CAMUS-juxta-MORNE, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CAMUS-juxta-MORNE, a parish, in the barony of STRABANE, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER; containing, with part of the town of Strabane, 6570 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the old road from Dublin to Londonderry, and on the river Morne, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey (including 20 ¾ acres in Lyons island), 7505 ¾ statute acres, of which 103 ¾ are water, about 4540 are arable and pasture land, and the remainder mountain and bog; 6743 acres are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £3078 per annum. The land, although in some places rocky, is generally very fertile, producing abundant crops, particularly in the vale of Morne. The inhabitants combine the weaving of linen with their agricultural pursuits. The principal houses are Milltown Lodge, the residence of Major Humphries, and the glebe-house, of the Rev. J. Smith.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £468. The church is in the town of Strabane, and is a large and handsome edifice, for the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £184. 4. 2.: it was originally built as a chapel for the new town of Strabane, by the Earl of Abercorn, in 1619, and has been used as the parish church since the destruction of the mother church, about the middle of the 17th century. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100 and a loan of £800 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1832, upon the townland of Bierney, which constitutes the glebe, comprising 300 acres, and is more than three miles from the church.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district called Clonleigh and Camus, and comprising both those parishes: there are two chapels in the union, of which that of Camus, in the town of Strabane, is a large plain edifice. There is a large meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class; and there are places of worship for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The parochial school, on the glebe of Bierney, is supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, and the master has a rent-free residence and two acres of land. At Milltown is a school for boys and girls, erected by the Marquess of Abercorn, a large and handsome building, with a separate residence for the master and mistress, each of whom receives £20 a year from the Marquess, who also aids a school established at Edymon; and there is a national school at Strabane. About 160 boys and 100 girls are educated in these schools. Prior to 1829 a blue-coat school existed here, with an income of £30 per annum, which sum is now applied to clothing 12 boys. Near Milltown school are the dispensary and fever hospital belonging to Strabane; they are large and well ventilated buildings, admirably arranged for their purposes. The ruins of the old parish church are situated on the banks of the Mourne: it was founded by St. Colgan in 586, and destroyed during the insurrection of 1641.—See STRABANE.

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