Glenavy Village

William Gorman’s Estate

The following is from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tue 8th July – Fri 11th July 1777 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Whereas many perfons were indebted to William Gorman, late of Glenavy, in the County of Antrim, Gent at his Death, by Judgments, Bonds, Notes, and otherwife, and many Applications have been made to them for Payment, and great Lenity and Indulgence fhewn with refpect thereto, hoping hey would had paid fame without Suite; but finding that fuch Indulgence has been abufed, We the Executors of faid William Gorman, do in this punblick Manner, require fuch Perfons immediately, or in Default thereof, We affure then, they fhall be forthwith fued according to Law.

Given under our Hands, this firft Day of July, 1777.

Martha Gorman,
Fortefeue Gorman,
Doherty Gorman,
Stafford Gorman.

Travellers’ Directory, 1786

The following is an extract from “The Post-Chaise Companion or Travellers’ Directory through Ireland” published in Dublin in 1786.

Dublin to Coleraine by Antrim

Banbridge, as in p.2 60½
Lurgan, Armagh 7 67½
Glanevy, Antrim 77
Antrim 7 84
Randalftown 4 88
Ballymoney 19½ 107½
Coleraine, L’Derry 114

One mile from Banbridge, on the R. is Greenfield, the feat of Mr. Bullock.

At Lurgan, on the R. is the magnificent feat, with ample demefnes, of the Rt. Hon. William Browalow; and around are three walk at a diftance from each other; the centre one is the principal, and extends two miles. It is well conducted for leading to the moft agreeable parte of the grounds, and for commanding views of Lough Neagh and the diftant country. There are feverl buildings, a temple, green-houfe, &c. The moft beautiful fcene is from a bench on a gently-fwelling hill, which rifes almoft on every fide from the water. The wood, the water, and the green flopes, here invite to form a very pleafing land-fcape.

At Glanevy, on the l. oppofite the church, is the feat of Mr. Gorman.

Within 3 miles of Antrim, on the L. is Clover-Hill. The feat of Mr. Moore, with very ample and beautiful plantations and demefnes.

Antrim is the capital of the county of the fame name, and feated at the north-end of Lough Neagh, about fix miles from the mouth of the bay, having a good road before it, with a pier near the place, within which veffels lie dry at low water. It was antiently a borough of great confequence, as appears from the Mayor’s being admiral of a confiderable extent of coaft, as well in Down as in this county; the corporation enjoying the suftoms paid by all veffels within thofe bounds; the creeks of Bangor and Belfast only excepted. This grant, however, the crown repurchased, and thereupon transferred the cusftom-houfe to Belfast, to which town it is now much inferior, as well in fize as in trade. It is however, ftill a place of note, as being no longer a borough but a county of itself, and feading, in that capacity, two members to the Houfe of Commons. It gives the title of Earl to the noble family of McDonnell.

As Antrim is a feat, with noble demefnes, and beautiful and highly cultivated lands, of the Earl of Maffareene.

On the L. of Antrim, is the fine feat of Mr. Jachfon.

Within two miles of Randalftown, on the L. ftands Shane’s Caftle, having moft extensive and delightful parks, rich demefnes, and noble plantations belonging to it, It is the feat of the Rt. Hon John O’ Neil; and it is fituated on the very border of Lough Neagh. This Lough is the largest lake in Europe, thofe of Ladoga and Onega in Ruffia, and that of Geneva in Switzerland excepted; it being 20 miles long and 15 broad. It is fed by fix confiderable rivers, and four of lefs note; and having but one narrow outlet, that affords not a sufficient vent, it frequently overflows the low grounds on its coaft. It is remarkable for an healing virtue, by which many perfons who have bathed in it have experienced confiderable benefit. It is celebrated alfo for petrifying wood, which is not only found in the lake itself, but in the adjacent foil at a considerable depth; and on its fhores feveral beautiful gems have been discovered. It abounds with great variety and plenty of fish; and one fish, called the Dolochan, a fpecies of large-trout, is faid to be peculiar to it. The area of this lake is computed to be 100,000acres. It gives title of Baron to the noble family of Skeffington.

Dublin to the Giant’s Caufeway
Another Road by Antrim

Banbridge, as in p.2 Down 60½
Lurgan, Armagh 7 67½
Glanevy 77
Antrim 7 84
Randalftown 4 88
Ballymoney 19½ 107½
Coleraine, L’Derry 114
Bufh Mills, Antrim 6 120
Giant’s Causeway 2 122

Dublin to Lurgan and Crumlin

Lurgan, as in p.25 67½
Ballinderry, Antrim 73¼
Crumlin 78

From Lurgan is Antrim by Crumlin, is the fame diftance as by Glanevy.

At Lurgan is the fine feat of the Right Hon. William Brownlow.

Within a mile of Ballinderry, on the l. are the ruins of a church.

About half a mile to the L. of Ballinderry, are the ruins of the once noble caftle of Portmore, feated in the midft of fome fine plantations belonging to the Earl of Hertford.

About three quarters of a mil to the L. of Crumlin, is Cherry Valley, the feat of Mr. Gorman.

Near Crumlin, is a large flour mill, belonging to Mr. Heyland.

At Glanevy, opposite the church, is the feat of Mr. Gorman.

Farm Sale

The following is taken from the Belfast News Letter dated Tues 3rd Feb to Fri 6th February 1789. Thanks to the Belfast News Letter for permission to use this extract.

To be sold by public auction at the house of Mr. John Hastings, Innkeeper, Lisburn, 10th day of Feb next, 47 acres of land, Cunningham, measure, situated in the parish of Glenavy, now in possession of Doctor Crawford, held by lease for lives and years under the Hon, Hercules Rowley. 3 young lives in being; rent of the whole 121. 7s per annum..
The land is in high condition, having all been limed except a few acres, and is remarkable for producing excellent grain grass seed and clover this season, and seven are now under wheat, limed and sown in October last. For further particulars apply to Doctor Crawford. Lisburn 14th January 1789.

* The sale of the above farm is postponed till the 20th of Feb. next.

Cock Main & Stag Main

The following is taken from the Belfast News Letter dated 31st March – 3rd April 1789. Thanks to the Belfast News Letter for permission to use this extract.


To commence on Monday the 13th day of April a Cock-Main, in the town of Glenavy between Down and Antrim, for one hundred guineas, the Main. And likewise a Stag Main for said sun in the town of Maralin, between some gentlemen, on the first Monday of June – dated this 30th day of March 1789. McCully and Brown, Feeders.

James Boyes, A Bankrupt

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 16 March – 19 March 1790. Thanks to the Belfast Newsletter for granting permission to use the extract.

