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Parish of Lower Creggan , County Armagh

Notes on Crossmaglen by John Heather, 16 March 1838


Crossmaglen: Houses and Occupations

Lower Creggan , town of Crossmaglen. This town is of late origin. There are many people still living who only remember a few houses scattered promiscuously over a large space. Indeed properly speaking it is nothing more yet, but it is still improving. The houses are greatly scattered over a large space. There is a good square in the centre of the town, but [th]is has a bad appearance from its being surrounded by a number of dirty houses. Although this part of the village is reckoned the most respectable, the number of 1-storey houses thatched are 23, of 2-storeys slated 85 and one 3-storey house. The number of tradesmen are as follows, viz. 5 shoemakers, 1 tailor, 2 nailors, 4 blacksmiths, 6 carpenters, 3 whitesmiths, l painter, 4 hacklers, 2 bakers, 11 spirit shops, 1 woollen draper, 8 grocers and 4 [? doctor's] shops.

Local Government

There are 7 police stationed here in consequence of the country being in rather a disturbed state. There is also a chief constable resident here.

Fairs and Markets

There is a fair held here in the last Friday in every month, and is very well supplied with cattle. At these fairs there are many disturbances arisen which take some time to settle, and many receive promised beatings which they never get over till released from their earthly sufferings. There is also a market held here on Fridays which I believe is also well supplied.

Schools and Chapel

This school, which is a mixed one of boys and girls, is held in the gallery of the chapel. It contains 7 girls, all of whom are Catholics, [and] 36 boys, 1 of whom is a Protestant. It is under no board of education nor yet receives any contributions. The master teaches some of the boys classics, but on an average he receives 3s per quarter. The chapel, which is styled Bucklawn, is very old, being built in 1817. It resembles more a barn than a place of worship. There is a new one in progress of building. This old chapel would hold 800: there are 500 parishioners.

This school is held in a mud cottage. It is a small house but well filled with scholars. There are 10 girls and 46 boys, all of whom are Catholics. It is under no board of education nor receives any contributions for its support. The master receives [? 10d] per quarter from each pupil

[signed] John Heather, Carrickmacross, 16 March 1838.

Meeting House

There is a Presbyterian meeting house in the townland of Freeduff. Its shape and dimensions are as follows: [ground plan, main measurements 48, 24 and 12 feet, "T" shape]. It has been built upwards of 100 years. It will accommodate about 300.


In Tullynavall there is a school having 94 pupils, 48 males and 46 females. It was established in the present year (1837) and is supported entirely by the pupils, who pay from 1 s 6d to 2s 6d per quarter.


In the townland of Dorsy is a corn mill with a breast wheel 14 feet in diameter and 4 feet in breadth.

Source:   Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland: Parishes of County Armagh

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Last Updated on 27 November 2002