Carrickfergus Parish in the 1830s

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The parish is co-extensive with the county of the town; the living is a rectory, in the diocese of Conner, united, by charter of the 7th of James I., with the rectories of Island Magee and Ralloo, the vicarage of Inver, and the grange of Moylusk or Moblusk, which union constitutes the corps of the deanery of Connor, in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes of the parish amount to £400; and the gross annual income of the deanery, tithe and glebe inclusive, is £1004. 7. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is an ancient cruciform structure, with a tower, surmounted by a lofty spire; it is said to have been erected on the site of a pagan temple, and appears to have been attached to the Franciscan monastery formerly existing here; the chancel window is embellished with a representation of the baptism of Christ, in painted glass. The north aisle was the property and burial-place of the family of Chichester; having fallen into a ruinous condition, it was parted by a wall from the rest of the church, but in 1830 was given to the parishioners by the present Marquess of Donegal, the head of that family, and is now fitted up as free sittings for the poor: it contains a large mural monument, with effigies of several of the Chichesters; and round the walls were formerly armorial bearings and trophies, of which only a few fragments are remaining. The subterraneous passage under the altar, which communicated with the ancient monastery, may still be traced. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £141 for the repair of this church. There is no deanery-house: the glebe lands are let for £32. 7. per annum. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Larne and Carrickfergus; the chapel, in the western suburbs, was erected in 1826. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class (a large and handsome edifice), Wesleyan Methodists, Independents, and a small congregation of Covenanters; one for Unitarians is in course of erection.

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