Lecale Historical Society

Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - Co. Down


AGHADERG, or AGHADERRICK, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER but chiefly in that of UPPER IVEAGH, county of Down, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Newry to Belfast; containing, with the towns of Loughbrickland and Scarvagh, 8981 inhabitants. This place formed part of the grant made by Queen Elizabeth, in 1585, to Sir Marmaduke Whitchurch, who built a castle on the shore of Loughbrickland, which was dismantled by Cromwell's army, and remained in ruins till 1812, when it was taken downland a dwelling-house erected on its site. In 1690 William III encamped here with his army from the 14th to the 25th of June, on his march to the Boyne : vestiges of the camp may still be traced, and Dutch coins are frequently found in the neighbourhood. The parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 13,919 statute acres, of which 119 are covered with water, and 11,772 are applotted under the tithe act; of waste and bog there is one acre to every twenty of arable land, and the pasture land is in the proportion of one to every five acres in tillage. The land is extremely fertile, arid under a highly improved system of tillage : the bog is very valuable, being estimated at, 32 guineas per acre. Great quantities of clay-slate are raised here for mending the roads and for building purposes , and slate quarries have been formerly worked, but are now discontinued. The Newry Canal, in its progress to Lough Neagh, forms the western boundary of the parish and the county. There are two lakes, Loughbrickland, which feeds the summit level of the canal, is skirted on its western shore by the road from Dublin to Belfast : Loughshark, near the western boundary of the parish, is rendered highly picturesque by the beautiful grounds and rich plantations of Union Lodge, the seat of W.Fivey, Esq. Among the other gentlemen's seats are Scarvagh House, the handsome residence of J. Lushington Reilly, Esq.; Loughbrickland-House, of N. C. Whyte, Esq., Lisnagrade, of E.H. Trevor, Esq.; and Woodville House, of R. Boardman, Esq. The manufacture of linen is carried on to a considerable extent, many persons being employed at their own houses in weaving damask, diapers, drills, shirtings, and sheetings, for the Banbridge manufacturers. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the bishop, the rectory is united, by charter of the 7th of Jas. 1., to the rectories of Seapatrick, Drumballyroney, and Tullylish, and part of those of Drumgooland and Magherally, together constituting the corps of the deanery of Dromore, in the patronage of the Crown. The tithes amount to 746.14.3., of which 497.16.2 is payable to the dean, and 248. 18. 1. to the vicar. The gross annual value of the deanery, as returned by the Commissioners on Ecclesiastical Revenues, is 1483. 19. The church is a large handsome edifice, in the early English style, erected in 1688, and a lofty square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire of hewn stone was added to it for which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1821, granted a loan of 500. The glebe-house is a handsome residence ; the Board, in 1801, gave 100 towards its erection, and also purchased a glebe of 24 acres for the vicar. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and is the benefice of the Vicar-general, there are two chapels, one in Loughbrickland, a large and handsome edifice, and a smaller at Lisnagead. There are three places of worship for Presbyterians, one near the lake in connection with the Synod of Ulster, another at Glascar with the Seceding Synod, and a third at Scarvagh, all of the first class; one for Covenanters near Scarvagh, and one for Primitive Methodists at Loughbrickland. There are two public schools, in which are about 100 boys and 70 girls; and eleven private pay schools in which are about 400 boys and 200 girls. Some remains of an ancient church exist in the townland of Drumsallagh; and.about half a mile to the south-west of Longhbrickland are three upright stones, called the three sisters of Greenan, apparently the remains of an ancient cromlech : they are situated on a gentle eminence, and near them is a fourth lying in a ditch. In1826, a canoe formed out of a solid piece of oak was found in Meenan bog; and in a small earth-work near it were found several gold ornaments, earthen pots, and other relics of antiquity. At Drummillar is a vast cairn of loose stones, 60 feet high and. 226 feet in circumference.-See LOUGHBRICKLAND and SCARVAGH.


