BALLINDERRY, or BALLYDERRY, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLINDERRY, or BALLYDERRY, a parish, partly in the barony of DUNGANNON, county of TYRONE, but chiefly in the barony of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 7 miles (S. E. by E.) from Moneymore; containing 3163 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the Ballinderry river, which here separates the above-named baronies and counties, and falls into the north-western portion of Lough Neagh. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 8177 statute acres, of which 2268 ½ are in the county of Tyrone, and 5908 ½ are in Londonderry; 2978 acres form a portion of Lough Neagh. The greater part belongs to the Salters' Company, of London; part belongs to the see of Derry; and some of the lands are held under Cromwellian debentures, and are the only lands in the county of Londonderry, west of the river Bann, that are held by that tenure. A castle was built by the Salters' Company at Salterstown, in 1615, soon after they had obtained the grant of those lands from James I.; and in the insurrection of 1641 it was surprised by Sir Phelim O'Nial, who put all the inmates to death, with the exception of the keeper, who, with his wife and family, effected their escape to Carrickfergus, where, taking refuge in the church, they were finally starved to death. It continued for some time in the possession of the insurgents, who, being ultimately driven from their post, destroyed it, together with the church adjoining.

Nearly the whole of the land is arable and under an excellent system of cultivation; a valuable tract of bog produces excellent fuel, and there is no waste land. There are several large and well-built houses in the parish; but the only seat is Ballyronan, that of J. Gaussen, Esq. The inhabitants combine with agricultural pursuits the weaving of linen and cotton cloth; and at Ballyronan an extensive distillery has been lately established by Messrs. Gaussen, situated on the shore of Lough Neagh, close to the little port of Ballyronan. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Lord-Primate: the tithes amount to £192. 6. 2. The church, a large edifice in the later English style of architecture, was erected in 1707. The glebe-house, nearly adjoining, was built at an expense of £980, of which £100 was a gift from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1795: the glebe comprises 413 acres of well-cultivated arable land.

The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; there is a chapel at Ballylifford, and at Derryaghrin is an altar in the open air. Near the church is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school, in which are about 40 boys and 20 girls, is aided by a donation of £10 per annum from the rector; and there are three Sunday schools, one of which is held in the R. C. chapel, and three daily pay schools, in which are about. 80 children. The ruins of the castle at Salterstown, situated on the margin of the lake, present a picturesque and interesting appearance, but are fast mouldering away. Adjoining the bridge over the river are the remains of an ancient iron forge, erected by the Salters' Company in 1626, but which soon after fell into disuse. At Salterstown, near the site of the old church and close to the shore of Lough Neagh, is a chalybeate spring, which has been found efficacious in cutaneous disorders, and was formerly much resorted to; but having become mixed with other water, its efficacy is greatly diminished. At Ballyronan is a large ancient fortress in good preservation.

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