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Lurgan, Armagh

Historical Description

LURGAN, a market and post-town, in the parish of SHANKILL, barony of O'NEILLAND EAST, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 13½ miles (N. E.) from Armagh, on the road to Belfast, and 67½ (N.) from Dublin; containing, in 1831, 2842 inhabitants, since which period the population has very much increased. This place formed part of the territory of the O'Nials, and on the settlement of Ulster was, with the lands of Dowcorran and Ballenemony, together comprising 2500 acres, granted by Jas. I. to "William Brownlow, Esq., who erected a handsome house at Dowcorran, and shortly after built the town of Lurgan, in which, in 1619, were 42 houses, all occupied by English families. On the other parts of the estate were 45 families, and the colony continued to flourish till the war in 1641, when the town was burned by the insurgents, who converted the church into a garrison, and afterwards demolished it; they also destroyed the mansions of Dowcorran and Ballenemony. After the restoration the town was rebuilt, but was again destroyed by the army of Jas. II., and its proprietor declared an outlaw. It was, however, restored in 1690, when a patent for a market and fairs was obtained, and soon afterwards an important branch of the linen manufacture was established here, which has continued to flourish till the present time. The town is situated in the midst of a fertile and well-cultivated district, and consists of one spacious street, containing 482 houses, substantially built of stone and roofed with slate, many of which are large and handsome. The manufacture of diapers was introduced here by William Waring, Esq., M.P. for Hillsborough, during the whole of the reign of Anne; and the Lurgan and Waringstown manufacturers have always been eminent in this branch of the trade. Damasks of superior quality, and cambrics, are made here in large quantities, and sold in the market weekly, to the amount of from £2500 to £3000; and there is scarcely a family in the district that is not more or less connected with the linen trade. There are two large tobacco-manufactories, two ale-breweries, and an extensive distillery, in which 15,000 tons of grain are annually consumed. A facility of intercourse with Belfast is afforded by Lough Neagh and the Lagan navigation, and the trade of the town is progressively increasing. The market is on Friday, and is abundantly supplied with provisions; and great quantities of linens are sold on the market days in the brown linen-hall, a spacious building, erected by subscription in 1825. Fairs are held on Aug. 5th and 6th, and Nov. 22nd and 23rd. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town; a manorial court is held every three weeks, and petty sessions every Friday; the quarter sessions for the county are also held here. The court-house is a large, handsome, and well-arranged building; and there is a district bridewell, containing 7 cells, with dayrooms and airing-yards, and well adapted for classification. The parish church, a handsome edifice with a tower surmounted by an octagonal spire; the R. C. parochial chapel, a neat Gothic building; and meetinghouses for Presbyterians and the Society of Friends, are in the town. A mendicity society and a voluntary poor fund have been established, to which Mr. Brownlow contributes £100 per annum. Near the town is Lurgan House, the residence of the Rt. Hon. Charles Brownlow, now being rebuilt on an extensive scale and in the Elizabethan style, with freestone brought from Scotland; the approach is by a handsome lodge and gateway of the same character, and the demesne, which is very extensive, is embellished with a profusion of stately timber, and with an artificial lake of 100 acres; there are various other seats in the vicinity, which, with the schools and other institutions, are noticed under the head of SHANKILL.

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Lurgan from the following:

Land and Property

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