Cromlin in the 1830s

1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, 1837. (The information collected here was submitted by members of the local gentry and clergy of the time).

CRUMLIN, a post-town in the parish of CAMLIN, barony of UPPER MASSARENE, county of ANTRIM and province of ULSTER, 5.50 miles (S.) from Antrim, and 79 (N.) from Dublin; containing 128 houses and 641 inhabitants. This town is situated on the river Camlin, of which its name is a corruption, and on the road from Lurgan to Antrim ; it consists of one long wide street, from which branches one of smaller dimensions leading to the Antrim road, and has a neat and all cheerful appearance.

At one extremity is the beautiful cottage and highly embellished grounds of Glendarragh the seat of Col. Heyland, through which flows the river Camlin, noted for the petrifying quality of its waters : among the fine specimens of petrified substances which it has afforded is the entire root of a tree of five cubic feet.

Adjoining the town are the most extensive and complete four-mills in the country. they were originaly built in 1765, by Rowley Heyland, Esq., and were the first that were erected in the north of Ireland. These mills were considered of so much importance that Government erected very extensive warehouses for storing wheat and other grain, and encouraged by every means the growth of wheat in the surrounding district. There are several other mills belonging to the same company but as all purchases and sales are made at this place they all come under the denomination of the Crumlin Mills. They are now the property Messrs. Robert Macaulay and Son; the machinery, which is of very superior construction, is impelled by the water of the Camlin river, and the quantity of grain annually consumed is on average 3000 tons of wheat and the same quantity of oats. A large portion of the flour is shipped for the Clyde, and the several ports of the north of England; and during the year 1833, 2000 tons of flour and oatmeal were sent from this establishment to Liverpool and Manchester alone. A flax-mill has been erected by the Messrs. Macaulay and several hundred persons in the town and neighbourhood are constantly employed in weaving linens and cottons or the manufacturers of Belfast and other places.

From its situation on Lough Neagh this place has every possible facility of communication by water with Belfast, Newry, Antrim, and other towns.

Fairs are held on the first Monday in every month for horses, cattle, and pigs ; and a constabulary police force is stationed in the town. Petty sessions are held once a fortnight. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster. 

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