The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"FERMANAGH, an inland county in the province of Ulster, N.W. of Ireland. It lies between 54° 7' to 54° 40' N. lat., and 7° 1' to 8° 5' W. long., and is bounded by Tyrone and Donegal on the N., Monaghan on the E., Cavan on the S., and Leitrim and Donegal on the W., the S. end of the latter county separating it from Donegal Bay. The ancient inhabitants are supposed by some to have been the Erdini of Ptolemy, by others the Nagnatæ. In later times it was called Feor-magh-eanagh, i.e. the "country of the lakes," and was divided into two districts, Targoll and Rosgoll, the first occupied by the Macmanii, the last by the Guard, from which races descend the MacManuses and MacGuires. It was made shire ground in the time of Elizabeth, and was reduced by James I. at the "plantation of Ulster."

After the rebellion of 1641 the English and Scotch settlers acquired most of the forfeited estates. The length of the county from Lough Nearty to a point below Newton Butler is 40 miles; its greatest breadth is 22 miles, its area being 714 square miles, of which 289,228 acres are arable, 46,755 acres water, 114,847 acres bog, and 7,802 acres woodland, chiefly producing ash, fir, oak, and beech. Towards the N.W. the county is intersected by the loughs Erne, Upper and Lower, which, with their numerous islets and connecting streams, are considered amongst the grandest lakes in Ireland. [See Erin.] The streams and waters of this county are very numerous. The principal rivers are: the Arney, issuing from Lough Macnean, and traversing the S.W. of the county, besides the Bannagh, Silley, Kesh, Tempo, Colebrook, Cladagh, Termon, Finn, and the subterranean Roogagh. Among the lakes worthy of remark are-Melvin, Macnean, Nearty, Silley, and Rushen. Mineral springs are frequently met with. The surface is generally mountainous, climbing up on all sides of the county to the formation of a hollow or trough, where lie the great Ernes, the common receptacle of the numerous streams that issue from the mountain sides. In the neighbourhood of Cavan it becomes still more elevated, the highest ground being on Dowbally, which attains an altitude of 2,188 feet. The principal summit among the mountains of the N.W. is Belmore, 1,312 feet; other elevations worth noting, with their respective heights, are:- Slieve Baught, 1,812 feet, Glenheel, 1,223 feet, North Sheen, 1,135 feet, Tappahan, 1,110 feet, and Carnmore, 1,034 feet. The soil is of medium quality, resting upon a bottom for the most part of limestone. In the E. red sandstone occurs, but the prevailing rock is secondary sandstone. A very handsome brown marble is quarried at Killaston and Florence Court. Iron ore is found at Mount Cuilcagh, and the presence of coal has been detected at Tosset. Goats and young cattle are extensively reared on the mountains. Butter is the principal article sent to the English markets. The chief crops raised are-oats, potatoes, wheat, barley, rye, turnips, flax, &c. Enniskillen, the county town, is famous for its cutlery. Flax and linen are spun, and woollen goods are woven for home use. This county contains the baronies of Clanawley, Clankelly, Coole, Knockninny, Lurg, Magheraboy, Magherastephena, and Tyrkennedy, which include 11 whole and 9 parts of parishes, 8 market towns, 3 Poor-law Unions, 3 police-districts, with 25 stations, and 190 men of all ranks. It is within the Dublin Military District, of which there are two stations, one in the county town, and another at Beleek. The fair towns are Callowhill, Churchhill, Donagh, Ederney, and Macguire's Bridge. Fermanagh returns two members to parliament for the county and one for the borough. It comes within the N.W. circuit, and is governed by a lieutenant, 19 deputy-lieutenants, an assistant barrister, and the county magistrates. Quarter sessions, assizes, and petty sessions are held in the county town, which contains the gaol. Quarter sessions are also held at Newton Butler. In the ecclesiastical arrangement the county is partly in the diocese of Kilmore and partly in Clogher. The principal roads of the county are from Enniskillen to Sligo, Ballyshannon, Pettigo, Omagh, Clogher, Monaghan, Cavan, and Swanlibar. Salmon, trout, eels, &c., are very abundant, and large flocks of water fowl resort to the lakes during the winter, and among them swans."


[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)]
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018