MAGHERALIN

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

MAGHERALIN, or MARALIN, a parish, partly in the barony of ONEILLAND EAST, county of ARMAGH, but chiefly in that of LOWER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, l ½ mile (S. W.) from Moira, on the river Lagan, and at the junction of the roads from Armagh to Belfast, from Moira to Lurgan, and from Banbridge to Antrim; containing 5058 inhabitants. Here stood the monastery of Linn Huachuille, (one townland in the parish being yet called by that name), the remains of which are by some thought to be the massive walls on the north side of the churchyard; it was founded by St. Colman, or Mocholmoc, who died in 699. The ancient palace of the bishops of Dromore was close to the village, on the site now occupied by the parochial school; the last prelate who resided in it was the celebrated Jeremy Taylor.

The parish contains, according to the Ordnance survey, 8293 ½ statute acres, of which 486 ¼ are in the county of Armagh, and the remainder in the county of Down. The lands are all in tillage, with the exception of a proportion of meadow and about 200 acres of exhausted bog, which latter is fast being brought into cultivation: the system of agriculture is improved. Here are extensive quarries of limestone and several kilns, from which lime is sent into the counties of Antrim, Armagh, and Down; this being the western termination of the great limestone formation that rises near the Giant's Causeway. There are also good quarries of basalt much used in building, which dresses easily under the tool; and coal and freestone are found in the parish, but neither has been extensively worked. A new line of road has been formed hence to Lurgan, a distance of 2 ½ miles, and an excavation made through the village. An extensive establishment at Springfield, for the manufacture of cambrics, affords employment for 250 persons; and at Milltown a bleach-green annually finishes upwards of 10,000 pieces for the English market.

The principal seats are Grace Hall, the residence of C. Douglass, Esq.; Drumnabreagh, of M. Stothard, Esq.; Newforge, of Cosslett Waddell, Esq.; Springfield, of J. Richardson, Esq.; Kircassock, of J. Christie, Esq.; and the rectory, of the Rev. B. W. Dolling.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, forming the corps of the precentorship of Dromore, in the patronage of the Bishop.

The tithes amount to £453. 1. 7., exclusively of a moiety of the tithes of four townlands in the parish of Donaghcloney amounting to £17. 19.; the gross value of the precentorship, tithes and glebe inclusive, is £684. 17. There is an excellent glebe-house on a glebe of 66 acres, valued at £138. 12. 0. per annum. The church is an ancient edifice, having a tower and low spire, and has lately been repaired at a considerable expense; it was long used as the cathedral of Dromore, and the bishop's throne yet remains in it.

In the R. C. divisions this parish and Moira form the union or district of Magheralin and Moira, in each of which there is a chapel.

About 280 children are educated in four public schools, of which the parochial school in the village is aided by an annual donation of £10 from the incumbent; the school-house is large and commodious, with a residence for the master, and was erected at an expense of £350. There are also schools at Rampark and Grace Hall, the former built and supported by C. Douglass, Esq., and the latter, for females, by Mrs. Douglass. In six private schools about 220 children are educated. The late Mr. Douglass, of Grace Hall, made a charitable bequest for clothing the poor in winter; and there are some minor charities. A sulphureous chalybeate spring on the lands of Newforge, is said to equal in efficacy the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle.

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