In the Matter of James Boyes, A Bankrupt:

To be fold by Auction at the houfe of Edward Quigley, Innkeeper, Glenavy, in the county of Antrim, on Saturday the 20th March inftant, at one of the clock – All the faid Bankrupt’s right, title and intereft in and to the lands of Ifland Kelly, at Stoneyford in faid county; containing about 11 or 12 acres, including the manfion-houfe, offices, garden, &c. now in poffeffion of Mr. Wm. Hogg, out of which there is a profit rent of near 9 l. Yearly – held by leafe under the Earl of Hertford for lives and years unexpired, which will be fully explained at the time of fale.

Alfo the faid Bankrupt’s right, title, and intereft of, in and to his undivided moiety or fhare in the lands called the White Mountain, near Stoneyford, held by leafe as above.

N.B. Thefe concerns muft be peremptorily fold for relief of faid Bankrupt and his creditors, and a proper deed of conveyance will be ready to be perfected at the time of false to the purchafer upon payment of the money which will be then required.

Robt. McMurray,
10th March, 1790.

Death Notice — Doherty Gorman

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Friday, 19th April, 1799. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Lately at Glenavy, Doherty Gorman, Esq., a Gentleman universally beloved and esteemed, and whose loss will be severly felt by his friends, and by the public at large – In him the former have lost a most valuable and faithful friend, and the latter an active and upright Magistrate – Such men are a loss to the community, not easily repaired.

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 23rd April, 1799. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

For The Belfast News-Letter
On the Death of Doherty Gorman, Esq.

Say muse, what solemn mourning band is yon,
Which deck’t in fable gloom, moves slowly on?
Why hangs each head, as drooping with despair,
What means these frantic looks, that ‘shevel’d hair,
And, what, those bursting, lamentable cries?
Is Gorman dead! The good, the gentle, and the wise?
Then cease my wonder – and flow on my tears;
Nor wide nor gentle, the grim monster spares.
Is Gorman dead! Then virtue’s self may mourn,
For surely he was virtue’s eldest born!
Deck’t with his heavenly Parent’s aspect mild,
Each grace, contended for this daring child;
When first his soul was sent t’inhabit earth,
Benignant aspects smiling on his birth,
Lent all their aid to form his generous mind.
And gave – a general blessing to mankind!
His open heart could “feel another’s woe,”
Nor fail’d by deeds of love, his mind to show.
Foe wisdom fam’d, he ever lent her aid,
By fear unaw’d, by danger undismayed;
Vir’d with just zeal, to serve his country’s cause,
He aids her Councils, and protects her Laws;
Nor did his virtues with less lustre shine,
Though circumscribed(1) in a domestic line;
Here too his generous mind display’d its powers,
Fraternal love, fill’d up his leisure hours;
The few relative characters in which he stood,
Were mark’d with sweetness, and benignly good.
His whole deportment, solid, just, with grave,
At once displayed him, upwright, wise, and brave.
But ah, such blessings are too great on earth to stay,
Like wealth, “they make them wings and fly away!”
But this distinction, marks their rapid flight,
Wealth flies to regions of eternal night;
But Gorman quits his “tenement of clay,”
To gain the realms of everlasting day!

Lisburn , April 20, 1799.

* as a Grand Juror and Magistrate

(1) Mr. G. was never married.

The Glenavy Hunt, 1799

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 5th November 1799. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Will meet on Friday, the 8th Instant.
Nov. 4. 1799

The Glenavy Hunt, 1810

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Friday 9th March 1810 and is reproduced here by permission of the Belfast News Letter


Will meet on Monday, the 2d day of April at Mr Quigley’s, Glenavy.

The following appeared in the Belfast Newsletter dated 27th March 1810


Will meet on Wednesday the 14th inst, at Mr Quigley’s Glenavy.

Colonel Heyland, treasurer.

Statistical Account or Parochial Survey of Ireland

The following is an extract from the “Statistical Account or Parochial Survey of Ireland – Parishes of Glenavy, Camlin & Tullyrusk” by the Rev. Edward Cupples.

There are two towns in the union; Glenavy, and Crumlin. Glenavy is a small town, situated about the centre of the union. It is of an angular form, and stands on two hills; between which an extensive river runs, dividing the town into two parts; one of which belongs to the parish of Glenavy, the other to the parish of Camlin. There are sixty-eight houses in it, containing 309 inhabitants; of whom 153 are males, 156 females; 163 protestants, 37 protestant dissenters, and 110 Roman Catholics; the average number of souls to each house being nearly five and a half. It is a post town, and is distant seventy-four miles from Dublin, seven from Lisburn, and twelve from Belfast; Miss Jane Quigley, is the Deputy post-mistress. This town, since the death of Dogherty Gorman Esq. who lived and expended a large income in it, has been on the decline. The erection, however, of a cotton manufactory in it, by Dr. Forsythe and other, may tend, in some degree, to its revival.

Trades and professions in the town of Glenavy.

Apothecary 1
Grocers 5
Taylors 3
Smiths 2
Flax-dresser 1
Innkeeper 1
Turner 1
Farmers 6
Shoemakers 2
Miller 1
Carpenter 1
Publicans 2
Mason 1
Weavers 3
Labourers 14

Military Button

Military button from the early 1800s

A military button

from the early 1800’s – Glenavy Loyal Infantry

Used at the time of the Yeomanry

(in the possession of a friend)

Death Notice – Lyons

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 21st December, 1830. Thanks to the Belfast Newsletter for granting permission to use the extract.

Died – On the 11th inst. At his house, near Glenavy, Mr. Jacob Lyons, aged 67 years, of an apoplexy.

Freehold Registrations, 1831

The following is an extract from The Belfast Newsletter dated 30th September 1831 and is used with permission of The Belfast Newsletter.

The following names are taken from a list of persons applying to register their Freeholds at a General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held in Belfast on the 24th October, 1831.

No. 144

Name and Residence of Applicant: Edward Ferris, Glenavy
Description of Freehold, with the names of Barony and Townland in which situated: House and land, Upper Massereene, town land of Glenavy
Yearly Value to be registered: £10

No. 150

Name and Residence of Applicant: John Moore Johnston, Glenavy
Description of Freehold, with the names of Barony and Townland in which situated: House and land, Upper Massereene, town land of Glenavy
Yearly Value to be registered: £10

Ruins of Portmore

The following is an extract from “Original Poems, sacred, moral elegiac” by William Anderson, English Teacher, 2nd volume MDCCCXLI (1841). Thanks to the staff at The Linenhall Library, Belfast for their assistance in relation to sourcing this book.

The following names are included in the listing of the subscribers to the book.

