CREGGAN, a parish, partly in the barony of UPPER-DUNDALK, county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, but chiefly in the barony of UPPER-FEWS, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (W. N. W.) from Dundalk, on the road to Newtown-Hamilton; containing 14,261 inhabitants, of which number, 1674 are in that part of the parish which is in the county of Louth. This parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 24,815¼ statute acres, of which 21,823½, including 419½ of water, are in Armagh, and 2991¾ in Louth. Of these, 21,640 acres are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £19,708 per ann.; and 1088 are mountain, bog, and lakes. The surface is irregularly broken and the general aspect bold: the soil is generally good, and the system of cultivation improving. Linen cloth and yarn are manufactured to a small extent by the farmers, whose principal dependence has been the breeding of cattle, but now most of the grazing land has been converted into arable, and even much of the mountainous district has been brought into cultivation. The river Creggan, which divides this parish into two nearly equal parts, turns several mills and contains fine trout. Near the village are several hundred acres of bog or moorland used for fuel; and here is a coarse kind of granite and also a coarse slate, which is very hard and durable: the quarries, however, are not much worked, except by the neighbouring farmers, who use the stone for building. The village is pleasantly situated, and the surrounding scenery is picturesque. A market is held on Friday at Crossmaglen, for provisions, and fairs on the first Friday in every month for farming stock. Cullyhanna, also a village in this parish, is an improving place. Fairs are held in it on the second Tuesday in January, April, July, and October; and there are two at Ball's-Mills. There is a penny post to Dundalk; and petty sessions for the Crossmaglen district are held in the school-room at Creggan, on alternate Saturdays, or weekly if requisite. The principal seats in the parish are Urker Lodge, the property of T. P. Ball, Esq., to whom the parish principally belongs; Crossmaglen, of Capt. Ball; and Clohog Lodge, of R. G. Wallace, Esq.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Armagh, and forms the corps of the treasurership in the cathedral of St. Patrick, Armagh, in the patronage of the Lord-Primate. The tithes amount to £1050: the glebe-house, which is near the church, is romantically 3K situated on the river Creggan, which flows through a deep glen abounding with picturesque scenery, and ornamented with evergreens, rustic seats, and walks cut out of the solid rock: the surrounding grounds have been greatly improved by the Rev. Dr. Atkinson, the rector. The glebe, comprising 300 Irish acres, consists of the whole townland of Cregganban except 40 acres appropriated as a glebe for Newtown-Hamilton, when that parish was severed from Creggan. The church is a spacious and handsome edifice in the centre of the parish, built in 1758, and to which a lofty square tower was added in 1799. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of two unions or districts, called Upper and Lower Creggan; the former contains four chapels, situated at Crossmaglen, Glasdrummond, Mowbane, and Shela, of which that at Crossmaglen was built in 1834, on a site given by T. P. Ball, Esq., at an expense of £750; and the one at Glasdrummond is a large and handsome building. The part called Lower Creggan is united with the parish of Newtown- Hamilton, and contains a chapel at Cullyhanna and one in Newtown-Hamilton, both in that parish. At Freeduff is a meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster of the second class; and there is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Ball`s-Mills. The parochial schools, in which are about. 50 boys and 40 girls, are supported by the rector, who gives the house, which was built in 1822, and a garden and two acres of land rent-free for the master, besides books for the children. There is a female working school in the church-yard, and an infants' school superintended by Mrs. Atkinson; also schools at Tullynavale and Anavachavarkey, built by the rector, aided by some subscriptions, and chiefly supported by him; in the former, which is a large and handsome edifice, divine service is performed by the rector, or his curate, on Sunday evenings. At Darsey is a national school; and there are thirteen private schools in the parish, in which about 460 children are educated. A dispensary was established at Crossmaglen in 1830. In the northern part of the parish are vestiges of an ancient intrenchment, which extended more than a mile in length and about one third of a mile in breadth; it is now intersected by roads.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.