ANAHILT a parish, partly in the barony of KINELEARTY, but chiefly in that of LOWER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Hillsborough ;containing 3755 inhabitants. This parish is intersected by numerous roads, of which the principal are those leading respectively from Hillsborough and Dromore, and from Lisburn to Downpatrick, and from Belfast and Lisburn to Rathfriland. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 6777 statute acres, of which 6069 are in Lower lveagh, and 708 and a half in Kinelearty, and is principally arable and pasture land, but mostly under tillage : 6202 acres are applotted under the tithe act. The lands are in a state of excel lent cultivation : under-draining is well understood and extensively practised. In the townland of Cluntogh there is a fine slate quarry. The inhabitants combine with agricultural pursuits the weaving of linen and cotton for the manufacturers of the neighbouring towns, and the women and girls are employed in spinning. A penny post has been lately established from Hillsborough. The principal seats are Larchfield, the handsome mansion and extensive demesne of W. Mussenden, Esq., and Lough Aghery, the residence of James Magill, Esq. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to 367- 5. 4. The church was built in 1741, at the sole expense of the Rev. T. Smith, then rector of the parish, and the tower was added to it by the Marquess of Downshire, in 1768. The glebe-house was built, in 1793, by the Rev. J. Doubourdieu, then rector, at an expense of 845. 16. 2. : the glebe comprises 60 acres, contiguous to the church. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Magheradroll, also called Dunmore. There is a place of worship near Hillsborough for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, also one for those in con nection with the Seceding Synod, at Lough Aghery, both of the first class. A free school of about 150 boys and 100 girls was founded in 1796, by Thos. Jamieson, Esq., who bequeathed 1000 for its support;it is further endowed with four acres of land given by the Marquess of Downshire, who also contributed towards defraying the expense of building the school-houses. Near Larch field are two schools, supported by W. Mussenden, Esq., and Mrs. Forde, in which about 80 boys and 70 girls are educated and partly clothed, and there are also three private schools, in which are about 120 boys and 70 girls. Robert Sharland, Esq., a native of Barnstaple, Devon, who died on the 6th of May, 1833, bequeathed from 2000 to 3000 in trust to the clergy of the parish and the proprietor of one or two townlands, for the erection of ten almshouses for ten aged men and ten aged women, and a house for the housekeeper, to each of whom he assigned 5 per ann. : the buildings were about to be commenced in the spring of 1835. The burial-ground about the church occupies the site of an ancient fort, which is the innermost of four enclosures, the whole occupying about 9 acres, and sloping to the east in a regular glacis. There are also numerous forts on the hill, all within view of each other, and several relics of antiquity have been discovered here.


ANDREW'S (ST.), a parish, in the barony of ARDES, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER,comprising the post-town of Kirkcubbin, and containing, with the parishes of Ballywalter or Whitechurch, Ballyhalbert, and Innishargy, 7618 inhabitants. This parish, together with those which are now united with it, formed part of the possessions of a Benedictine monastery founded as a cell to the abbey of St. Mary, at Lonley, in Normandy, by John de Courcey, who died in 1210, and. though designated, in the charter of foundation, the abbey of St.Andrew de Stokes, is more generally known by the appellation of the Black Abbey. It was seized into the king's hands as an alien priory in 1395, and was granted to the Archbishop of Armagh, who annexed it to his see ; and after the dissolution it fell into the hands of the O'Neils. On the rebellion of O'Neil it escheated to the crown, and was granted to Sir James Hamilton, who assigned it to Sir Hugh Montgomery, Lord of the Ardes ; but in 1639 it was finally awarded to the Archbishop of Armagh. The parishes of Ballywalter or Whitechurch, Ballyhalbert, and Innishargy are all included under the general name of St. Andrew's, and comprise, according to the Ordnance survey, 12,907 statute acres, of which 4012 are in St. Andrew's (including Ballyhalbert) and its islands. The land is fertile and in a high state of cultivation, but the fences are in bad condition, and in many places the system of draining is very inefficient. A large quantity of bog has been lately reclaimed by the Rev. Hugh Montgomery, which is now under cultivation and produces good crops.There are several gentlemen's seats, of which the principal are SpringVale, the residcnce of G. Matthews , Esq. ; Echlinville, of J. Echlin, Esq. ; Glastry, of F. Savage, Esq.;and the Roddens, of J. Blackiston, Esq., all handsome and spacious mansions ornamented with thriving plantations. The post-town of Kirkcubbin is situated on the shore of Strangford Lough, on the west, and is separately described ; and off the coast, on the east, are two islets, called respectively Green Island and Bur or Burrial, the former connected with the shore by a strand which is dry at low water; and the latter is remarkable as being the most. eastern point of land in Ireland.There are some yawls and fishing