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Magheramesk, Antrim

Historical Description

MAGHERAMESK, a parish, in the barony of UPPER MASSEREENE, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 1 mile (N. N. E.) from Moira, on the road to Belfast; containing 1700 inhabitants. In this parish was the fortress of Innisloghlin the strong hold of the O'Nials, supposed to have been built to defend the frequently contested pass of Kilwarlin, over which Spencer's bridge, now connecting the counties of Down and Antrim, has been erected. It was the last refuge of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, and was besieged in 1602 by Sir Arthur Chichester and Sir H. Danvers, to whom it was surrendered on the 10th of Aug.; upon this occasion, great quantities of plate and valuable property fell into the hands of the victors. The parish, which is bounded on the west by Lough Neagh, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 3149½ statute acres of good arable land in an excellent state of cultivation; the system of agriculture is highly improved, and there is neither waste land nor bog. Trummery House, for many years the residence of the Spencer family, is now only a farm-house. The weaving of linen and cotton is carried on here for the manufacturers of Belfast, and many persons are employed in the extensive limestone quarries; at Megabuy hill has been found a gypsum of superior purity, resembling talc. The summit level of the Lagan canal from Lough Neagh to Belfast is in the parish.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, united from time immemorial with the vicarages of Aghagallen and Aghalee, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Hertford, in whom the rectory is impropriate. The tithes amount to £128. 4., of which £29. 4. is payable to the impropriator and the remainder to the vicar; the glebe-house and the glebe, which comprises 13 statute acres, valued at £16. 5. per ann., are in the parish of Aghalee; the gross value of the benefice, tithes and glebe inclusive, is £334. 5. The church of the union is at Aghalee. There is a place of worship for the Society of Friends, a national school in which are about 60 children, and a private school in which are about 30. Of the ancient fortress of Innisloghlin there is scarcely a vestige: the ground was occupied by a farmer, who, in 1803, levelled the bulwarks, filled up the intrenchments, and left only a small fragment of the castle standing; in levelling the ground were found many cannon balls, several antique rings of gold, and various other valuable articles. In the townland of Trummery, between Lisburn and Moira, are the extensive ruins of the ancient parish church; close to the western gable of which were the remains of one of the ancient round towers, about 60 feet high and of the same diameter throughout, with a conical roof of stone; it was levelled with the ground in 1828, and nothing but the scattered fragments remain. Adjoining these ruins is a doon or rath nearly perfect.

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 Antrim is available to browse.