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Aghalurcher Parish including Maguiresbridge & Lisnaskea, Cos. Tyrone & Fermanagh, Northern Ireland in 1837
Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia

AGHALURCHER, a parish, partly in the barony of CLOGHER, county of TYRONE, but chiefly in that of MAGHERASTEPHENA, county of FERMANAGH, and province of ULSTER, on the mail coach road from Cavan to Enniskillen; containing, with, the towns of Maguire’s-bridge and Lisnaskea, 15,218 inhabitants. This parish is situated on Lough Erne, and is 17 miles in length (extending from the island of Cordillar, near Crumcastle, to Ballaghlough, within two miles of Clogher), and 5 miles in breadth. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 47,015¾ statute acres (including 3,157¼ covered with water), of which 4,708¼ are in Tyrone, and 42,307½ in Fermanagh, and of which also, about one-fourth are pasturable mountain and bog. The system of agriculture is greatly improved, and the crops and stock are generally productive and of good quality; the peasantry, in addition to their agricultural pursuits, are employed in spinning and weaving, and are generally industrious and in comfortable circumstances. Limestone and lime-stone gravel abound, and there are some good quarries of freestone and of mill-stone. Slushill quarry is considered one of the best in the North of Ireland, and produces freestone of excellent quality. The only river of note is Maguire’s river, which runs nearly the whole length of the parish; it is navigable, and abounds with pike, perch, trout, and eels. There are two bridges over this river, one at Maguire’s-bridge (which is a flourishing market-town), and one at Ballindanaford, between that place and Lough Erne, a substantial structure of seven large arches, on the great line of road. Lough Erne, in which are seven islands included within this parish, abounds with salmon, pike, eels, perch, and bream; it is navigable from Belleek, and affords a facility of supplying the barracks of Belturbet with turf from this place. The principal seats are Cole-Brooke, the residence of Sir A. B. Brooke, Bart.; Drumgoon, of R. Graham, Esq.; Curragh, of Capt. Chartres; Nutfield, of Lady Brooke; Shebrag, of H. Gresson, Esq.; and Holybrook, of H. Leslie, Esq. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Clogher, and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin: the tithes amount to £831. The church, a plain building at Coletrain, for the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1762, gave £200, was, by an act of the 7th of Geo. III (1767), constituted the parish church: the Ecclesiastical Com- missioners have lately granted £142 for its repair. There is also a chapel of ease at Lisnaskea. The glebe-house, with a glebe comprising 518 statute acres, of which two-thirds are arable land, and one-third moor and bog, is situated within a mile and a half from the church; there is also another glebe, which is from 5 to 6 miles distant from either the church or chapel. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; there are two chapels, one at Maguire’s-bridge, and the other called the Moate Chapel, near Lisnaskea. There are also places of worship for Presbyterians and Primitive Wesleyan Methodists at Maguire’s-bridge; the former is in connection with the Synod of Ulster, and of the third class. There are seven public schools, affording also instruction to about 440 boys and 200 girls; also six Sunday schools, and ten private schools, in which latter are about 300 boys and 160 girls. Within two miles of Lisnaskea are the venerable ruins of the ancient church of Aghalurcher, said to have been built towards the close of the 9th century, and dedicated to St. Ronan, There are some remains of an old castle on the townland of Aheter within a mile of Five-mile-town, on the Cole-Brooke estate, in which the insurgents are said to have sustained a siege in the last rebellion of the Maguires. There are two old castles in Largy deer-park; and one in the town of Brookboro’, in the parish of Aghaveagh, all of which belonged to the Maguire family; and on Naan, an island in Lough Erne, are the remains of a very extensive castle, which in remote times was a formidable strong hold, surrounded on all sides by water of the lake more than a mile in breadth. There are numerous sulphureous and chalybeate springs in the parish.

MAGUIRE’S-BRIDGE, a market-town, in the parish of AGHALURCHER, barony of MAGHERASTEPHENA, county of FERMANAGH, and province of ULSTER, 2½ miles (N. W.) from Lisnaskea, on the road to Fintona; containing 854 inhabitants. It is situated on Maguire’s river, here crossed by a bridge which gives name to the town, and consists of one street comprising about 200 houses, and containing a R. C. chapel, meeting-houses for Presbyterians and Methodists, and a dispensary. It has a penny post to Lisnaskea. The market is on Wednesday; and fairs are held on the first Wednesday in each month, and on Jan. 17th, the third Wednesday in May, July 5th, and Oct. 2nd. It is a station of the constabulary police. The R. C. chapel is a large building, erected in 1822 at an expense of £800; it is lighted with pointed windows, and the altar is embellished with a painting. Attached to the chapel is a school. The seats in the vicinity are Drumgoon, the residence of R. Graham, Esq.; Green Hill, of Major Irvine; Abbey Lodge, of J. Macartney, Esq.; and Aghavea, of the Rev. T. Birney.

LISNASKEA, or LISNESKEA, a market and post- town, in the parish of AGHALURCHER, barony of MAGH-ERASTEPHANA, county of FERMANAGH, and province of ULSTER, 9 miles (S. E.) from Enniskillen, and 71 (N. E.) from Dublin, on the road to Enniskillen; containing 89 houses and 430 inhabitants. It consists chiefly of comfortable houses and shops, and contains a handsome market-house, corn and butter stores, a savings’ bank, and a large hotel. From its proximity to Lough Erne, which reaches to Lake Head, within a quarter of a mile of the town, great facility is afforded for the conveyance of corn, butter, linen, and yarn, of which considerable quantities are supplied from the thickly inhabited islands on the lake, and sold in this market: it is stated that a short canal could be constructed at a moderate expense that would enable boats to come up to the town. The market is on Saturday, and fairs are held on the Monday before Easter, April 13th, Monday after Ascension, June 1st, and Oct. 10th, for general farming stock. The church, or chapel of ease to Aghalurcher, was rebuilt in 1814, at an expense of £369 British, defrayed by the parishioners; and in 1829 the late Board of First Fruits gave £450, and lent £50 for the erection of a glebe-house in the vicinity. The curate, who is appointed by the rector of Aghalurcher, has a stipend of £73. 16. 8., exclusively of the marriage fees, and the glebe-house, which is valued at £20 per annum. The R. C. chapel, called the Moate Chapel, stands on a hill near the town: it was built in 1814, at an expense of about £700: attached is a national school. In the town is a meeting-house for Primitive Methodists; also a school endowed by Major Leslie, with three acres of land and £14 per annum, an infants’ school, and a dispensary. In the vicinity are Green Hill, the residence of Major Irvine; Snow Hill, of J. D. Johnstone, Esq.; Fairview, of Alex. Robinson, Esq.; The Hill, of the Rev. M. Herbert; and the ruins of Castle-Balfour.