FAUGHANVALE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

FAUGHANVALE, a parish, in the barony of TIRKERAN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (S. E.) from Londonderry, on the mail coach road to Coleraine; containing 6218 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the north by Lough Foyle, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 18,582 ¼ statute acres, the greater portion of which was granted in 1609, by James I., to the Grocers' Company of London, who in 1619 erected a strong and handsome castle, surrounded by a bawn, in which they placed a powerful garrison.

In the war of 1641 this castle sustained a siege for several months, and resolutely held out against the parliamentarians till the garrison was relieved; it was again besieged and finally taken and dismantled by the parliament; the ruins were standing till 1823, when they were removed, and the present glebe-house erected on the site. Of the remainder of the parish, part is held in perpetuity equally by Lesley Alexander, Esq., and the heirs of the late Sir William Ponsonby, who pay a chief rent of £200 per ann. to the Goldsmiths' Company; part belongs to Major Scott, part to the see of Derry, and a few of the native townlands in the Grocers' proportion to the Marquess of Londonderry.

The land is generally fertile, especially round the villages of Faughanvale and Muff, and the system of agriculture has been greatly improved under the auspices of the North West Agricultural Society, and the gentry resident in the district. Many thousand acres of bog and waste land have been reclaimed and brought into profitable cultivation; the lands are well drained and fenced, and there are extensive and flourishing plantations, exclusively of the ancient oak woods of Walworth, which are principally in this parish. At Creggan and Tullynee are quarries of excellent slate, but they are only partially worked, and principally for flags and tombstones.

The principal seats are Willsborough, that of Major Scott; Foyle Park, of Lesley Alexander, Esq.; Campsey, of J. Quin, Esq.; Creggan, of T. Major, Esq., Coolafeeney, of T. Lecky, Esq.; Muff House, of the Rev. J. Christie; and Tullybrisland, of T. Major, Esq. A manorial court, in which debts not exceeding 40s. are recoverable, is held at Muff for that part of the parish which belongs to the Grocers' Company.

The living is a rectory and perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Derry; the rectory forming part of the union of Templemore and of the corps of the deanery of Derry, and the curacy in the patronage of the Dean. The tithes amount to £700, payable to the dean, and the glebe comprises 1035 statute acres. The curacy was instituted in 1823; the stipend is £92. 6. 2., of which £69. 4. 7 ½. is paid by the dean, and £23. 1. 6 ½. from Primate Boulter's fund. The glebe-house, with a glebe of 10 acres, was given to the curate by the Grocers' Company.

The church, a spacious and handsome edifice, with a square tower crowned with pinnacles, was built in 1821, by a loan of £1000 from the late Board of First Fruits, near the ruins of a former church built by the Grocers' Company in 1626, in the village of Muff, and about three miles distant from the ruins of the ancient parish church.

The R. C. parish is coextensive with that of the Established church; the chapel is at Creggan. At Tullinee there is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the second class.

About 370 children are taught in six public schools, of which the parochial school at Muff is supported by a grant of £30 per ann. from the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, and annual donations from the Grocers' Company and the rector; the school-house, adjoining the church, a large and handsome edifice, was erected in 1814. A school at Graceteel is under the Fishmongers' Company, who pay the whole charges for children of cottiers and one-half for those of farmers on their estate; two are aided by the Marquess of Londonderry and Major Scott; and an agricultural school is supported by shareholders and subscribers, and by the labour of the scholars on the farm. There are also three private schools, in which are about 150 children, and three Sunday schools.

A valuable donation of sacramental plate and furniture for the altar and pulpit was bequeathed to the church, in 1665, by Bishop Wild, who also left £5 for the poor.

« Faughanstown | Index | Faughart »


Library Ireland Facebook