Harden Byrne, Post Master, Ballinderry
George L. Bell, Esq. Glenconway, Glenavy
Rev. Daniel Bell, Glenavy
George Brown, Crumlin Mills
John Berryhill, Classical Teacher, Crumlin
George Bell, Aghanadarragh, Glenavy
James Boyd, Greenhill, Killead
George Carter, Aughalee
John Carrol, Ballinderry
James Campbell, Post Master, Crumlin
William Campbell, Ballytrummery, Crumlin
Miss Chase, Langforde Lodge School
W. Ellis, Moravian Minister, Ballinderry
William English, Waterfoot Cottage, crumlin
Edward Faloon, Teacher, Cartnagallon (Gortnagallon) National School, Killead
William Ferris
Thompson Ferris, Glenavy
William graham, Classical Teacher, Aughalee
John Gally, Ballymacrevan, Ballinderry
John Hall, Deerpark, Glenavy
Rev. George Hill, Crumlin
Rev. Henry Leebody, Ballinderry
Robert McCoy, Teacher, Ballinderry School
William McCartney, Glenavy
Rev. Wm Magill, Dundrod
Thomas Milford, Crumlin Mills
A lover of Poetry, Crumlin
Joseph Patterson, Ballymacrevan, Ballinderry
Richard Palmer, Crumlin
Israel Palmer, Killead
Mr Charles Reed, Methodist Preacher, Ballinderry
James Sherlock, Aughnamillan, Killead

Page 4 –

Stanza on viewing the ruins of Portmore, in the County of Antrim

‘Tis near to Lough Neagh, on the Southern side,
On the brink of a river there once did reside
The noble Lord Conway, of honor and fame,-
Was gallant and brave, and did gain a good name.

Conaway was his name – they told me ‘twas so,
As I was informed by them who did know:
I viewed the place, did view it o’er and o’er;
I inquired the name – told me it was Portmore.

It once was a grand and magnificent seat;
Its grand office-houses they were very neat,-
They could not be equalled by those who had seen,-
So complete were thy built, they might serv’d the Queen.

Fine walled-in garden was there to be found;
With walks and fine flowers it there did abound,
All in the first order and highest degree –
A place like Portmore it was rare then to see.

I oft heard it talk’d of, before I went there,
By old ancient people, who took every care,
The place could describe, and to tell it to me,
And give it a place in my work, which you’ll see.

But oh! now to think upon the hand of time,
Since that noble edifice was in its prime –
How it has cut down and moulder’d away,
Those noble, fine buildings, and gone to decay.

The remains of the walls are all mantled o’er
With ivy so green, at that ancient Portmore;
But ‘tis kept in memory, that fine, pleasant place,
Where there once liv’d a lord of a noble race.

It is close to Lough beg * – you will find on its shores
That old, ancient place that is still call’d Portmore;
Near to Ballinderry this place it doth lie;
A more pleasant country you could not espy.

For fine fruitful orchards, and plantings so grand
The Marquis of Hertford inherits that land.
For wheat, and for oats, there’s nought could it surpass
And also abundance of clover and grass.

With milk and with honey the place does abound –
The truth I do tell – I do write what is sound.
The next place I mention, they call it Laloo,
Lies hard by Portmore, and from it you can view

That old ancient church, and whose walls still do stand
And fine burying-ground for those in that land.
Who, wise to lie there, when their life it is fled,
And here be no more, but to sleep with the dead.

In the winter season it is surrounded o’er.
When floods they do swell all around by Portmore;
So that when a funeral doth go to the place,
I often have known it then to be the case.

That the corpse was ferried o’er to get there,
To a fine rising ground – interr’d there they were,
And there to remain until the judgement day,
And wait on the word, now, rise, come away.

* Loughbeg is a small lake about a mile distant from Lough Neagh, about four miles in circumference, and communicates by river that runs between them.

Along the way between Lurgan and the town of Antrim

The following is an extract from “Original Poems, sacred, moral elegiac” by William Anderson, English Teacher, 2nd volume MDCCCXLI (1841). Thanks to the staff at The Linenhall Library, Belfast for their assistance in relation to sourcing this book.

On the author travelling along the way between Lurgan and the town of Antrim

From Lurgan town I chanced to go
A journey unto Antrim town:-
Believe me, what I say is so, –
No finer country’s to be found.

For, as I passed along that way,
I had a fine prospective view
Of hill and dale; I now do say,
The country was to me quite new.

I only was a stranger there,
When I along that way did pass,
In summer time, could not forbear
To notice what fine corn and grass

Within the fields of that fine land –
As fine a crop as ever grew,
With plantings fine on every hand,
Appeared quite pleasing to my view.

The pasture- fields were mantled o’er
With grass so green and daisies bright;
Those rural scenes were more and more
Attractive still unto the sight.

But what I now have more to say,
In passing on along that line,
It sometimes caused me to delay,
To view the handsome dwellings fine.

Of farmers’ houses, neat and clean,
Respectable, and very grand,
‘Tis quite a pleasing lovely scene,-
Serve to embellish that fine land.

A land so fertile, and so good,
To equal it ‘tis very rare;
For wheat and oats, ‘tis understood,
That none with it is to compare.

Besides all that, no other place
In Irish ground, that you would see,
Could yet compare – it is the case –
With orchards fine, abundantly.

The fruit it is so good and fine,
Of various kinds that are so nice,
Those at a distance do incline
To buy those fruits at a good price.

And with them, they do cross the sea,
To other parts, as I am told;
They, for their pains, rewarded be,
When their fine fruit they have it sold.

Those fruits I need not mention here,
Nor to describes the various kind,
But what is common, say not dear,
As in that place you there will find.

Oh, what a fine and pleasant view,
To Westward, as I passed along!
To me, indeed, it was quite new –
I to that place did not belong.

Lough Neagh it to the left does lie,
Lough Beg another lake bear to, –
It is but small, it is close by
The larger lake which I did view.

In miles extend ‘bout twenty-four;
Its breadth is twelve, they tell to me;
From Western to the Eastern shore,
Lough Neagh would mind you of the sea.

In it there is an island grand,-
It is renowned for its fame;
Great numbers there they oft do land-
Ram’s Island it is called by name.

‘Tis two miles distant from the shore,
Unto that island of which I speak;
Some go to it health to restore,
And some for pleasure they do seek.

In it there is a building fine,
To ‘commodate those that so call;
Fine walks and flowers do combine
To please the minds of great and small.

The Derry mountains I did spy
Along, as I did pass that way;
Slievegullen, with its summit high,
I saw it plain most of the way.

Some handsome villages I passed through –
Namely, that place called Aughalee;
As I did on my way pursue,
It was quite pleasant unto me.

The next place, then, of any note,
Was Ballinderry – there I came;
‘Tis a fine place, tis’ not remote,-
I found it was of ancient fame.

Fine handsome buildings I saw there,
Fine shops and stores I there did spy;
The people to them do repair,
For every article they do buy.

