TOOME, a post-town, in the parish of DUNEANE, barony of UPPER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 22 ½ miles (W. N. W.) from Belfast, on the road to Londonderry, and 102 ½ (N. by W.) from Dublin; containing 122 inhabitants. This place, which gives name to the barony, had at a very early period a ford or ferry across the river Bann, which formed the only pass from one part of Ulster to the other, and on the first invasion of the English was considered to be of so much importance that De Courcey erected a castle here for its protection.

It has been the scene of many sanguinary contests, its name being conspicuous in the history of all the insurrections that have occurred in this part of the country. In the parliamentary war the castle was surprised and taken by the R. C. bishop of Clogher, in 1650, but was soon after taken by Colonel Venables, an officer in Oliver Cromwell's army, by whose orders it was subsequently dismantled. In the disturbances of 1798, a body of insurgents, after their defeat at Antrim, retreated from Randalstown to this place and posted themselves on the eastern side of the river, where they remained for two days, and on the approach of General Knox, who was marching hither with 1500 of the yeomanry, to prevent the disaffected of Derry from joining them, they broke down one of the arches of the bridge, with a view to interrupt his progress.

The town, which contains only about 20 houses, is situated on the eastern bank of the river Bann, over which in its short course from Lough Beg into Lough Neagh is a handsome bridge, erected at the sole expense of the late Earl O'Neill. It has a sub-post-office to Randalstown and Castledawson, and is a constabulary police station. In the court-house are held petty sessions every fortnight, and the court for the manor of Mullaghgane. Near the spot where the river unites with Lough Neagh is a good wharf with a commodious quay. Fairs are held on March 28th and Dec. 4th, and a pleasure fair is held at the bridge on Easter-Monday. The remains of the castle have fallen from the cliff and are scattered on the strand of Lough Neagh; many cannon balls have been found near its site.

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