STRANORLAR, a market-town and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of RAPHOE, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER; 10¼ miles (W. by S.) from Lifford, and 118 (N. W. by N.) from Dublin, on the road from Strabane to Ballyshannon, and on the river Fin; containing 6114 inhabitants, of which number, 641 are in the town. The parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 15,509 statute acres, of which 159 are under water. That part which forms the estate of Sir Edmund Hayes is under an improved system of agriculture, but the other part appears to be neglected. Here appear two veins containing spar, ochre, and apparently lead ore; they are in a limestone rock, and in the vicinity are great bodies of decomposed limestone, forming excellent manure, and some is quarried for building. The stupendous mountains of Barnesmore, alike remarkable for their perpendicular ascent and for their beautifully varied rocks and herbage, form the Gap of the same name, situated at the south-western extremity of the parish; through this gap a fine stream flows into Lough Esk, and it is also the pass between the north and west of Ireland, coastwise, and on the leading road to Donegal. The town comprises 116 houses, of which 20 are well built, the remainder being occupied by labourers and artisans. Here is a good hotel; also a market and court-house. The market, at which fine brown linen is sold, is held every Saturday; and there are fairs on March 29th, June 11th, July 6th, Aug. 12th, Oct. 10th, and Dec. 9th and 10th.
Manor courts are held in the court-house before the seneschal on the first Saturday in every month; and petty sessions are held on alternate Wednesdays. The linen manufacture is partially carried on; there are two extensive bleach-greens near the town, one belonging to J. Johnston, Esq.; the other, adjoining Summer Hill, to J. and C. Johnston, Esqrs. In the neighbourhood are numerous gentlemen's seats, among which are Drumboe Castle, the residence of Sir E. Hayes, Bart., M.P., situated on a pretty lawn in the centre of an improved demesne; Tyrcallen, of H. Steevens, Esq., in a beautiful and exten- sively planted demesne, on the principal elevation in which the proprietor has erected an observatory; Edenmore, of J. Cochran, Esq., J.P., a neat mansion, in a small but handsome demesne, on the south bank of the Fin; Woodlands, a handsome modern residence, of J, Johnston, Esq., J.P.; Summer Hill, of C. Johnston, Esq.; Glenmore, of C. Style, Esq., a handsome mansion in improved grounds; the Glebe-house, of the Rev.
T. Fullerton; and Cloghan Lodge, the occasional residence of Sir T. C. Style, Bart., near the romantic waterfall and salmon leap of this name on the Fin.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Raphoe, and in the patronage of the Crown; the tithes amount to £485. The glebe-house was built in 1812, at a cost of £692, British currency, of which £46 was a loan, and the remainder a gift from the late Board of First Fruits. The church is an old building, to which the same Board, in 1825, granted a loan of £300 for the erection of a gallery. Prior to the 24th of March, 1835, this parish, forming part of the deanery of Raphoe, consisted of the two perpetual cures of Stranorlar and Kilteevock, but by an order in council of the above date it was disappropriated from the deanery, and erected into a separate and distinct parish, or benefice. It was provided, however, that the incumbent should pay to the perpetual curate of Kilteevock the same salary as had been paid by the dean. The R. C. parish is coextensive with that of the Established Church; there are two chapels, one in the town, and one about five miles westward. There are places of worship for Presbyterians, in connection with the Synod of Ulster (of the third class), for Seceders (of the second class), and for Wesleyan Methodists; also a dispensary. The parochial school has an endowment from Col. Robertson's charity; there is another under the trustees of Erasmus Smiths charity; and four more are aided by subscriptions; in these schools are about 350 children. There are also two private schools, in which are about 130 children; and two Sunday schools.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.