In 1868, the parish of Billy contained the following places:
"BILLY, a parish in the baronies of Lower Dunluce and Carey, in the county of Antrim, province of Ulster, Ireland, 7 miles to the E. of Coleraine, and 159 miles to the N. of Dublin. The Northern Counties railway passes near the parish, and has stations at Ballymoney, Portrush, and Coleraine, each about 6 miles distant. It is situated on the north coast of the county, on the east bank of the river Bush, and contains part of the town of Bushmills, which is celebrated for its salmon fisheries and two distilleries. The Giant's Causeway forms the sea boundary of this parish, and presents a long tract of bold and beautiful scenery, including Dunluce and Dunswerick Castles, much visited by tourists and geologists. With the exception of a tract of bog, forming about a third of the surface, the land is good and well cultivated. In the bog is found much fine fir timber in perfect preservation, with oak lying beneath on another formation. Whinstone and limestone are procured in abundance. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Down, Connor, and Dromore, now forming the corps of the archdeaconry of Connor; it has a glebe residence and 39 statute acres of land, with a rent-charge of £340 per annum. In the parish of Billy, which is 6 miles long by 4 wide, with a population of 5,000, there is one parish church, three Presbyterian places of worship, two Methodist chapels, and one Roman Catholic dispel. There are five National schools, a parochial school (under the governors of Smith's foundation), a school at the Causeway (liberally supported by Sir E. W. Macnaghten), several Sunday-schools, and some small charities. The principal residences are Dundarane, the seat of Sir E. W. Macnaghten, Bart.; Bushmills House, of Mrs. Anderson; Ballylough House, and the Archdeaconry. In the month of August, the day after Dervock fair, the Causeway fair is held at Rock Head, a point above the Giant's Causeway, where tents are provided for the numerous pleasure-seekers who resort to it."
"BUSHMILLS, a small market town in the parishes of Billy and Dunluce, barony of Cary, in the county of Antrim, province of Ulster, Ireland, 8 miles to the N.E. of Coleraine, which is a station on the Belfast and Northern Counties and Londonderry and Coleraine railway, and 150 miles to the N. of Dublin. It is pleasantly seated on the sea-coast, near the Giant's Causeway, at the mouth of the Bush rivulet, which has given name to the village. It is much frequented by visitors to the Giant's Causeway, and has greatly improved of late years. There are in the village two extensive distilleries, a manufactory of farming implements, flour and flax-mills, and a factory for spinning situate about 4 miles from the town. A great part of the younger female population are profitably employed in embroidery and the worked muslin trade. The parish church of Dunluce stands in this village, where are also chapels for Presbyterians and Wesleyans. A police force is stationed here, and petty sessions are held once a fortnight. There is a handsome courthouse, erected by the late Sir F. W. Macnaghten, Bart., and two hotels for the accommodation of the numerous tourists who come to enjoy the bold and beautiful scene of the coast, including the Giant's Causeway, with Dunluce and Dunseverick castles. A free school is established under the governors of Smith's Foundation, and there is a handsome schoolhouse for boys and girls, built by the late Sir F. W. Macnaghten, whose seat was Bushmills House, now the residence of Mrs. Anderson. His son, Sir E. W. Macnaghten, Bart., the present proprietor of the place, resides at the new mansion, called Dundarane. Tuesday is the market day, and fairs are held on the 28th March and June, the 24th August, 21st October, and the 12th December."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018