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Loughin-Island, Down

Historical Description

LOUGHIN-ISLAND, a parish, in the barony of KINELEARTY, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Newry to Downpatrick; containing, with the post-town of Clough and the villages of Seaford and Anadorn (which see), 6574 inhabitants. The parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 12,485¾ statute acres, of which 124¾ are water, and 9767 are applotted under the tithe act; about one-half of the land is of the richest quality, and of the remainder, with the exception of a small proportion of waste and bog, the greater part is tolerably fertile. There are some quarries of stone, which is used for building and mending the roads; and near the mountains some very good slate for roofing is obtained. The principal seats are Seaforde House, the splendid mansion and demesne of Col. M. Forde, noticed in the article on Seaforde; Ardilea, of the Rev. W. Annesley, a handsome residence near Clough; and Draper Hill, of J. Cromie, Esq., about halfway between Ballynahinch and Castlewilliam. The linen manufacture was established here in 1815 by Mr. Cromie, and not less than 42,000 webs are annually made from English mill-spun yarn, affording employment to more than 3000 persons. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, constituting the corps of the precentorship of the cathedral, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £550. The. church, situated at Seaforde, is a handsome edifice in the Grecian style, with an octagonal spire of wood covered with copper; it was built in 1720, and has been recently repaired by a grant of £362 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; the approach to it is through a fine avenue of trees. In the R. C. divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Ballykindlar, and the remainder forms the head of the district of Loughin-Island; the chapel is a plain building, and there is also a chapel at Drumaroad for the union of Ballykindlar. There is a place of worship at Clough for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, and at Seaforde for Presbyterians in connection with the Seceding Synod, of the second class. About 570 children are taught in seven public schools, of which one, for which a house was built by the governors and Col. Forde, at an expense of £600, is supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's fund, who pay £30 per ann. to the master, who has also an annual donation from the rector, and a house and garden with two acres of land; and a female school was built in 1816, and is endowed with £14 per ann. by Col. Forde: in these two schools 95 children are annually clothed by Col. and Lady Harriet Forde, by whom two other schools are also endowed with £8 per ann.; and there are two national and three Sunday schools. Mrs. McKenny, in 1832, gave £50 to the poor of Clough, the interest of which is annually divided among them; and there is an annual fund of £24 for the purchase of blankets to be distributed among the poor in the winter. Near Seaforde are the ruins of Drumcaw church, formerly a separate parish: near it is a perfect circular fort, and at the termination of the townland is a very ancient bridge of one lofty arch over the Moneycarry river. At Clough are the ruins of an old castle within an ancient fort on the summit of a hill commanding a full view of two separate lines of forts, and the whole of Dundrum bay and castle. At Anadorn is a mound, called Castle Hill, on which was the castle of the McCartans, ancient proprietors of the country; near it is a cairn, 60 yards in circuit, having in it a kistvaen, in which were found calcined bones and ashes. There are some remains of the ancient church with its cemetery, of the old church built in 1547, and of the cell of St. Fynian, afterwards a private chapel and the burial-place of the ancient family of the McCartans.

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

Civil Registration

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Directories & Gazetteers

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Land and Property

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