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Tullylish, Down

Historical Description

TULLYLISH, a parish, in the barony of LOWER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Gilford (which is separately described,) 10,501 inhabitants. The parish formerly was part of the property of the powerful family of Maginnis, Lords of Iveagh; it was forfeited in consequence of the part taken by the head of the family in 1641. At the commencement of the war which broke out in that year, a body of Protestant women who were sent by Sir Phelim O'Nial from Armagh to Claneboy, were forced to cross Lough Kernan, in this parish, during a severe frost, when the ice having given way when they were in the middle of it, the whole party perished. In 1685 the townland of Moyallen was granted to a colony of the Society of Friends in England, whose descendants still maintain the settlement and have contributed greatly to the prosperity of the surrounding district. In 1772, a band of the insurgent peasantry, who styled themselves "Hearts of Oak," attacked Gilford castle, the seat of Sir R. Johnstone, Bart., who with his family and friends defended the place so gallantly as to repulse the assailants; but the Rev. S. Morell, Presbyterian minister of the parish, who had joined in the defence, was killed during the engagement. The parish, which comprises 11,707 statute acres, according to the Ordnance survey, of which 6920 are applotted under the tithe act, is situated in the west of the county, on the border of Armagh, from which county it is separated by the Newry canal; it is intersected by the roads from Loughbrickland to Lurgan, from Banbridge to Portadown, and from Gilford to Dromore. The river Bann passes through it in a winding course of five miles from east to west, passing by the town of Gilford, which is nearly in the centre of the parish: the only sheet of standing water is Lough Kernan, near Banford, which covers about 43¼ acres. The soil is fertile, in a highly improved state, and cultivated according to the best systems; there is no waste land and the bogs have been mostly reclaimed. There are some good quarries of building stone: numerous indications of coal have led to several unsuccessful attempts to discover a productive vein: ironstone is found in quantities near Gilford: the scenery is highly picturesque, the whole of the surface being studded with numerous and well-planted seats and with many bleachgreens. The district of Moyallen is one of the richest and most beautiful in the county; its numerous elegant houses, lawns, plantations and greens, with the fine river Bann winding tranquilly among them, indicate a high degree of comfort and prosperity, owing chiefly to the linen manufacture, which was introduced into the parish in 1725, and has since continued to be the main source of its wealth. The bleaching of the cloth is the process peculiarly attended to: in the numerous bleach-greens which border the Bann in its progress through the parish upwards of 138,000 pieces of linen were finished for the market in 1834. A thread-manufactory, carried on at Miltown on an extensive scale, gives employment to 170 persons, a mill at Coose for spinning fine linen yarn employs 200: each is worked by a combination of steam and water power: another for linen yarn is now being erected at Gilford on an extensive scale. Large works for manufacturing the chymical ingredients required in the various processes of the fabrication of linen-cloth have been established at Moyallen and at Coose. At Banford there is a very large flour-mill. The vicinity of the canal, which skirts the parish on the west, and on which there is a wharf and stores about a mile from Gilford, contributes to the increase of this prosperity, by affording a vent for the manufactured articles throughout a large extent of inland country both to the north and south, and to the two great shipping ports of Belfast and Newry. The parish is in the manor of Gilford and was subject to the jurisdiction of the court held there with the exception of two townlands which belong to the Bishop of Dromore's manor of Bailonagalga; but it is now united to that of Rathfriland, and is within the jurisdiction of the court there. Petty sessions are held in Gilford and two fairs annually. The seats are very numerous; among them are Gilford castle, the residence of Sir W. Johnstone, Bart.; Tullylish-House, of H. Hamilton, Esq.; Milltown, of John Smyth, Esq.; Banville, of Jas. Foote, Esq.; Hazelbank, of S. Law, Esq.; Sprigvale, of Thomas Upritehard, Esq.; Lawrencetown, of - Bowen, Esq.; Banford, of B. Haughton, Esq.; Mount Pleasant, of I. Stoney, Esq.; Tullylish House, of Mrs. Hamilton; the glebe, of the Rev. W. H. Wynne; Fannymount, of the Rev. John Johnstone; Stramore House, of R. J. Nicholson, Esq.; Stramore, of J. Christy, Esq.; Moyallon, of T. C. Wakefield, Esq.; Gilford Villa, of W. McCreight, Esq.; Mill Park, now unoccupied; Banvale, of J. Upritchard, Esq.; and Lennaderg, of the Rev. H. H. Madden, where also is a house built in 1645 for the accommodation of the officers of the royal army, who were stationed on the Bann water during the war of 1641; it is still a handsome cottage and the residence of Thos. Weir, Esq., by whose ancestor it was erected.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in. The diocese of Dromore; the rectory partly forms a portion of the union of Aghaderg and the corps of the deanery of Dromore, the rectorial tithes of 15 townlands being payable to the dean; and is partly united with the vicarage, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the incumbent receiving the rectorial tithes of the four remaining townlands. The tithes amount to £496. 2. 10., of which £269. 11. 8. is payable to the dean and the remainder to the vicar. The glebe-house is situated about a mile from the churchy on a glebe of 40 acres, valued at £60 per ann.: it was erected in 1789 by aid of a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits; offices were added in 1803, at an expense of £120 British, and in 1808 £424 was further expended in additions. The church, which is situated at Banford, on the southern bank of the river, over which is an excellent stone bridge, was built in 1698, upon one of the outer defences of an ancient fort or field-work, raised to defend the pass of the river, on the site of the former edifice, which had been destroyed in 1641: a large circular aisle was added to it on the north side, in 1827, by aid of a loan of £800 from the late Board of First Fruits, and at the same time a square pinnacled tower: the church is now about to be again enlarged, to enable it to afford sufficient accommodations for the still increasing numbers of the congregation. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising this parish and those of Seapatrick (which includes the town of Banbridge), Magherally, and Donaghcloney, in which are two chapels, both of large dimensions; one near the bridge at Coose was greatly enlarged and improved in 1834; the other is on the townland of Clare. Near the villlage of Hall's Mills is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class: in it is a handsome monument to the memory of the Rev. Samuel Morell, who was buried here. At Moyallen is a meeting-house of the Society of Friends: there are also places of worship for Seceders and Methodists. A male and female parochial school at Knocknagan is supported by subscriptions; there are also male and female schools at Clare and at Park, a female school at Gilford, and schools at Bleary, Mullabrack, Moyallen, Coose, and Gilford, all in connection with different societies and the last three with the National Board of Education: in all these there are about 260 boys and 130 girls. There are also 12 private schools, in which are about 270 boys and 330 girls. The remains of several ancient forts are still to be traced: the largest is that at Banford, on which the church is built, of which, though a road now passes through it, and the ramparts are nearly levelled, the general outline can still be distinctly traced. At Tullyhoa are extensive ruins, supposed by some to be those of an abbey.

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

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Land and Property

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