The land is chiefly in tillage, and in a high state of cultivation; there is no waste land and but little bog; clay-slate abounds, and a thin seam of coal is visible at the lough. There are several corn-mills, and fairs are held in the town on Jan. 5th, April 6th, July 6th, and Oct. 5th. It is a constabulary police station, and has a sub-post-office to Comber and Killyleagh. Petty sessions are held in the court-house on alternate Saturdays.
At the White rocks is a small but excellent harbour and a small pier, at which vessels of 80 tons can load, and from which a considerable quantity of agricultural produce is exported. Here is Ardview, the residence of T. Potter, Esq. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Down, and in the alternate patronage of Viscount Bangor and the Earl of Carrick: the tithes amount to £800. The church, a large and handsome edifice with a square embattled tower, situated on an eminence, was built in 1830, at an expense of £900, above half of which was raised by subscription. There is a glebehouse, with a glebe of 12 acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Saintfield and Killinchy, and has a chapel at Carrickmannon.
There is a meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the first class. The parochial schools, in which are about 140 children, are principally supported by the rector; the school-house, built in 1825, is a good plain edifice, containing separate school-rooms for boys and girls, and residences for the master and mistress. There are also eight other public schools, some of which are aided by annual donations from Lord Dufferin, D. Gordon, Esq., and the rector; they afford education to about 600 children; and about 70 children are educated in a private school.
The Earl of Limerick, about 1730, gave part of the townland of Killinchy, which now produces £300 per annum, to the Incorporated School Society; and in 1810, Major Potter bequeathed £100 to the poor members of the Presbyterian meeting-house, among whom the interest is divided every Christmas. Here are the remains of Balloo fort, near which many silver coins of the reigns of John and other monarchs were found in 1829. The ancient castle of the family of White stood on the site of Killinchy fort, and in 1802 many silver and copper coins were found in its vicinity. In the churchyard is the tomb of the ancient family of Bruce.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
|Kilbawn, Old celtic chapel (circular wall), Barnamaghery, Roman Catholic|
|Ruins. Ringhaddy townland, Castle Island, Roman Catholic|
|St Joseph, Carrickmannan, Roman Catholic|
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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