ERRIGAL

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

ERRIGAL, or ARRIGLE, a parish, in the barony of COLERAINE, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Garvagh (which is described under its own head), 5401 inhabitants. A monastery was founded here by St. Columb in 589, which flourished until the ninth century, when it was plundered and destroyed by the Danes. The parish is bounded on the south by the Agivey water, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 19,625 ¼ statute acres, of which 18,113 are applotted under the tithe act and valued at £5163 per ann.; about 7500 acres are arable, 5500 pasture, 100 woodland, and the remainder hog and mountain; the latter affording good pasturage to large herds of cattle.

The vale of Glenullen, and all the lands around Garvagh and on the banks of the Agivey water, are fertile, and even many of the more elevated lands produce excellent crops, though agriculture has been but little improved. The mountain range consists principally of the eastern slopes of Ballyness and Donald's hill, extending to the boundary of the barony, and are exclusively basalt, but everywhere produce sweet herbage. The inhabitants unite with agriculture the weaving of linen cloth.

There are several handsome houses in the parish, the principal of which are Garvagh, the seat of Lord Garvagh, adjoining which is the picturesque vale of Glenullen; Ballintemple, of Mrs. Arthur Heyland; Woodbank, of Capt. Orr; Garvagh Cottage, of Capt. Crossley; and Meetigan glebe-house, of the Rev. W. Smith.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £353, of which £300 are payable to the rector, the per centage to the landlord being about £53. The glebe-house, a small old building, is delightfully situated near the top of Glenullen; the glebe comprises about 254 acres.

The church is a low plain building, adjoining the town of Garvagh, to the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently made a grant of £201.

In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also parts of Desertog hill and Balteagh, and containing two chapels, one at Ballerin, and the other in Glenullen.

There are places of worship in Garvagh for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster and the Seceding Synod, and for Separatists from the Seceding Synod, also one for Wesleyan Methodists.

There are parochial and five other public schools, some of which are aided by donations from Lord Garvagh, R. McCausland, Esq., Mrs. Heyland, the rector, and the Ironmongers' Company; they afford instruction to about 400 children. A school founded by Dr. Adam Clarke is supported by the Wesleyan Methodists; and about 120 children are educated in four private schools.

Here are numerous forts, particularly in Glenullen, evidently constructed to protect the pass into the mountains. The old church at Ballintemple is a very interesting ruin. The Rev. G. V. Sampson, author of the Map and Memoir of Londonderry, and the Statistical Survey of the same county, was rector of this parish, and died at the glebe-house; he was buried at Aghanloo.

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