BALLYCLOG, or BALLYNECLOG, a parish, in the barony of DUNGANNON, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 2 miles (N.) from Stewartstown, on the road to Moneymore; containing 2,786 inhabitants.
This place formed part of the lands granted by James I to Sir Andrew Stewart, and with the exception of the lands belonging to the primate, which are in the manor of Cookstown, is wholly included within the manor of Stewartstown.
The parish is situated on Lough Neagh, and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 7,796¾ statute acres, of which 3,092¼ are in the lough. The lands are chiefly under tillage; there are about 15 acres of woodland and 20 of bog; the system of agriculture is in a highly improved state, and there is not a single acre of wasteland in the parish.
Coal, limestone, freestone, basalt, and quartz prevail; and many rare plants grow here, which are not found in any other part of the country.
Among the gentlemen’s seats the principal are:
- Steuart Hall, the residence of the Earl of Castlesteuart;
- Belmont, of A. T. Bell, Esq.; and
- Drumkirn, of E. H. Caulfield, Esq.
The lands of Belmont are an original freehold held by the Bells and Darraghs for more than three hundred years by allodial tenure, being the only lands in the country held by that title.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Lord-Primate; the tithes amount to £1S4. 12. 3¾.
- The church is a small plain ancient structure with a tower and spire; and in the churchyard are the family vaults of the Steuarts of Steuart Hall, and the Bells of Belmont, to whom some handsome monuments of freestone have been erected.
- The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1792: the glebe comprises 97 acres, of which 7 are exhausted bog and altogether unprofitable.
In the R. C. divisions, this parish forms part of the union or district of Steuart’stown: the chapel is situated at the northern extremity of the parish.
The Presbyterians have a place of worship at Brae.
There is a school under the Trustees of Erasmus Smith’s Charity; also three schools, situated respectively at Upper Back, Eirey, and Ochill, aided by annual donations from the Countess of Castlesteuart; and a school at Drumkirn supported by Mrs Caulfield. These schools afford instruction to about 230 boys and 200 girls; and there is also a private school of about 30 children at Drumbanaway.
A considerable rivulet in this townland disappears beneath a hill and appears again on the shore of Lough Neagh, at a distance of three miles; and in the townland of Brae is a spring of excellent water issuing from between the basalt, freestone, and limestone strata, producing 290 gallons per minute, and ebbing and flowing at the new moon.