The finest orchard in that place,
Is close by it, that building rare;
The distance but a little space
From off the building I saw there.

A fine Moravian Chapel there,
And Preacher’s house so neat and grand;
The people thither do repair,
Their duty then to understand.

And hear the Word of God explained –
The Scriptures good that they might know
Religion they have n’er disdained,
Lest it should prove their overthrow.

For we should still to it adhere, –
Be always ready at the call;
Then there is nothing we should fear,
But in peace and love with all.

A School-house, also, in that place,
For male and female children there,
To teach them good, and give them grace,
For which the youth they all repair.

Into Glenavy then did come –
An ancient village on my way;
The buildings few, yet there are some,
But almost are gone to decay.

The church is handsome, steeple grand;
It is adorned with clock and bell –
Low in a valley it does stand –
The hours that pass does truly tell.

Then straight to Crumlin I did go –
A village handsome to the view;
‘Tis most delightful, it is so,
When I my thoughts on it renew.

Some buildings there are fine and neat,
But most of them they are but low;
But, at the same time, are complete,-
In them there’s comfort, I do know.

Two Meeting-houses are in that town,
For Presbyterians, so direct;
They’re neatly built, and of renown:
Their Clergy they do much respect.

Beside, a School-house there, most grand-
It is for those of every sect;
Unto the village nigh at hand.
Instruction there is given direct.

There is a fine dispensary
Established in that small town,
Where medicine is got quite free,-
A doctor there to serve it round.

He is a gentleman of skill,
In which, indeed, it is well known;
His patients they do love him still,
Which every one of them do own.

Hard by that village, there does stand
Glenoak, a famous ancient seat;
It does adorn that fertile land –
That building fine, and very neat.

There are other buildings near the place;
But it would trespass on the time:
I find that it would be the case –
I’ll not be guilty of that crime.

Thus to describe them, one and all,
No farther here I will pursue;
Perhaps, again, that I may call,
And write you something that is new.

I straight set off for Antrim town;
The country, as I went along,
Was a fine rich and fertile ground,-
The people there were very throng –

At their employment, what it may:
Their labour was of different kind;
As in this world, where we do stray,
There’s divers work, of divers kind.

I now in Antrim did arrive,
A town both ancient and of fame;
In trade the people there do thrive;-
Industry good will do the same.

An ancient castle in that place –
A noble Lord does in it dwell;
He’s of a noble ancient race,
As many here do know full well.

So, I am at my journey’s end,
No farther here I mean to go;
My mind can hardly comprehend
These true remarks, I find it so.

I now did say my journey’s end,
Which, with man’s life, we may compare,-
We often here have to contend
With sorrow, trouble, anguish, care, –

Until, at once, we’re called away,
And taken out of this world’s din,
No longer in it then to stay –
No longer live in guilt and sin.

Thomas Ferris sells Glenavy Property

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 30th July 1841 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

By Permission.
Valuable Property at Glenavy

To be sold by auction, without reserve, on the premises, on Friday the 20th of August at twelve o’clock, if not previously disposed of by Private Contract.

The Subscriber’s interest in his farm of land at Glenavy, County Antrim, containing 99a 3r 37p statute measure, held by lease under the Most Noble the Marquis of Hertford, for one young life, and a term of years, at the small yearly rent of 24s per acre. The farm is in the highest state of cultivation, and the quality of the Land is so well known, that it requires no eulogy.

On the Premises is an excellent dwelling house with office houses attached, and every other convenience requisite for an extensive farm, together with a number of houses suitable for Labourers &c at present let to solvent Tenants, and producing upwards of £40 per annum.

If required one half of the purchase money may remain in the hands of the Purchaser, for any term agreed on, on approved security.

On the following Monday, 23d August, the entire crop consisting of forty acres of prime oats, a large quantity of Potatoes, Hay &c., together with the whole of the stock, farming implements, including an excellent threshing machine &c., will be sold by auction on the premises, at ten o’clock A.M.

Approved bills at twelve months will be taken for the crop, stock &c., or 2 shillings per pound sterling allowed for cash.

For further particulars, apply to the Proprietor, on the premises,
Thomas Ferris, Glenavy
20th July 1841.

Death Notice – Mary Isabella Ferriss

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 28th September 1841 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


On the 18th inst at Rose- Lodge, Glenavy, Mary Isabella, the beloved daughter of Mr. Robert Ferriss, aged five years.

Sealed Road Tenders

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated July 23rd 1844 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

To Road Contractors…..
County of Antrim

Sealed tenders and proposals for the Execution of each of the undermentioned Works, will be received by the Secretary of the Grand Jury, until the 24th inst.

Barony of Belfast

No 1 – For making a new line of road from Lurgan to Belfast, by Glenavy and Gorman’s Mountain, between the Barony mearing of Massereene and the Flow bog road….

Land Sale near Town of Glenavy

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 4th January 1848 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

To be sold by Private Contract

A farm of land containing 35a 3r 23p, English Measure, situate close to the town of Glenavy, in the county of Antrim, held under the Marquis of Hertford, by lease for two young lives, subject to the yearly rent of £33, and £1 14s 3d. Receivers’ Fees and Leet.

The land has been lately been thorough drained, and is in the best condition.

On said premises there are ten houses in the town of Glenavy, producing a yearly rental of £30 6s.

A Policy of Insurance, for £600, effected upon the Lives in the Lease, at the Annual Premium of £6 18s 6d, will also be sold.

Mr John Kirkpatrick of Glenavy, one of the tenants will show the premises.

Application to be made to Mr. David Carmichael., Millisle, near Donaghadee; or, to Messrs. Cranstons and hall, Solicitors, Arthur-street, Belfast and 18 Hardwicke Street, Dublin.

Death Notice — John M Johnston

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 9th May 1848 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


On the 8th inst., at his residence, aged 49 years, John M. Johnston, Esq., Glenavy.

Medical Officer Appointed

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 07 08 1854 and has been used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Surgeon D. Bell has been appointed medical officer of Glenavy Dispensary District, in Lisburn Union.

“Tours in Ulster”, by J.B. Doyle

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st August 1854 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


No 125. Tours in Ulster, by J.B. Doyle. Dublin: Hodges and Smith.

Second Notice

We are induced to recal attention to this elegant and interesting volume, because we fully concur with the author as to the propriety of balancing public opinion, which has been for some time past unduly in favour of the South and West. The natural scenery of Ulster is on the whole, quite equal to that of Leinster, Munster, or Connaught. Our province has, indeed, nothing of its kind to compare with Killarney….

Ram’s Island, Lough Neagh and view of Belfast from the Mountains.