smacks belonging to these islands ; and about a mile to the north of Green Island is John's port, a small harbour for fishing boats, sheltered by a rock, called the Plough. On this coast is also a creek called. Cloughy bay, having a bottom of clean sand ; it has several fishing boats and wherries, and a coast-guard station has been established there which is one of the twelve forming the district of Donaghadee.At the commencement of the last century, the churches of these parishes were in ruins; and, in the 2nd of Anne, an act was obtained for uniting the parishes and erecting a church in the centre of the union. The living is denominated the vicarage of St. Andrew's, or the union of Ballywalter, in the diocese of Down, and in the patronage of the Lord-Primate: the tithes amount to 1200, of which, 800 is payable to the Primate, as rector, and 400 to the vicar. The church, a spacious structure, was erected in the year 1704. The glebe-house, a handsome residence close to the town of Kirkcubbin, and about s: miles from the church, was built about 50 years since, and has been greatly improved by the Rev. F. Lascelles, the present incumbent, at an expense of nearly 400 : the glebe comprises about 30 acres, valued at 77. 18. per annum. In the R. C. divisions this union forms part of the district of Upper Ardes, also called Portaferry. There arc three places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, situated respectively at Ballywalter, Kirkcubbin, and Glastry, all of the second class ; one at Ballyhamlin in connection with the Remonstrant Synod, and one for the Independents.There are six schools, two of which are supported by Lord. Dufferin. and J. Echlin, Esq., respectively, and two are infants' schools, supported by Miss Keown. In these schools are about 550 children of both sexes ; and there arc also four private schools, in which are about 100 boys and 80 girls. The sum of 50 per ann., payable out of the estate of Ballyatwood, was bequeathed by the Countess of Clanbrassil for clothing the poor on that estate. At Cloughy are the extensive ruins of a comniandery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, founded in 1189, by Hugh de Lacie,and called Castlebuoy; not far from which are the ruins of Slane church. Kirkstown castle, a heavy pile of building, erected in the reign of Jas. 1., is in tolerable repair, and the tower in excellent preservation.-See KIRKUBBIN.


ANACLOAN, or ANNAGHLONE, a parish, in the barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Banbridge, on the river Bann, and on the road from Banbridge to Castlewellan, containing 3426 inhabitants. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 6544 statute acres : the lands are fertile and in a high state of cultivation , there is no waste land, and only about 200 acres of bog, which is daily becoming more scarce and valuable. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to 188. 3. 8. The church is a neat small edifice in good repair. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of 200 and a loan of 600 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1818: the glebe comprises 204 acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also that of Drumballyroney, and containing a chapel in each parish. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster and the Seceding Synod, the former of the third, and the latter of the second class. There are three schools, affording instruction to about 190 boys and 100 girls' also four private schools, in which are about 90 boys and 60 girls. Near the church is Tanvally fort, one of the largest and most perfect in this part of the country, and within sight of it are many others of smaller dimensions.


ARDGLASS, a sea-port, post-town, and parish, in the barony of LOCALE, county of DOWN, and province of UI.STER, 5 (S. E. by E.) from Downpatrick, and 80 (N. N. E.) from Dublin; containing 2300 inhabitants, of which number, 1162 are in the town.This place derives its name, signifying in the Irish language "the High Green," from a lofty green hill of conical form, called the Ward, and situated to the west of the town : from the remains of several castles it appears to have been formerly a place of some importance. Jordan's Castle is memorable for the gallant and protracted defence that it made during the insurrection of the Earl of Tyrone, in the reign of Elizabeth, and derived its present name from its loyal and intrepid proprietor, Simon Jordan, who for three years sustained the continued assaults of the besiegers, till he was at length relieved by the Lord-Deputy Mountjoy, who sailed with a fleet from Dublin and landed here on the l7th of June, 1611; and after relieving the garrison, pursued the insurgents to Dunsford, where a battle took place,in which they were nearly annihilated; and Jordan was rewarded for his services by a concordatum from the Queen. The port of Ardglass appears to have been in a flourishing condition from a very early period; a trading company from London settled here in the reign of Hen. IV., and in the reign of Hen. VI. it had an extensive foreign trade and was superior to any other port in the province of Ulster. At that time the town had received a charter of incorporation, was governed by a mayor, and had a port-admiral and revenue officers. Hen. VII. granted the customs of the port, then worth 5000 per annum, to Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, in whose family they remained till 