ARDTREA, or ARTREA, a parish

ARDTREA, or ARTREA, a parish, partly in the barony of DUNGANNON, county of TYRONE, and partly in the barony of LOUGHINSHOLIN, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the district or perpetual curacy of Woods-chapel, and the greater part of the market and post-town of Moneymore, 12,390 inhabitants, of which number, 7471 are in the district of Woods-chapel. During the rebellion of the Earl of Tyrone, in the reign of Elizabeth, this place was the scene of numerous conflicts; and in the parliamentary war, in 1641, it was involved in many of the military transactions of that period. In 1688-9, a sanguinary battle took place here between the adherents of James II., who were in possession of the forts of Charlemont and Mountjoy, and the forces of William III., commanded by Lord Blayney, who, having possession of Armagh, was desirous of assisting the garrisons of Inniskillen and Derry, and for this purpose determined to force a passage to Coleraine, which he accomplished, after defeating a detachment of the enemy's forces at the bridge of Ardtrea.

The parish, which is also called Ardtragh, is situated partly on Lough Beg, but chiefly on Lough Neagh, and is intersected by the Ballinderry river and by numerous roads, of which the principal are those leading respectively from Armagh to Coleraine, from Omagh to Belfast, and from Stewarts-town to Money-more. It contains, according to the Ordnance survey, 20,962 ¾ statute acres, of which 18,679 ¼ are in the county of Londonderry, including 2181 ½ in Lough Neagh, 317 ½ in Lough Beg, and 26 ½ in the river Bann.

The soil is very various; the land is chiefly arable, and is fertile and well cultivated, especially around Moneymore, on the estate belonging to the Drapers' Company, and on that belonging to the Salters' Company round Ballyronan. There are several extensive tracts of bog in various parts, amounting in the whole to nearly 3000 acres, and affording an ample supply of fuel. Freestone of every variety, colour and quality, is found here in abundance; and there is plenty of limestone. At a short distance from the church, on the road to Cookstown, is an extraordinary whin-dyke, which rises near Ballycastle in the county of Antrim, passes under Lough Neagh, and on emerging thence near Stewart Hall, passes through this parish and into the mountain of Slievegallion, near Moneymore. Spring Hill, the pleasant seat of W. Lenox Conyngham, Esq., is an elegant and antique mansion, situated in a rich and highly-improved demesne, embellished with some of the finest timber in the country. The other principal seats are Lakeview, the residence of D. Gaussen, Esq.; Warwick Lodge, of W. Bell, Esq.: and Ardtrea House, of the Rev. J. Kennedy Bailie, D.D. The farm-houses are generally large and well built; and most of the farmers, in addition to their agricultural pursuits, carry on the weaving of linen cloth for the adjoining markets.

There is an extensive bleach-green, which, after having been discontinued for some years, has been repaired and is now in operation. The primate's court for the manor of Ardtrea is held at Cookstown monthly, for the recovery of debts under £5; and its jurisdiction extends over such lands in the parishes of Lissan, Derryloran, Kildress, Arboe, Desertcreight, Ardtrea, Clonoe, Tamlaght, Ballinderry, and Donaghendrie, as are held under the see. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin: the tithes amount to £738. 9. 3 ¾.

The church, an elegant edifice in the later English style, was erected in 1830, near the site of the ancient church; the principal entrance is a composition of very elegant design, and, from its elevated site, the church forms a very pleasing object in the landscape. The glebe-house is a large and handsome residence, built of hewn freestone by the late Dr. Elrington, then rector of the parish and subsequently Bishop of Ferns, aided by a gift of £100, and a loan of £1050, from the late Board of First Fruits: the glebe comprises 115 ¼ acres. The district church, called Woods-chapel, is situated at a distance of 10 miles from the mother church: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Moneymore, which comprises this parish and part of that of Desertlyn, and contains three chapels, one at Moneymore, one at Ballynenagh, and a third at Derrygaroe.

There are two places of worship for Presbyterians at Moneymore, one for those in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class, built by the Drapers' Company at an expense of £4000; and one for those in connection with the Seceding Synod, of the second class, built by subscription on a site given by the Drapers' Company, who also contributed £250 towards its erection. There are three schools aided by the Drapers' Company, and one at Ballymulderg, the whole affording instruction to about 170 boys and 170 girls; and there are also two pay schools. An ancient urn very elaborately ornamented was found in a kistvaen, on opening a tumulus in the townland of Knockarron, in 1800, and is now in the possession of John Lindesay, Esq., of Loughry.— See MONEYMORE, and WOODS-CHAPEL.

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