PORTCLARE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

PORTCLARE, a manor, in that part of the parish of ERRIGAL-TROUGH which is in the barony of CLOGHER, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER: the population is returned with the parish. This ancient district, which comprises 3000 acres of arable land and extends over the present towns of Aughnacloy and Augher, including the districts of Lismore and Garvey, with all the intermediate country, was granted, in 1613, by James I. to Sir Thomas Ridgwaie, Knt., and confirmed in 1665 by Charles II., who changed the name of the manor from Portclare to Favour Royal, by which it is at present known.

A spacious and handsome mansion, called, after the estate, Favour Royal, was erected here by the proprietor, in 1670, but being destroyed in 1823 by an accidental fire, a larger and more magnificent structure was erected in 1825, by John Corry Moutray, Esq., its present resident proprietor. This mansion is situated on the bank of the river Blackwater, and is built of freestone found on the estate, in the Elizabethan style, highly embellished with a noble portico, and with elegant architectural details; the demesne comprises 740 acres of fertile and highly cultivated land, and is finely diversified and richly wooded. Within it Mr. Moutray has erected a handsome cruciform church, in the later English style, with a square tower rising from the north-eastern angle, forming an interesting and beautiful object in the grounds, and corresponding in character with the house. It is built of the freestone procured on the estate, and was completed at an expense of £1000, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who have no other church within a distance of three miles.

The living is a donative, in the patronage of the founder, who has endowed it with £50 per ann. charged on his estate, to which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have added £30, making the stipend of the minister £80 per annum. The church was consecrated on the 3rd of July, 1835, and is designated St. Mary's, Portclare.

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