POMEROY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

POMEROY, a parish, in the barony of DUNGANNON, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 7 ¼ miles (N. W.) from Dungannon, on the road to Omagh; containing 7182 inhabitants, and comprising, according to the Ordnance survey, 15,951 statute acres. The district was granted by James I. to Sir Arthur Chichester, then lord-deputy, and soon after was created a manor under the name of Manor Chichester. It was then altogether an extensive forest, some of the oaks of which, when cut down several years since, measured 29 feet in circumference. During the unsettled period of 1641 it was nearly stripped of its timber, and for many years after remained in a neglected state, until 1770, when the Rev. James Lowry undertook its management: he planted a great portion of the demesne, which now exhibits some very fine timber, and bequeathed a sum to erect the present mansion. In the demesne, which consists of 556 acres, is a small lake, the borders of which resemble in shape the coast of Ireland, on a scale of about one foot to a mile. Near it is a very abundant spring of water, strongly impregnated with carbonic acid gas.

The village, which is small and meanly built, on the summit of a hill, consists of a square and a long street, the roadway of which having been cut down in order to diminish the ascent, has placed the houses on each side in an unsightly and even dangerous situation. A court leet and baron for the manor is held here every three weeks, in which debts to the amount of 40s. are recoverable: petty sessions are held on the third Wednesday in every month. It is a constabulary police station, and has a penny post to Dungannon and Omagh. Fairs are held on the second Tuesday of every month, for the sale of cattle; and two annual fairs on June 1st and Oct. 31st. The eastern and southern parts of the parish are fertile and well cultivated; the western, which forms part of the Altmore mountain, and comprises nearly 3000 acres, is uncultivated mountain and bog. Granite, basalt, quartz, limestone, freestone, clay-slate, iron-stone and coal have been found within its limits.

The principal seats are Pomeroy House, the fine residence of R. W. Lowry, Esq., already noticed; Mulnagore Lodge, of Mrs. Stafford; Drummond Lodge, of J. Suter, Esq.; and the glebe, of the Rev. Thomas Twigg. The parish was erected in 1775, by an order of council, at the application of Primate Robinson, by severing 41 townlands from that of Donaghmore: it is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Lord-Primate; the tithes amount to £389. The glebe-house, built in 1786 at an expense of £414, supplied by Primate Robinson, and enlarged in 1793 at a cost of £322 by the then incumbent, has a glebe of 560 statute acres (of which 145 are irreclaimable), valued at £198 per annum, also purchased by the same Primate: the gross value of the benefice, tithe and glebe included, is £586. 17. l ½. per ann. The townland of Gortfad, in this parish, forms part of the glebe of the rectory of Desertcreight. The church, built in 1775 on a site three miles from the village, is a handsome edifice, yet, though spacious, it does not afford sufficient accommodation for the congregation during the summer months.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Donaghmore, and has a chapel in the village of Pomeroy; where also there is a meeting-house for Seceders. The parochial school, situated near the church, was built and endowed with six acres of land by Primate Robinson, and is supported by the rector: there are schools at Pomeroy and Lis-naglees, in connection with the Board of National Education, in all of which are about 280 boys and 100 girls; also three private schools, in which are 100 boys and 70 girls, besides two Sunday schools, one supported by the rector, the other by R. W. Lowry, Esq. In the higher chain of the Altmore mountains are the ruins of the castle erected by Sir Thomas Norris, in the reign of Elizabeth, to protect the mountain pass; and not far distant are the remains of two barracks, erected during the last century for stations for troops placed here to put down the bands of robbers that then infested the country.

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