“Ram’s Island is a sweet little fairy land, adorned with a lovely cottage, and the grounds richly ornamented with hundreds of rose trees and flowery plants, and neat little parterres. The ruins of a Round Tower give it peculiarly picturesque effect. It is needless to say there are few places of greater attraction than this little isle, and no pleasanter place could be selected for a summer picnic. It is somewhat more than an Irish mile from the mainland, with which it seems to have been formerly connected in the direction of Gartree Point. Ram’s Island is very dear to the peasantry, who take delight in celebrating it in the traditional songs of its neighbourhood. Within view is the demesne of Langford Lodge, the seat of General Sir H. Pakenham. The road to Belfast gradually ascends the great inclined plane caused by the up heaving of the Eastern boundary of the basaltic field. All at once the tourist comes to the great gap between Divis Mountain and the Cave-hill, and whatever weariness may have been experienced in the journey so far, it is soon forgotten in gazing upon the magnificent prospect which here opens to the view. From one point we can perceive three great loughs; Lough Neagh to the West, occupying the great depression formerly noticed; to the East, beyond the undulating hills of Down, Lough Strangford is seen, studded with innumerable islands. Nearer, and stretching some miles to the Northward, Belfast Lough, with its shipping and richly improved shores, occupies the great valley between the counties of Down and Antrim. The own itself, with its grooves of chimneys, steeples, and public buildings, occupies the foreground of this noble prospect …”.

John Cassell’s Coffees

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 15th January 1861 and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

John Cassell’s coffees.

Agents included :
Jas Johnston, Crumlin
P. Logan, Glenavy
M. Bradbury, Glenavy
Mrs Alderdice, Lisburn
S&W Young, Market Square and Bow Street, Lisburn

Glenavy Fair

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 16th February 1861 and 18th May 1861 and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Fairs in Ulster during the ensuing week

Glenavy – Monday

Parish of Glenavy

Extract from Diocese of Down & Connor Ancient and Modern Volume 2 by Rev. J. O’Laverty P.P.M.R.I.A. Published by M.H. Gill & Son, Dublin.

Parish of Glenavy

Glenavy comprises the larger part of the civil parish of Ballinderry, together with the whole of the civil parishes of Glenavy, Camlin and Killead. It contained in 1871 a population of 10,944 of which 2,600 were Catholics.

Glenavy Village

The following are extracts from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim VII 1832 – 1838”. Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.


The only village in this part of the union is Glenavy, which is pleasantly situated on the river of the same name. Besides the church, there has been lately erected a Methodist chapel. There are no fairs or markets held here. The population is 268, 122 males and 146 females. The nearest market is at Crumlin.

Village of Glenavy

The village of Glenavy is for the most part dirty and the houses, with a very few exceptions, are much out of repair. It is an irregular-built village, mostly cabins. It is not lighted ay night. The footpaths are broken and bad. The only public building in the village is the church and it is situated a little off the road. It is but ill supplied with shops.

Town of Glenavy

The village of Glenavy is situated on the stream and at the northern side of the parish of the same name, in the barony of Upper Massereene, manor of Killultagh, diocese of Connor and north east circuit of assize. The village is built upon the main road from Antrim to Banbridge which crosses the summit of a little ridge, giving a smart fall to the street on each side. A small portion of the village extends across the river into the parish of Camlin, but will be included in this description. The situation of Glenavy is cheerful and pleasing: the little valley intersecting the village being prettily wooded and watered by a tolerable stream and the surrounding country being richly cultivated and somewhat diversified. It merely consists of a straggling street extending for half a mile from north to south. In the village itself, except immediately about the bridge, there is nothing interesting. On the contrary, towards its extremities the appearance of the cottages is anything but neat, comfortable or interesting.

Streets and houses in Glenavy

Glenavy consists of 1 straggling and irregular street containing 86 cabins and cottages and 15 2 storey houses, the former occupied by labourers and a few mechanics, and the latter by dealers. There is no private gentleman residing in the town and the people are of the middle or lower class. The labouring class are rather poor and the business or dealing carried on by the rest is very trifling. There is not, however, any poverty or distress in the village, as the labourers never suffer from want of employment. In addition to their other business, the dealers also farm. All classes are quiet, civil and industrious.

The houses are built without regard to uniformity or regularity. They are built of stone. The 2 storey houses are roughcast and slated, some of them are very old-looking. The 1-story cottages are, with 2 or 3 exceptions, dirty and comfortless looking, mostly all thatched and few of them roughcast or whitened. The street is tolerably wide and cleanly and has a narrow footway on each side.

In 1690 it (Glenavy) was garrisoned by the Queen’s Regiment of Horse, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir John Lanier, as is corroborated by a silver chalice presented by the officer of that regiment to the church of Glenavy, and an old 2-storey house in the village, now used as a public house, is said to have been their guardhouse.
The establishment of a post office in Glenavy is said to have been of early date.


The mail from Dublin arrives at half past 7a.m. and is dispatched from Dublin at 5 p.m. The mail from Belfast arrives at 5 p.m. and is dispatched for Belfast at half past 7 a.m. These mails are conveyed in a taxed cart, carrying only the driver.

Glenavy Fair, 1841

The following extract is from The Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd July 1841. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Fairs for the ensuing week: Wednesday 7th – Glenavy County Antrim.

Death Notice – Dickson

The following extract is from The Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 6th July 1841. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

On the 16th ult in the 22d year of her age, Jane, oldest daughter of the late Andrew Dickson, Glenconway.

Thom’s Almanac & Official Directory — 1845

The following is an extract from 1845 Thom’s Almanac & Official Directory

Fairs now held in Ireland – “Gleneavy” 20th February & once every three months.

In the 1855 the Fair in “Gleneavy” is on 14th May, 29th October

In 1855 Dolway Bell is listed as a Medical Officer for Glenavy and a member of the Board of Guardians for Lisburn Borough. They met every Thursday.

In 1845 & 1855 James Whitla, Gobrana, Glenavy is listed as a Magistrate.

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 27th January 1871, and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Wallace, January 23, at her residence, Glenavy, Mrs. Esther Wallace, aged 74 years.

Esther Wallace resided in The Cottage, Glenavy. It would then pass to Dr. Arthur Mussen, the village doctor.

Call for Tenders – preservation wall

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated July 8th 1875 and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast News Letter.

List of applications not contracted for at Sessions, to be tendered for at Summer Assizes 1875.

Tenders for the execution of the following works will be received at the Office of Secretary of the grand Jury, County Courthouse, Belfast, until four o’clock p.m., on Friday the 16th July.

18 – to build 20 perches of preservation wall on road from Lisburn to Glenavy, between Lieut. Thompson’s and new Glenavy Road – cost not to exceed £16.

Village Fairs

Fairs in the village were an important feature in earlier days due to the dependency on agriculture and associated industries. The fairs did not always run smoothly.

