DUNBOE, or DRUMBOE, a parish, in the barony of COLERAINE, county of Londonderry, and province of ULSTER, 5 miles (w. by N.) from Coleraine; containing 5018 inhabitants. This appears to have been a very important district from an early period, for, even in the 5th century, we find it mentioned under the name of Le Bendrigi, which seems to have comprised the northern parts of the present barony of Coleraine; and it is stated that St. Patrick founded the old church here.
The parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 14,811¼ statute acres, of which 14,576 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5796 per ann. On the south and west it is composed of basaltic mountains, which afford good pasturage, and on the opposite sides it is washed by the ocean and the river Bann, towards which latter the surface gradually descends, and the sands at its mouth formed the most extensive rabbit warrens in the kingdom, until the decline in the price of the fur, when the warrens were mostly destroyed, and the land brought into cultivation. Numerous streams descend from the mountains, fertilizing the meadows through which they pass. Near Articlave and Downhill the land is good and under an excellent system of cultivation. Downhill, the splendid residence of Sir Jas. R. Bruce, Bart., occupies an elevated point of land between the Bann and Foyle, opening in full view on the Atlantic ocean; was erected by the late Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, and is built in the Italian style, of hewn freestone; the pilasters are extremely chaste and beautiful. The interior is finished in the most costly manner, the saloons being adorned with marble statues, and the halls and galleries with statuary and paintings of the most celebrated ancient and modern masters. In the glens, the plantations are extensive, beautifully laid out, and ornamented with rustic buildings and bridges. On the lawn stands a unique and beautiful mausoleum, erected by the bishop to the memory of his brother, who was ambassador to the court of Spain, exhibiting a fulllength statue of him, beneath an elevated canopy. The living is a rectory, forming the corps of the archdeaconry of Derry, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £480. The glebe-house is a commodious residence, occupied by the Rev. Archdeacon Monsell; there are four glebes, containing together 550 statute acres, 382 of which are cultivated land, the remainder being hilly and affording good pasturage for cattle. The church is a large and handsome edifice, situated at Articlave, for the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £230; it was erected on a new site in 1691, the old church having been destroyed by King James's army, on its retreat from Derry. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Killowen. In the village of Articlave is a meeting-house for Presbyterians, in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and at Ballinrees is one in connection with the Seceding Synod, both of the second class. The parochial schools, situated at Articlave, are supported by the archdeacon; there are also schools at Downhill, built by Sir J. R. Bruce, and supported by him and Lady Bruce. Schools are maintained in other parts of the parish, together affording instruction to more than 500 children. There are also two private and eight Sunday schools. The parish belongs partly to Sir J. R. Bruce, and partly to the Clothworkers' Company; the latter contribute £15 per ann. to the poor on their own estate. Not far from Downhill are the ruins of the ancient abbey of Duncruthin, which became the parish church previously to 1291: and in the western part of the parish stands a great fort, called the Giant's Sconce, occupying the summit of a lofty isolated hill of basalt, strongly fortified by nature.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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