"KNOCKBREDA, or KNOCK-with-BREDA, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER-CASTLEREAGH, but chiefly in that of UPPER-CASTLEREAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 2¾ miles (S. S. E.) from Belfast, on the road to Downpatrick; containing 3900 inhabitants.
The ancient fortress called Castle-Reagh, or "the royal castle," which gives name to the barony, was formerly the baronial residence of a branch of the O'Nials. It is said to have been erected in the reign of Edw. III. by Aodh Flann, whose descendants possessed the Great Ardes, Toome, Massereene, Shankill or Belfast, and Carrickfergus. By inquisition in the reign of Elizabeth it appeared that Con O'Nial, the last of that powerful sept, possessed this castle, together with 224 townlands, which were all freehold, and also many others held by various tenures. In 1602, O'Nial having exhausted his cellars during a grand banquet which he gave here, sent some of his soldiers to Belfast to procure more wine; and there meeting with a party of the Queen's soldiers, a battle ensued, and O'Nial was sent prisoner to Carrickfergus castle, but was liberated the year following by the master of a Scottish trading vessel and conveyed to Scotland, where Sir Hugh Montgomery, in consequence of a surrender of most of his lands, obtained a pardon for him from Jas. I., who had just ascended the English throne. After the decease of O'Nial, the castle fell into decay, and with the adjoining lands was purchased by the Hillsborough family; there are now no vestiges of it. The parish is bounded on the north and west by the river Lagan, over which are two bridges connecting it with the parish of Belfast, and is intersected by the great Scottish road by way of Donaghadee. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 8098¼ statute acres, of which 6968¾ are in the Upper and 1129½ in the Lower barony; the lands are chiefly under tillage, and in a high state of cultivation; there is neither bog nor any waste land. Large quantities of tobacco were grown previously to its cultivation being prohibited. There are extensive quarries of clay-slate for building and for repairing the roads; and on the townland of Gillinahirk has been opened a fine quarry of basalt, of which a bridge is now being built at Belfast over the river Lagan, which is navigable along the whole boundary of the parish. The surrounding scenery is richly diversified, and within the parish are Ormeau, the seat of the Marquess of Donegal; Belvoir Park, the residence of Sir R. Bateson, Bart.; Purdysburn, the splendid mansion of Narcissus Batt, Esq., built after a design by Hopper, in 1825, in the Elizabethan style; Orangefield, of J. H. Houston, Esq.; Fort Breda, of W. Boyd, Esq.; Cherry Vale, of J. Stewart, Esq.; and Ravenhill, of H. R. Sneyd, Esq.
Previously to 1658 there were two separate parishes, called respectively Knock and Breda, both rectories; but the church of the latter being in ruins, they were united into one rectory at the restoration of Chas.II. The two villages have long since disappeared, and a parish church was, in 1747, built in the village of Newtown-Breda, which see. The rectory is in the diocese of Down, and in the patronage of Sir R. Bateson, Bart., who purchased the advowson in 1825; the tithes amount to £586. 5. 7½. The glebe-house was built in 1816, by a gift of £100 and a loan of £825 from the late Board of First Fruits: the glebe comprises nearly 20 statute acres. The chapel of Ballymacarrett was formerly in this parish, from which that townland was separated by act of parliament in 1825, and made a distinct parish. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, Covenanters, and Seceders. About 130 children are taught in three public schools, of which one is supported by Mrs. Blakeston; and there are five private schools, in which are about 170 children, and four Sunday schools. Six almshouses, built by subscription in 1810, are endowed with £100 by the Rev. Mr. Pratt, late rector, who also bequeathed £100 to the poor, to whom Lady Midleton, in 1747, left £50. On an eminence near the south-eastern extremity of the parish are the picturesque ruins of Knock church; and near them are the remains of a cromlech, consisting of five large stones, and a Danish rath of conical form. Of Breda church there are no remains, except the cemetery enclosed with a high stone wall in Belvoir park, in which is a small mausoleum built by Arthur Hill Trevor, who was created Viscount Dangannon in 1765".
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
"BALLYMACARRETT, a town and parish, forming part of the suburbs of BELFAST, in the barony of UPPER CASTLEREAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER; containing 5168 inhabitants. This place, previously to 1825, was simply a townland in the parish of Knockbreda, or Bredagh, and in the history of the county, published in 1744, is described as containing only two buildings, Mount Pottinger and a mill. It is now become a populous and flourishing town, occupying a site formerly covered by every tide, but which has been reclaimed by an extensive embankment stretching from Conswater westward to the river Lagan, opposite to the quays of Belfast, and thence on the shore of that river to Ormeau, the splendid residence of the Marquess of Donegal. The town, which in 1831 contained 257 houses, forms an appendage to Belfast, from which it is separated only by the river Lagan, which here separates the counties of Down and Antrim, and over which is a stone bridge of 21 arches: it is irregularly built, but has been greatly improved by the formation of several new streets ; and a handsome bridge of five arches, about 400 yards above the long bridge, and opening a more direct communication with the southern part of Belfast, has been lately erected under an act obtained in 1831, at an expense of #6000, raised in transferable shares of #25 each. The first manufacture established here was that of glass ; and since the first glass-house was built, in 1776, two other extensive establishments have been erected, though at present only one is in operation. A pottery upon a very large scale was soon afterwards established; and previously to the removal of the duty on salt, there were two extensive works for the manufacture of that article from rock salt brought from England, for exportation, which are now discontinued. The Lagan foundry, for the manufacture of steam-engines and other machinery on the most improved principles, affords employment to 140 persons: and in 1832 the first patent machine for making paper ever introduced into Ireland was made at these works. A very extensive rope-yard and sail-cloth manufactory, affording employment to 130 persons, are carried on; and two large vitriol works, of which one, established in 1799, was the second erected in the kingdom, are in full operation for supplying the bleachers, dyers, and calico printers in the neighbourhood. There are also extensive starch-manufactories, and meal and flour-mills driven by steam and water; and two large mills for spinning linen yarn were erected in 1834, and employ more than 300 persons. The manufacture of calico and muslin is carried on upon a very extensive scale, affording employment to several hundred persons. Here is a constabulary police station. This place was erected into a parish by an act of the 12th of Geo. III., and comprises 575 statute acres, which are exempt from tithes; about 28? acres are under water, and the remainder are arable and pasture. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Down, and in the patronage of the Rector of Knockbreda: it is endowed with the tithes of Ballynafeigh, an adjoining townland, amounting to #50, which is augmented from Primate Boulter's fund. The church, a neat building, was erected in 1826 by aid of a grant of #800 from the late Board of First Fruits and by subscription. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Belfast, in the diocese of Connor; the chapel was built in 1829. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster and the Seceding Synod, and for Covenanters and Wesleyan Methodists. There are five schools in which about 298 boys and 182 girls are instructed; also three pay schools, in which are about 90 boys and 50 girls."
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
|Knockbreda Parish Church, Church Road, Knockbreda, Church of Ireland|
|Ruins of Breda Parish church. Belvoir Park Estate., Belvoir, Church of Ireland|
|Ruins of Knock Parish church, Knockmount Park, off, Knock, Church of Ireland|
|Castlereagh Presbyterian, Church Road, Castlereagh, Presbyterian|
|Gilnahirk Road, Gilnahirk, Presbyterian|
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