The following are extracts from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim VII 1832 – 1838”. Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Village of Glenavy

There was formerly a market held here the first Wednesday in every month, but has been discontinued for some years on account of the number of outrages which took place every market day. On the first Wednesday of this month, February 1835, it was again revived, where the general supply of articles were offered for sale. In the evening some few fights took place, but not of any consequence.

Markets and fairs

A large market was formerly held in Glenavy on the first Wednesday in the month. These markets were, however, the scenes of dreadful party riots which deterred the country people from attending them, and they were finally given up in consequence of one fight which took place there about 30 years ago.

An attempt has been made lately to establish fairs to be held in Glenavy on the first Wednesday in every month for the sale of horses, cows, sheep, pigs; and premiums to be given to the highest buyers and sellers at the February, May, August and November fairs have been offered. These fairs have been revived in October 1834 and are likely eventually to thrive, particularly as no riots now take place.

Origin of Glenavy

Glenavy is said to have been created a fair and market town by patent from Charles 1 but these fairs and markets are not now held.

General remarks

Glenavy, though not increasing in size, is rather improving in the appearance of its houses. Should the fairs succeed, as they are likely to do, it certainly will improve. There are now 3 police stationed in it and it is now free from those quarrels which have hitherto retarded its improvement.

Local Government

There were formerly were some party fights in the fairs in Glenavy, and one of these about the year 1805 was so serious that the fairs were then given up and only attempted to be renewed about a year and a half ago.

Glenavy Fairs

The fairs to be held on the first Wednesday in each month and the premiums to be distributed quarterly on the February, May, August and November fairs in the following manner, viz. horses: first premium 1 pound 10s, second premium 1 pound. Third premium 15s.
Sheep: first premium 5s, second premium 3s, third premium 2s 6d.
Black cattle: first premium 10s, second premium 5s, third premium 3s.
Pgs: first premium 5s, second premium 3s, third premium 2s 6d.
Yarn: first premium 5s, second premium 3s, third premium 2s 6d; the premium for yarn to be given to the largest quantity spun at the residence of the seller and, should two or more articles be sold at one price, that the premiums for the respective classes be divided among the candidates (those premiums are given by the landlord). 25th October 1834.

Glenavy quarterly fairs: premiums will be distributed in future on the February and August fairs for horses and on February, may, August and November for black cattle, sheep, pigs and yarn in the following manner.

Horses: 1st, to the buyer of the highest priced horse 1 pound, to the seller of the highest priced horse 1 pound; 2nd, to the buyer and seller each 15s; 3rd, to the buyer and seller each 10s.
Black cattle: 1st, to the buyer at the highest price 10s, to the seller at the highest price 10s; 2nd, to the buyer and seller at the highest price, each 7s 6d; 3rd, to the buyer and seller at the highest price, each 5s.
Sheep: 1st, to the buyer at the highest price 5s, to the seller at the highest price 5s; 2nd, to buyer and seller at the highest price, each 3s; 3rd, to the buyer and seller at the highest price, each 2s.
Pigs: 1st, to the buyer at the highest price 5s, to the seller at the highest price 5s; 2nd, to the buyer and seller at the highest price 3s; 3rd, to the buyer and seller at the highest price 2s.
Yarn: 1st, to the seller of the largest quantity 5s; 2nd, to the seller of the largest quantity 5s; 2nd, to the seller of the largest quantity 4s; 3rd, to the seller of the largest quantity 3s; 4th, to the seller of the largest quantity 2s. Glenavy, 15th January 1836.

Glenavy Fair — February 1887

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard Saturday 12 02 1887

Fairs for the Ensuing Week.

Antrim – Glenavy 21st February.

Glenavy Fairs

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday 7th May 1887

Fairs for coming week: Glenavy Fair – 15th

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday 19th November 1887

Fairs for coming week – Glenavy Fair – Monday 21st November

Lisburn Union Rates

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday 23rd July 1887:

The following are the Lisburn Union Rates for the Electoral Division of Glenavy:

Glenavy – 5d – rate in the £.

Death Notice – Armstrong

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday 24th December 1887


Armstrong – December 20th at Glenavy – Arthur Armstrong.

Board of Guardians election

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard Saturday March 9th 1889

Lisburn Board of Guardians, held on Tuesday last at 12 o’clock. The following was elected:

Glenavy – James Lorimer, Glenavy

Village Fair

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard Saturday May 18th 1889

Fairs for next week: Glenavy 20th

Dairy Cows for sale at Hope Croft

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter and dated 3rd October, 1890. It is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

For Sale at Hope Croft, Glenavy, two good dairy cows, at note – one pure-bred Kerry Malahide herd; one half-bred Kerry, Crew Park herd. Apply, James Johnston, 19, Waring Street.

John Ferguson Ferris fined for unlicensed gun

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard on Saturday 25th April 1891.

Carrying a gun without a license.

At Crumlin Petty Sessions, before P. Black, Esq. (chairman); and Rev. A. H. Pakenham.

John Ferguson Ferris was summoned by Mr. A.T. L’Amie, officer of Inland Revenue at Lisburn, for having carried a gun without license on the 12th of December last. Mr. J. Frazer, supervisor, Belfast, prosecuted and the defendant, who did not appear was represented by Mr. Williamson, solicitor, Belfast, prosecuted and the defendant, who did not appear was represented by Mr. Williamson, solicitor, Antrim. The service of the summons having been proved, Mr. Williamson said he would probably be able to save the time of the court by pleading guilty on behalf of his client, and expressing his regret at the occurrence. He understood that his client had given a good deal of trouble by giving a false name, but he was so much taken by surprise when accosted by the officer that probably the poor young fellow did not know what he was about. Of course, their worships could not inflict a lower penalty than £2 10s, but he trusted they would see their way to recommend a further considerable mitigation. Mr. Frazer said that, if the Bench were to recommend a further mitigation, it would be necessary for him to state the grounds of the recommendation, and it would therefore be necessary for him to state the grounds of the recommendation, and it would therefore be necessary for him to lay the facts of the case, which he was prepared to prove in evidence before them. Mr. L’Amie had experienced considerable trouble in bringing the offender to justice, owing to his having, in the first place, stated that he had a license when he had not, and giving a false name (that of Lorimer), instead of his own. In order to conceal his identity, he had altered his personal appearance by shaving off his moustache. On all the facts, he did not think their worships would see their way to recommend any further mitigation of the penalty. The Bench inflicted a fee of £2 10s, and declined to recommend any further mitigation. The fine was at once paid by offender’s father.

Hope Croft for sale

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 27 Feb 1895 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Hope Croft, Glenavy.