1637, when, with certain privileges enjoyed by the port of Carrickfergus, they were purchased by the crown, and the whole was transferred to Newry and Belfast, from which time the trade of Ardglass began to decline and the town ultimately became only a residence for fishermen. It was formerly the property of a branch of the Leinster family, of whom the last resident, Lord Lecale,sold the manor to W. Ogilvie, Esq. who had married the Dowager Duchess of Leinster, and under whose auspices the town recovered its former importance; at his decease it descended to his heir, Major Aubrey W. Beauclerc, its present proprietor. The town is pleasantly and advantageously situated on the eastern coast, and on the side of a hill overlooking the sea, and is well known to mariners by two conspicuous hills, one on the west, called the Ward of Ardglass, and the other on the east, called the Ward of Ardtole. Mr. Ogilvie, on its coming into his possession in the year 1812, built entire streets, a church and school-house, and an elegant hotel ; he also constructed hot, cold, and vapour baths ; built and furnished lodging-houses for the accommodation of visitors, and rendered it one of the most fashionable watering-places in the North of Ireland. The town in its present state, consists of one long street, nearly of semicircular form,from which several smaller streets branch off: infront of the inner bay is a range of excellent houses, called the Crescent; and there are many good houses in front of the harbour, adjoining which is a long range of building in. the castellated style, called the New Works, although they tire so old that nothing is known either of the time or the purpose of their erection. They form together a line of fortifications, 350 feet in length from east to west, and 34 feet in breadth, close to the shore; the walls are three feet in thickness and strengthened with three towers, one in the centre and one at each extremity. These buildings were originally divided into thirty-six apartments, eighteen on the ground floor and eighteen above, with a staircase in the centre; each of the lower apartments had a small arched door and a large square window, which renders it probable that they had been shops occupied by merchants at some very early period, possibly by the company of traders that settled here in the reign of Hen. IV. About the year 1789, Lord Chas. Fitzgerald, son of the Duke of Leinster, who was then proprietor, caused that portion of the building between the central and the western tower to be enlarged in the rear, and raised to the height of three stories in the castellated style ; and from that time it has been called Ardglass Castle, and has been the residence of the proprietor of the estate. It was formerly called Horn Castle, either from a great quantity of horns found on the spot, or from a high pillar which stood on its summit previously to its being roofed , and near it is another castle, called Cow'd Castle, signifying the want of horns, from a word in the Scottish dialect, of which many phrases are still in use in the province. In a direct line with Ardglass Castle, and due west of it, are Cow'd Castle above noticed, and Margaret's Castle, both square ancient structures having the lower stories arched with stone; and on the north-west side of the town, on a considerable elevation, are two other castles, about 20 feet distant from each other, the larger of which is called King's Castle and the smaller the Tower; they have been partly rebuilt and connected with a handsome pile of buiiding in the castellated style. Jordan's Castle, previously noticed, is an elegant building, 70 feet high, standing in the centre of the town, and having at the entrance a well of excellent water. The surrounding scenery is beautiful, and the air salubrious; the green banks of Ardtole and Ringfad, on the north and south sides of the bay, overhang the sea, where ships of the largest burden can approach within an oar's length of the bold and precipitous rocks that line the coast. From the Ward of Ardglass is a. delightful prospect extending from 30 to 40 miles over a fertile country : on the south-west, beyond Killough and the beautiful bay of Dundrum, are seen the lofty mountains of Mourne rising in sublime grandeur; on the east, the Isle of Man, and on the north-cast, the Ayrshire mountains of Scotland, in distant perspective, appearing to rise from the ocean, and embracing with their extended arch more than one half of the horizon. During the fishing season the view of the sea from this place is rendered peculiarly striking and animated by the daily arrival and departure of vessels, and the numerous shoals of mackerel, pollock, and other fish visible on the surface of the water for miles. There are no manufactures ; the labouring classes being wholly employed in the fisheries off the north-east coast, of which this place is the common centre. During the season there are frequently in the harbour, at one time, from 300 to 400 vessels from Donaghadee, Carlingford, Skerries, Dublin, Arklow, and the Isle of Man, but principally from Penzance, on the coast of Cornwall. The boats come regularly into the harbour to dispose of their fish, which is quickly purchased by carriers, who take it into the interior of the country, and by merchants who cure it, but chiefly by masters of sloops and small craft, who wait in the harbour for the arrival of the fishing boats, and proceed directly to Dublin or Liverpool