CAPPAGH, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CAPPAGH, a parish, partly in the barony of OMAGH, but chiefly in that of STRABANE, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 2 miles (N.) from Omagh; containing, with the district parish of Mountfield, 13,589 inhabitants. This parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 37,670 ½ statute acres, of which 34,626 ¾ are in Strabane, and 3043 ¾ in Omagh; the applotment under the tithe act embraces 16, 097 acres, and 266 ¾ are water. The greater part of the land is reclaimed bog or mountain, and about 1500 acres are woodland: in some places the land is remarkably good, particularly in the eastern part of the parish, but not more than one-fourth is cultivated. Part of the mountains of Bessy Bell, Mary Gray, and Mullaghcairn are in this parish, and afford good pasturage for cattle to their very summits. The inhabitants combine with agricultural pursuits the spinning of flax and weaving of linen. There is abundance of freestone, with limestone of inferior quality, and several indications of coal are met with. Gortin gap, through which a road runs from Omagh to Gortin, is a deep ravine stretching in a northern and southern direction through Mullaghcairn or Cairntogher, which is the highest mountain in the county.

There are several handsome houses in the parish, the principal of which are Mountjoy Cottage, the residence of C. J. Gardiner, Esq.; Mount Pleasant, of the Rev. C. Cregan; Facary Lodge, of Sir W. McMahon, Bart.; Mountfield Lodge, of the Rev. Mr. Stack; Lislimanahan, of Capt. Hill; Lisanally, of G. Norris, Esq.; Millbank, of H. Peebles, Esq.; Mullaghmore, of R. Burges, Esq; and Ergennagh glebe-house, of the Rev. H. H. Harte. The improvements made during the last 50 years are very extensive; the late Lord Mountjoy commenced planting the demesne of Rash, now called Mountjoy Forest, in 1780, and much of the timber is large and very promising. The late Sir W. McMahon built a very handsome house, surrounded by extensive plantations, at Facary, and also laid out a town at Mountfield, where markets and fairs will be held.

A new road has been opened through the parish, direct from Omagh to Belfast.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin: the tithes amount to £1000. The church is a large and handsome edifice, in the Grecian style, with a lofty and beautiful octagonal spire: it was erected in Mountjoy Forest, in 1768, at the sole expense of Dr. Gibson, then rector. The glebe-house is being rebuilt upon an enlarged scale: the glebe consists of 573 acres, about half a mile from the church, and of two other portions containing 999 acres, making a total of 1572 acres, only 410 of which are under cultivation.

There is a chapel of ease at Mountfield, four miles from the church; it is a small but very beautiful edifice, with a lofty spire, standing on the south side of a high mountain, and was built at an expense of £1000 by the late Board of First Fruits, in 1828: the living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £25 per ann. from Primate Boulter's fund, and in the gift of the Rector. Divine service is also performed, every second Sunday, in the school-houses of Calkill, Carrigan, Castletown, Taercur, and Mayne.

The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and has two chapels, one at Knockmoyle, the other at Killyclogher. There are places of worship for Baptists and Presbyterians of the Synod of Ulster, the latter of the third class. The male and female parochial schools are situated on the glebe, and are supported by the rector, who has given the master a house and three acres of land. Mountfield male and female schools were supported by the late Sir W. McMahon; a school at Knockmoyle was founded under the will of John McEvoy, who endowed it with £16 per annum, for the gratuitous education of the poor children in Mountjoy Forest, and vested its management in the Rector for ever. There are also schools at Carrigan, Taercur, Killynure, Common, Crevenagh, and Lislap; six under the National Board, at Castlerody, Killyclegher, Carrigan, Tetraconaght, Beltony, and Rathcarsan; and other schools at Edenderry, Calkill, and Drummullard. In these schools are about 770 boys and 450 girls; and there are also four private schools, containing about 90 boys and 40 girls, and six Sunday schools. The ruins of the old church are scarcely discernible, but the cemetery is much used. There are several forts on Mary Gray mountain, close to each other.

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