Residence and lands
To be sold by auction, on the premises, on
Saturday, 2nd March, 1895, at 1.30 o’clock.
The dwelling house contains two
reception and seven Bed rooms, with hot and
cold water. The Offices are complete, and all in
perfect order. Attached are excellent fruit and
vegetable garden and Orchard, well stocked; also,
outside Garden and tennis Court. There is paddock
for cow, with abundance of spring and soft
water. The Lands comprise about 3 ½ acres, well
enclosed, and are situate three minutes walk from
Glenavy Railway Station, being held under Vesting
order from the Irish Land Commission in fee, subject
to a terminable annuity of £6 for 49 years,
when the premises will be free of rent for ever.
There are three cottier houses, bringing in £7 per year.

For title and conditions of sale, apply to
George Henry Quarry,
68 Royal Avenue, Belfast
Ferguson & Harvey,
13 Rosemary Street, Belfast; and Lisburn.

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 26th July 1895 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Sale this day.

To be sold by Auction, at mart, 13, Rosemary
Street, Belfast, on Friday, 26th July, 1895, at Twelve o’clock.
Hopecroft Residence, with about 3 ½ acres of land, situate, Glenavy, three
Minutes walk from railway station, with splendid Garden, Orchard and Offices
Attached; also, three cottier houses (let at £7 yearly),
the whole held for ever under Land Commission, subject to £6 yearly, for 48 years.

For Title, &c., apply to
G.H. Quarry, Solicitor,
68 Royal Avenue.
Ferguson & Harvey, Auctioneers.

George Wilson, Auctioneer & Valuator

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald dated January 1st 1898

George Wilson
Auctioneer and Valuator
Glenavy & Crumlin.
Sales conducted in town or country.

George Wilson, carpenter, builder and contractor

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald dated Saturday 15th January 1898

George Wilson, Carpenter, builder and contractor, Glenavy – all kinds of work executed on shortest notice. Estimates free. Cars for hire.

Auction at Glenavy

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald January 29th 1898


I will hold my second sale at the Auction Mart, Station Gates, Glenavy on Saturday, 19th February 1898 at 12 o’clock which will consist of horses, cattle, carts, cars, cart harness, wheelbarrows, turnip pulpers, mangles, doors, windows, old and new timber.

I will receive any class of Goods for sale on same day. Any one requiring to have their Goods advertised will want to give me information of same before Wednesday 7th February.

Entrance fee for Horses 2 s each, cattle 1/6 each.

For any further information apply to
George Wilson, Auctioneer and Valuator, Glenavy and Crumlin.

Protestant Orphan Society

The following extract is from the Lisburn Standard dated 8th January 1898

Protestant Orphan Society for County Antrim & Down

The election committee of this society met on Thursday in Belfast. 33 children were elected, including Richard & Sarah McCappin, Drumbeg; and Erskine C Hume, Glenavy.

Seven Day Licence

The following is from The Lisburn Herald dated 14th May 1898

An application for a seven day licence was made from George Ferris to Sarah Ferris in Glenavy dated 05 05 1898.

Stealing Apples

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated 1st September 1900

Robbing an Orchard.

Mrs Margaret Downer, Glenavy charged Samuel Crow, Junior, Glenavy, with stealing apples from her orchard on August 23rd.
The case was proved by William McKeown, complainant’s servant.

Sergeant Rea said he had made enquiries about this boy, and found that although he lived with his grandparents, they had no control over him, and none of his friends would appear that day.

The Bench considered that the best thing for the boy would be to send him to a reformatory, and he was therefore committed to Malone Reformatory for four years.

The Court then adjourned, several cases having to be postponed owing to the fact that Mr. Laird, J.P., was obliged to go away, and one magistrate could not decide the cases.

Unionist Membership Card

Old Unionist Membership Card

Old Unionist Membership Card

Old Unionist Membership Card

Old Unionist Membership Card

This is an old Unionist membership card from Glenavy. It was in the possession of a family who once resided at the Crew.

It reads:

“Union is strength”
Ulster Unionist Council
Antrim Division
Glenavy Branch.



  1. To help the Unionist Cause by all legitimate means in our power.
  2. To read and circulate leaflets, etc., explaining our circumstances and needs, and to inform ourselves regarding the aims, achievements and ideals of the Unionist Party.
  3. To render all possible assistance in securing the perfect register of voters, by obtaining and reporting information respecting removals, new occupiers and owners.
  4. To contribute as far as we are able to Unionist Funds.


President:   Mr John Lyle
Chairman:   Mr A.A. Peel
Hon Secretary:   Miss E.Adeline McKeown
Hon Secretary:   Miss Sefton

Glenavy Village Pump

Extract from The Lisburn Standard — Saturday November, 17th 1900

Lisburn Rural District Council Quarterly meeting held at the Workhouse, Lisburn on Thursday.

One of the motions taken up included… “By Councillor McGarry, J.P., – To enclose and improve approach to Pump in Glenavy village. Probable cost £10. District charge – adjourned to ordinary meeting.”

Glenavy Village – early 1900s

Glenavy Village early 1900s

A rare early 20th Century photograph of Glenavy Village
Note the arch in the background with the sign

“God Save the King”

Glenavy Postcard

Early 20th Century Postcard from Glenavy

Early 20th Century Postcard from Glenavy

Dentist — Mr Chapman

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard 22nd December 1916.

Dental Notice

We bed to intimate that
Mr. Chapman
attends the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month in
Crumlin – Mr Robinson, Lough Neagh Terrace, Hours – 10 to 12
Glenavy – Mr. J. Armstrong, Saddler. Hours – 12.15 to 1
Manning & Chapman Ltd., Surgeon dentists, 33 Railway Street, Lisburn, Phone 85. 15 Castlereagh Street, Belfast.

Poem by William Henry Nassau Downer

I found the following poem in the Downer family scrapbook. It has been typed with amendments in ink. It was composed by William Henry Nassau Downer just two days before his 20th Birthday and is dated 2nd July 1919. WHN Downer was known as Hal.

GLENAVY – An Appreciation

(reproduced by kind permission of the Downer family)

That dear little village – Glenavy’s its name,-

With a street that’s so beautifully clean,
The whitewash is spotless, the thatch neat and ([*] wondrously) trim,
And its beautiful meadows so green.

This place is a picture – none nicer there is
In this dear little Island of ours,
With its nice rural hedges and great, tall trees
And the ([**] beautiful) scents of the flowers.

The prettiest church in all Ireland is here –

At the foot of the village it stands,
And the sweet-toned bell in its old stone tower
Rings clearly out o’er the lands.

And out in God’s Acre the Worshippers walk
After church on a hot summer day,
And look on the Graves of their friends who have gone
To a Home that is far, far away.

