TEMPLECORRAN

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

TEMPLECORRAN, or BROAD ISLAND, a parish, in the barony of LOWER BELFAST, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 5 miles (N. E.) from Carrickfergus, on the road from Belfast to Larne, and on Lough Larne; containing, with the village of Ballycarry (which is separately described), 1338 inhabitants. In 1597 a battle was fought at the highly romantic vale called Old Mill Glen, near Ballycarry, between the MacQuillans and MacDonnells, in which the former were defeated; and in November of the same year another took place on the same spot between the MacDonnells and Sir John Chichester, in which the latter was slain and his army cut to pieces.

This parish, which is also called, after the name of the village, Ballycarry, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 4744 ¼ statute acres, in a high state of cultivation. The system of husbandry is in a very improved state, and has been much promoted by the present proprietor, who is a practical and spirited agriculturist. Limestone and basalt are found in great abundance. Red Hall, the seat of G. Kerr, Esq., is an elegant mansion with a fine demesne. The spinning of yarn and the weaving of linen cloth are carried on. A court is held for the manor of Broad Island by the seneschal of Marriot Dalway, Esq., for the recovery of debts and determination of pleas to the amount of £20; its jurisdiction extends over this parish and that of Kilroot. Fairs are held at Ballycarry.

It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Connor, forming part of the union of Ballynure and of the corps of the prebend of Kilroot in the cathedral of Connor; the rectory is impropriate in D. Kerr, Esq.

The tithes amount to £347. 1. 6., of which £231. 7. 8. is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. The church, originally a spacious and handsome cruciform structure, is now a ruin; it was at one time occupied by the Presbyterians, since whose ejectment it has not been used as a place of worship. There are chapels for Presbyterians, Independents, and Methodists; the first is in connection with the Remonstrant Synod, and of the first class.

There are two national schools, situated at Ballycarry and Windygap, in which are about 120 children; and a private school of 10 girls. R. G. Kerr, Esq., in 1825, bequeathed £200 in trust to the vicar and the senior Presbyterian minister, to divide the interest among the poor. There is a curious hollow cave, called the Salt Hole, into which rushes a large stream of water which is not found again; and in the grounds of Red Hall is a glen of very extraordinary character. The Rev. Mr. Bryce, minister of the first Presbyterian congregation established in Ireland, lived and was buried here: and over the remains of a poet, known only as the Bard of Ballycarry, a monument has been raised.

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