BALLYMORE, or TANDERAGEE, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYMORE, or TANDERAGEE, a parish, in the barony of LOWER ORIOR, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER: containing, with the town of Tanderagee, the village of Clare, and the greater part of the village of Poyntz-Pass (all which are separately described) 7963 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the road from Newry to Portadown, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 14,158 ¾ statute acres, of which 13,958 are applotted under the tithe act and valued at £10,052 per annum: about 100 acres are under plantation, 300 are bog, and 60 waste and water; the remainder is all arable land, remarkably good and in a high state of cultivation, producing abundant crops. There are veins of potters' clay and fullers' earth, both of excellent quality and lying near the surface close to the town; but neither have been worked. Several quarries in the parish yield excellent building stone; that at Tullyhue is now being worked for building the splendid castle of Tanderagee, and produces stone of very superior quality. This castle, which is now being rebuilt by its proprietor Viscount Mandeville, is situated near the town, and forms a conspicuous and highly interesting feature in the view. The other seats are Dromenargoole House, that of Davis Lucas, Esq.; Acton House, of Conway R. Dobbs, Esq.; Harrybrook, of R. Harden, Esq.; Cooley Hill, of R. Hardy, Esq.; Orange Hill, of J. Creery, Esq.; and Derryallen, of J. Behan. Esq..

Fairs are held in the town on July 5th and Nov. 5th, and on the first Wednesday in every month; and at Clare on May 12th, for horses, cattle, and sheep. Courts leet and baron are also held, the former twice in the year, and the latter on the third Thursday in every month, for the recovery of debts under 40s. Petty sessions are held in the town every Tuesday. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, and the corps of the prebend of Ballymore in the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Armagh, in the patronage of the Lord-Primate: the tithes amount to £1000. The church is a spacious and handsome structure, in the early English style, with an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, and was erected in 1812, at an expense of £2200, of which £1500 was a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, and £700 a gift from Lady Mandeville; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £144 for its repair. The glebe-house is a handsome residence, and the glebe comprises 520 acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Tanderagee, which comprises also the parishes of Acton and Mullaghbrack, and contains three chapels, one in each parish; that of Ballymore is situated at Poyntz Pass.

There are meeting-houses at Tanderagee and Clare for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, the former of the third and the latter of the first class; another at Clare in connection with the Seceding Synod, and of the first class; and places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school is supported by the rector, the Dean of Tuam; five schools are supported by Lord Mandeville, two are aided by annual donations from Lord Gosford and the Rev. Mr. Bell, and there are three others, altogether affording; instruction to about 580 boys and 440 girls; there are also three pay schools, in which are about 80 boys and 180 girls, and four Sunday schools. The interest of a bequest of £100 by some member of the Montagu family is divided in equal shares among the poor of the parishes of Ballymore and Seagoe. There are some very slight remains of the ancient church, where are two extensive cemeteries nearly adjoining each other, one exclusively for Protestants, and the other for Roman Catholics; in the latter is interred the noted Redmond O'Hanlon, the Irish rapparee. Near Ballynaback are two chalybeate springs, which have been found efficacious in scorbutic diseases.—See TANDERAGEE and CLARE.

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