to dispose of the herrings fresh. These sloops usually perform two trips in the week, and the masters frequently make from 620 to 50 by each cargo. The harbourm is admirably adapted for trade and steam navigation ,and, since the erection of the new pier, is sufficient to accommodate steamers of any tonnage, and there is sufficient depth of water for vessels of 500 tons burden, which can enter at any state of the tide. There is an inner harbour, where a quay and pier have been erected for the accommodation of the fishing vessels; it is called Kimmersport.and is capable of accommodating a great number of fishing-boats, exclusively of other vessels of 100 tons burden; but the sea recedes from it at low water. On the quay are capacious stores for corn, in which an extensive trade is carried on. Adjoining the outer harbour a pier was completed, in 1814, at an expense of 14,000. The new pier was constructed in 1954, at an expense of 25,000, by Mr. Ogilvie, under the superintendence of Sir John Rennie : it extends 300 feet from the extremity of the old pier into deep water, and is 20 feet broad; it is built of large blocks of stone from the Isle of Man, hewn and dressed, forming a breakwater, and affording a beautiful promenade embracing fine views of the Isle and Calf of Man. A handsome lighthouse is now being erected on the pier, which is connected with the land by a very capacious wharf covering nearly an acre of ground, with a basin of semicircular form, beyond which are the quays for the colliers. The harbour is situated in lat. 54 15' 20" (N.), and lon. 5 35' 20" (W.) ; and the trade of the port is rapidly increasing. There is a patent for a market and four fairs. A constabulary police force, and a coast-guard station, forming one of the seven that constitute the district of Newcastle, have been established here. A manorial court is held for debts and picas to the amount of 100. By an order in council, dated Oct. 19th, 1834, the townlands of Jordan's Crew and Kildare's Crew, formerly belonging to the parish of Ballee, and the townland of Ross, formerly in the parish of Kilclief, were permanently united to this parish, which now comprises 1137 and a quarter statute acres, according to the Ordnance survey. The lands, which are all arable, are very fertile and in a profitable state of cultivation ; there is not a rood of waste land or bog. At a short distance from the town, and near the shore, are extensive quarries of good rubble stone, from which were raised the materials used in the construction of the numerous buildings lately erected in the parish, and partly in the building of the pier, for the easier conveyance of which a raiload, a quarter of a mile in length, was laid down. The living was formerly a perpetual curacy, and the rectory formed part of the union, of Ballyphilip and corps of the chancellorship of Down, which union was lately dissolved on the recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and Ardglass is now an independent rectory and benefice, in the diocese of Down, and in the patronage of the Bishop , the tithes amount to 130. The church was built on the site of an ancient edifice, the late Board of First Fruits having granted 800 as a gift and 400 as a loan) in 1813: it is a handsome edifice, with a tower and spire 90 feet high. In digging the foundation, an oblong stone, broader at the top than at the bottom, was found near the place of the ancient altar, and is still in the churchyard : it has at the top a dove sculptured in relief) in the centre the crucifixion, and on each side a shield of arms. Underneath are some lines in curiously raised letters of the old English character, from which, though rendered almost unintelligible by intricate literal combinations, it appears to have been dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Jane O'Birne in 1573. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted 130 for the repair of this church. The glebe-house was built in 1815, a quarter of a mile from the church, at an expense of 500, of which 450 was a gift and 50 a loan from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe contains three plantation acres. In the H. C. divisions this parish is united with Dunsford, by which latter name the union is generally known. Each has a chapel ; that of Ardglass is a very neat edifice, built in 1829 on a spacious site given by Mr. Ogilvie. There is a school under the Trustees of Erasmus Smith's Charity, in which arc about 90 boys and 80 girls, also four private schools, in which are about 60 boys and 50 girls, and a dispensary. About half a mile to the north-east of the town, on a hill in the townland of Ardtole, are the ruins of an ancient place of worship, called the old church of Ardtole, of which the eastern gable, with a large arched opening, and the two side walls, more than three feet in thickness, are remaining, and are of strong but very rude masonry. In Ardtole creek, on the north-east side of the bay, is a natural cavern with a large entrance, which gradually contracts into a narrow fissure in the rock, scarcely admitting one person to creep through it; the elevation is very great, from which circumstance the townland probably derived its name Ardtole, signifying "high hole :" some persons have penetrated a considerable way into this cavern, but no one has explored it fully. Ardglass formerly gave the title of Earl to the family of Cromwell, and subsequently that of Viscount to the Barringtons.


