BADONY (LOWER), a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BADONY (LOWER), a parish, in the barony of STRABANE, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (N. N. E.) from Armagh; containing 7024 inhabitants. This place is situated on the Munterlowney Water, and is bounded on the north by the Spereen mountains, which are the highest in the county, and among which the mountain of Mullaghcairn rises to a very considerable height above the rest; its summit, according to the Ordnance survey, being 1778 feet above the level of the sea. The base of this mountain is a vast accumulation of sand and water-worn stones, rising to an elevation of 900 feet, and in it is an extraordinary fissure called Gortin Gap, through which the road from Omagh leads to the village of Gortin. The parish, according to the same survey, comprises 47,921 ¾ statute acres (including 178 ½ under water), of which the greater portion is mountain and bog, but the former affords good pasturage and the latter an abundance of fuel: the vale of Gortin is fertile and well cultivated. Through the range of mountains opposite to Mullaghcairn is a pass called Barnes Gap, in which various indications of copper ore have been discovered. In these mountains is Beltrim, the handsome residence of A. W. C. Hamilton, Esq., proprietor of the principal part of the parish; and in a large bog is the ancient fortress of Loughnacranagh, where the Earl of Tyrone sheltered himself from the British troops under Lord-Deputy Mountjoy, who despatched Sir Henry Dockwra from Omagh, in June 1602, to give battle to the Irish prince, whom he defeated.

The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture and in the breeding of cattle; and the weaving of linen cloth is carried on in several of the farm-houses. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, separated from Upper Badony by order of council in 1706, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £750. The church, situated in the village of Gortin, is a small neat edifice with a campanile turret at the west end. There is neither glebe nor glebe-house at present, but a house is about to be built on a glebe of 30 acres of land granted for that purpose by Mr. Hamilton. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and contains two chapels, one at Ruskey, the other at Greencastle. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster. The parochial school is supported by the rector and Mr. Hamilton; and there is a school at Ruskey under the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, and others at Liscable, Winneyduff, Caronhustion, and Broughderg. These schools afford instruction to about 180 boys and 120 girls: there are also eleven private schools, in which are about 450 children; and eight Sunday schools.

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