DONAGHEADY, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

DONAGHEADY, a parish, in the barony of STRABANE, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, on the road from Strabane to Cookstown; containing, with the post-town of Dunamanagh, 10,480 inhabitants. The greater part of this parish was granted by James I. to Sir John Drummond, who founded the town of Dunamanagh, and built a bawn 109 feet square, no part of which remains, as the bawn was removed some years since, and the modern building called the Castle was erected on its site. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 39,3983 statute acres, of which 28,728 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £10,271 per annum. There are about 154 acres of water, and 250 of bog; the remainder is arable and pasture land. There is abundance of excellent limestone, both for building and agricultural purposes, but the mountains are chiefly clay-slate.

Many of the glens and banks of the rivers are covered with underwood, the remains of the extensive forests of Mounterlony. Formerly there were several bleach-greens in the parish, and a paper-mill near Dunamanagh, all of which are now unemployed; but the inhabitants unite linen-weaving at home with agricultural pursuits. The upper half of the parish, with the exception of the church lands, is in the manor of Eliston, the court for which is held at Gortin; and the lower half is in the manor of Donolonge, which was granted by James I. to the Earl of Abercorn. A court is held at Donolonge monthly, for the recovery of debts under 40s. There are several handsome houses, the principal of which are Earl's Gift, the residence of the Rev. C. Douglas; Loughash, of Capt. Kennedy; Tullarton House, of R. Bond, Esq.; Glenville, of R. McRae, Esq.; Silver Brook, of J. Carey, Esq.; Black Park, of R. Ogilbye, Esq.; Thorn Hill, of A. C. D. L. Edie, Esq.; and the Grange, of T. Hutton, Esq.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Abercorn: the tithes amount to £1350. The glebe-house was erected in 1792, by aid of a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits: the glebe comprises 1192 acres. The church is a small neat edifice, half a mile west from the ruins of the old church; it is in the Grecian style, with a small cupola and a bell at the western end; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £202 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising Donagheady and Leckpatrick, and containing one chapel in the former and two in the latter: it is in the benefice of the dean of Derry. There are four Presbyterian meeting-houses, three of which are in connection with the Synod of Ulster, two being of the second class, and one with the Seceding Synod, also of the second class.

The male and female parochial schools adjoin the church, and are supported by the Marquess of Abercorn and the incumbent. At Loughash is a large and handsome school-house, erected at an expense of £200: the school is under the National Board, as is another at Lisnarrow. There are also schools at Killeany, Rusky, Tamnaghbrady, Tyboe, Grange, and Ballyneuse; and an agricultural school at Loughash, supported by Capt. Kennedy. At Mount Castle, which gives the title of baron in the Irish peerage to the Marquess of Abercorn, are some fragments of a castle, built in 1619, by Sir Claude Hamilton, on an estate of 2000 acres, called Eden, which was granted to him by James I.: it was the birth-place of Sir George Hamilton, who distinguished himself in the parliamentary war, and of his son, Gen. Hamilton, afterwards sixth Earl of Abercorn, who commanded the Protestant Irish army against James II. at Londonderry and Enniskillen. Extensive ruins of the ancient church of Grange, which belonged to the abbey of Derry, exist on the banks of the Foyle. At Kildollagh are some large artificial caves, formed of loose stones, with flagstones over them covered with earth; they are about a quarter of a mile long, and contain several apartments; there is a less perfect one at Gortmaglen.—See DUNAMANAGH.

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