is proprietor of the parish. In these and another public school about 330 children are educated, and about 900 are taught in 19 private schools; there are also four Sunday schools. In the vicinity of Carricklake are the ruins of a church; and near Churchhill are the remains of Castle Tully, the inhabitants of which were slaughtered in the war of 1641. Several Danish raths or forts exist here, some of which are very perfect. There is a sulphureous spring at Braad, and a chalybeate spring at Rosslemonough.

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

Civil Registration

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Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Innismacsaint or Churchhill from the following:

Land and Property

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