ARDKEEN, a parish, in the barony of ARDES, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Portaferry; containing 2176 inhabitants. This place derives its name, originally Ard-Coyne, from its situation on the shores of a lake, which was formerly called Lough Coyne. It was one of the most important strong holds of the ancient Irish, who made it a place of refuge from the violence and rapacity of the Danes, and had a large and well-fortified camp protected on three sides by the sea, with extensive pastures in the rear for their cattle. On this point of land, jutting into the lough and forming a fertile peninsula nearly surrounded by every tide, Raymond Savage, one of the followers of De Courcy, erected a strong castle in 1196, which became the chief residence of that family, whose descendants throughout the whole of the insurrection remained firmly attached to the English monarchs. In 1567 Shane O'Nial, who had overrun and. destroyed the neighbouring country on every side, besieged this castle, but was so vigorously repulsed that he retreated with great loss and never penetrated farther southward into the Ardes. The parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 4800 and a half statute acres, of which 169 are islands, and 114 are covered with water. The living was formerly a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Down; and the rectory formed part of the union of Inch and the corps of the prebend of St. Andrew's in the cathedral of Down; but the Ecclesiastical Commissioners having recommended the dissolution of the union on the next avoidance of the prebend. Ardkeen and the northern part of Witter were constituted a distinct rectory, in the patronage of the Bishop, in 1834, by consent of the prebendary, and the perpetual curate was made rector : the tithes amount to 464. 18. 9. The church is situated on the peninsula and at the extreme western boundary of the parish; it is a small ancient edifice, and contains several monuments to the family of Savage, its original founders. The glebe-house was built at an expense of 500, of which 450 was a gift and 50 a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1816 : the glebe comprises 12 and a half, Cunningham acres, valued at l per acre and subject to a rent of 4 per annum. In the R. C. divisions this parish is included within the unions or districts of Upper and Lower Ardes : the chapel at Lisbawn is connected with that of Ballygelgat, in the parish of Witter. A school of 76 boys and 84 girls is supported by Col.and Lady H. Forde, who contribute 50 per annum; there are also a Sunday school and a private school. The only remains of the castle are the foundations ; the fosses are tolerably perfect, and some of the gardens and orchards may be traced.


ARDGUIN, or ARDQUIN, a parish, in the barony of ARDES, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, on Lough Strangford, and on the road from Portaferry to Belfast ; containing, with part of the post-town of Portaferry, 994 inhabitants. There appears to have been a monastery at this place, founded at a very early period: according to Harris' History of Down it was the priory of Eynes, which, on the authority of a patent roll among the public records, was seized by the crown during the war between England and France, and was granted, in 1411, by Hen. IV. to Thomas Cherele. It afterwards became the chief residence of the bishops of Down, of whom the last that resided here was Dr. Echlin, who was consecrated to the see in 1614. According to the Ordnance survey the parish comprises 3043 statute acres, of which 80 are under water. The soil, though in some parts interspersed with rocks which rise above the surface, is in general fertile; the lands are in a good state of cultivation; there is neither waste nor bog. Clay-slate is raised for building, and for mending the roads. Portaferry House, the splendid mansion of Col.A. Nugent, is situated in a richly planted demesne, with an extensive park ornamented with stately timber.Here are several mills for flour and oatmeal, and for dressing flax ; the situation of the parish on Strangford Lough affords great facility of conveyance by water. A manorial court is held for the recovery of debts not exceeding five marks, with jurisdiction over the whole of the parish. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, held by the bishop, who appoints a curate, for whose stipend he has set apart certain lands belonging to the see. No church appears to have existed here from a period long prior to the Reformation till the year 1829, when the present edifice was erected by Dr. Mant, the present bishop; it is a neat small building with a square tower, and occupies a picturesque situation on an eminence between Lough Strangford and Lough Cowie, which latter is a fresh-water lake of considerable extent. There is neither glebe nor glebe-house; the lands appear to have been granted as mensal lands to the see, and consequently to have been tithe-free; but their exemption is at present a subject of dispute, and the tithes are returned under the composition act as amounting to 289. 19. 7 and a half payable to the bishop. In the R.C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Upper Ardes. There is a Sunday school , also a pay school, in which are about 42 boys and 32 girls. There are considerable remains of the monastery and episcopal palace, which shew that the buildings were originally of very great extent.-See PORTAFERRY.