AGIVEY, a grange, or extra-parochial district, locally in the parish of AGHADOWY, half-barony of COLERAINE, county of LONDONDERRY, and province of ULSTER, 6 miles (S. S. E.) from Colerainej containing 938 inhabitants. This place appears to have been the site of a religious establishment, by some called a priory and by others an abbey, the foundation of which, about the beginning of the seventh century, is attributed to St.
Goarcus, who afterwards founded a cell at Agha-Dubthaigh, now Aghadowy. This establishment subsequently became dependent on the abbey of St. Mary-de-la-Fonta, or Mecasquin, which was founded in the year 1172, and to which this district became a grange. There are still some slight remains of the ancient religious house, with an extensive cemetery, in which are some tombs of the ancient family of the Cannings, ancestors of the present Lord Garvagh. The liberty is situated on the western bank of the river Bann, and on the road from Newtown- Limavady to Ballymoney, which is continued over the river by a light and handsome bridge of wood, of 6 arches 203 feet in span, erected in 1834 at the joint expense of the counties of Londonderry and Antrim.
It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 1727¾ statute acres, the whole of which is free from tithe or parochial assessment, and forms part of the estates of the Ironmongers' Company, of London. The land is fertile, but being divided into small holdings in the occupation of tenants without capital to expend on its improvement, has been greatly neglected, and no regular system of agriculture has been adopted; there is a small tract of bog, which is now nearly worked out for fuel.
Potters' clay of good quality is found here in great abundance; and a considerable manufacture of coarse earthenware, bricks, and water pipes is carried on for the supply of the neighbourhood. Iron-stone is found near the Aghadowy water, and there are also some indications of coal. A fair is held on Nov. 12th, under a charter granted to the monks of Coleraine at a very early period, and is chiefly for the sale of cattle and pigs. There is neither church nor any place of worship in the district; the inhabitants attend divine service at the several places of worship in Aghadowy.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.