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Killevey or Kilsleve, Armagh

Historical Description

KILLEVEY, or KILSLEVE, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER ORIOR, but chiefly in that of UPPER ORIOR, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 4 miles (W.) from Newry; containing, exclusively of Camlough and Meigh, 4259 inhabitants. Including the parishes of Camlough and Meigh (which are described under their own heads) it comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 28,174 statute acres, of which 4191 are in Lower, and the remainder in Upper Orior. Of these, about 21,440 are arable and pasture, 190 water, and 6300 mountain and bog. The mountain called Slieve Gullion separates this parish from Forkhill, and rises to the height of 1893 feet above the level of the sea. The system of agriculture has been much improved recently. Whinstone and grey granite are extensively worked for building, and porphyry is also found. There is a communication with Lough Neagh by the Newry canal, and the river Bann. The principal seats are Drumbanagher Castle, that of Lieut.-Col. Maxwell Close, a handsome residence recently erected in the Italian style, from a design by W. H. Playfair, Esq., of Scotch freestone, and situated in an extensive and richly planted demesne; Killevey Castle, built in the Gothic style, the seat of Powell Foxall, Esq.; and Ballintemple glebe, of the Rev. A. Cleland. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, constituting the corps of the precentorship of Armagh cathedral, and is in the patronage of the Lord-Primate; the tithes, including those of the perpetual curacies of Camlough and Meigh, amount to £1417. 12. 10. This parish, prior to 1773, included the district which has since been formed into the parishes of Camlough and Meigh, and had four churches, situated at Cloughinny, Camlough, Meigh, and Drumbanagher. The church at Drumbanagher was used as the parochial church till 1832, when one was built at Cloughinny, by a grant of £2000 from the late Board of First Fruits: it is a spacious cruciform structure, in the later English style. The glebe comprises 1150 statute acres, which is mostly unimprovable mountain land. In the R. C. divisions it is partly in the union or district of Forkhill, but chiefly in that of Camlough, and has a chapel at Lispomanon. There are five public schools, in which about 340 children are educated, two of which are principally supported by Col. and Mrs. Close, and two by Mr. and Mrs. Hall; and one private school, in which about 120 children are educated. Near Drumbanagher Castle are the remains of a very extensive camp, which was the principal rendezvous of the Earl of Tyrone's army in the reign of Elizabeth; and near it is Tuscan's Pass, a most important station in early times, connecting the country of the O'Hanlons with that of the Maginnises. On the summit of Slieve Gullion is a very large cairn, which on recent examination was found to be one of the sepulchral monuments of the ancient Irish, and is supposed to have contained the remains of Cualgne, son of Breogan, a Milesian chieftain, who fell in battle on the plain beneath, and from whom the mountain and the surrounding district most probably derived their name. Near the cairn, and also on the summit of Slieve Gullion, is a pool called the Loch, about 60 yards in diameter, which, together with the cairn, forms the subject of a poem ascribed to Ossian, in which "Fionn-Mac-Cumhall," or Fingal, and his heroes make a conspicuous figure; it is called Laoi-na- Sealga, or "the Chace," and is among the translations of Irish poems by Miss Brooke.

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

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the National Library of Ireland, have the following Catholic parish records online for Killeavy Lower:

1835-1881 1835-19341858-1863

Findmypast, in association with the National Library of Ireland, have the following Catholic parish records online for Killeavy Upper:

1832-1880 1832-19411944-1949

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 Killevey or Kilsleve from the following:

Land and Property

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