LETTERMACWARD

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LETTERMACWARD, a parish, in the barony of BOYLAGH, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER, 21 miles (W. S. W.) from Letterkenny, on the road from Killybegs to Rutland Island; containing 2039 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Guibarra, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 20,8003 statute acres, of which 512 are in the tideway of the river, and 503 in lakes; of the remainder, a very large portion is mountain waste and bog. The system of agriculture is in an unimproved state, a very small portion of the land being under tillage; there are strong indications of rich lead ore, in which silver ore has been found. Fairs are held on Feb. 20th, May 20th, Aug. 20th, and Oct. 1st, for cattle and sheep; and manorial courts are held occasionally. Prior to the 25th of March 1835, this parish formed part of the corps of the deanery of Raphoe, from which it was then separated.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Raphoe, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £89. 8. 7. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £415 and a loan of £46. 3. from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1828; the glebe comprises 4 acres. The church is a plain edifice, erected about 60 years since.

In the R. C. divisions, the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also a portion of the parish of Templecroan; the chapel is a small building, and there is also a chapel at Templecroan. About 13 children are taught in the parochial school, which is partly supported from Colonel Robertson's fund; and there is a private school, in which are about 18 children. A school-house was also built with the surplus funds granted by the late Board of First Fruits for erecting the glebe-house, but has not been opened. Very large seals are taken in the river Guibarra. Near the glebe-house is a large moat.

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