And down in the trees where the old church stands,

Beneath the “ding-dong” of the bell
Between two graves, and hid by the grass,
Is a pre-Reformation Well.

Then “Here’s to this village – so nice and so neat –
May Good Fortune’s most bountiful hand
Be near thee as long as this World shall last,

O Pearl of a Beautiful Land.”

H.D. 2/7/19

[*]    “wondrously” penned onto typed page

[**]   “beautiful” there is a line through this word on typed page

The poem encompasses the love the author had for the village of Glenavy. One wonders what Hal Downer would make of the village today if he were alive.

There is an interesting reference to a pre-Reformation well, hidden by the grass and located in between two graves. There is no doubt that Hal is writing about St. Aidan’s, Glenavy Parish Church of Ireland. This appears to be a long forgotten feature in the graveyard.

Church of the Dwarf

(first published in 1995 in Northern Ireland Poets anthology)

Where chieftains crowned and fought
And met Saint Patrick
On raths and huts of mud
In wooded land around the river.
Where Saint Aidan’s parish church stands
Through lynch-gate, its clock tower – guarding those-
Its faithful, laid resting side by side.
Who bequeathed their goods and chattels onto those they loved.
Where days of fights at fairs took place.

The monument inscribed still stands
To those they loved who fell in wars
Away from home.
Where folks worked and toiled the land
With horse and plough
Rucked the hay
And danced the night away at Crew.
Where griddles baked the soda farl
Enriched by handmade butter, patted neatly

Inside the whitewashed thatched home,
With clambering rosebush clinging on the walls.
Where the summers paved the way
Along the hand-shorn banks around the field
For orange sash and banner
And winters filled the loanindeep with snow.

Now the giant works of modern brick expands

And life goes on.

by Shane McClurg

Glenavy Village 1904

Glenavy Village 1904

Postcard depicting Glenavy Village

dated 13th September 1904

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday 21st July, 1906


A memorial, signed by thirteen ratepayers, was received calling the attention of the Council to the necessity for a pump at the end of the village of Glenavy, as the pump outside the village was alleged to be unsanitary. The matter was referred to the medical officer of health of the district for a report.

New Well

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday, July 18th, 1906.

Lisburn Rural Council:
Glenavy Water Supply.

The committee in charge of this matter reported that, in company with the engineer, they had examined the old pump, and were of the opinion that it would be better to sink a new well at the end of the village, close to Mr. McKeown’s garden fence, as this site would be more central for the persons using the water.

On the motion of Mr. Mockler, seconded by Mr. Hull, the recommendation was adopted.

Dublin Road, Glenavy

Dublin Road, Glenavy

Postcard showing
“Dublin Road, Glenavy”

Death Notice — Sarah A Thompson

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 7 01 1910 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Thompson – January 5th at Annandale, Glenavy, County Antrim, Sarah A., widow of Henry Thompson J.P., Crosshill, Windsor Avenue North, Belfast. Funeral private.

Mrs Henry Thompson

The many friends of the late Mr. Henry Thompson J.P., of Crosshill, Windsor Avenue North, Belfast, will regret to learn of the death of his widow, which took place on the night of the 5th inst., at Annadale, Glenavy, County Antrim. Mrs. Thompson was for many years a member of the Belfast board of Guardians, and rendered excellent services to the rate payers in that capacity. In conjunction with the late Miss Isabella M.S. Tod, she was an active worker in the woman’s suffragist movement, and she was also prominently identified with the Primrose League, in addition to being on the committees of many of the benevolent institution in Belfast. As will be seen from the intimation in another column the funeral will be private.

Glenavy Village – early photo

Early photo of Glenavy Village

An early photograph (out of focus)

showing cars in Glenavy Village

(Kindly provided by the McKeown family)

New Dispensary for Glenavy

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald dated 13th May 1911.

Glenavy Dispensary

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Mr. Devlin asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention had been called to the inconvenience caused to the poor in the Ballinderry portion of the Glenavy dispensary district by the fixing of the new dispensary at the village of Glenavy, which is on the border of the Crumlin dispensary district, thus practically depriving the poor of the Ballinderry district of medical relief.

Mr. Birrell – The proposal in this case is to provide a residence for the medical officer of the Glenavy dispensary district. There already exists a dispensary depot at Ballinderry, which is not intended to disturb. The medical officer has hitherto resided at Glenavy, but the Guardians provisionally selected three sites for a residence – one at Glenavy and two at Ballinderry, in the Ballyscolly electoral division. The Medical Inspector to the Local Government Board visited the district in March last, and reported on the sites. The Board communicated with the Guardians and expressed their opinion that the site of Glenavy was the most convenient and suitable, and should consequently be adopted. The Guardians, having considered this letter and memorials in favour of the several sites, decided on the 4th ult., to acquire the site at Glenavy.

Call for Tenders — Glenavy Dispensary

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday June 10th 1911

Lisburn Union
Glenavy Dispensary
To the builder and contractors.

The Board of Guardians of the above Union invite Tenders for the erection of a Dispensary and Dispensary Residence at Glenavy, in accordance with Plans and Specification prepared by Mr. George Sands, C.E.
Plans, Specification, &c., can be inspected at this Office, or at the Office of the Architect, Courthouse, Lisburn.
Sealed Tenders endorsed “Glenavy Dispensary” and addressed to “The Presiding chairman,” and containing the names of two solvent Surities, who are willing to enter into a Bond of £1,200 for the due performance of the Contract, will be received by me up to the hour of Twelve o’clock noon, on Tuesday, the 20th June, 1911.

The lowest or any Tender not necessarily accepted. (By Order)

William Sinclair,
Clerk of the Union.
Poor-Law Offices, Lisburn
6th June 1911.

Glenavy Celebrates Coronation Day — 1911

Coronation Day 1911, Glenavy

Coronation Day 1911, Glenavy

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard, Saturday, July 1st, 1911


The arrangements made here for Coronation Day were that the school children to the number of about 300 should be entertained to tea and presented with a souvenir in the form of a Coronation mug, sports in the afternoon, and fireworks and a bonfire in the evening. At one o’clock a procession was formed, and the children, carrying flags given by the committee, and attended by the Glenavy Brass and Flute Bands marched to the Parish Church, where a united service was held. An eloquent and appropriate address was delivered by the vicar (Rev. J.M. Boyle-Glover, M.A.), who was assisted in the reading of the prayers by Rev. W.R.S. Clarendon, B.A. (curate assistant). The first lesson was read by Rev. J. Canning, minister of Crumlin Presbyterian Church, and the second by Rev. R. Jamison, Methodist minister of Glenavy. The offertory was devoted to the County Antrim Infirmary. The special music, which included Churchill’s “O King of Kings,” was feelingly rendered, its impressiveness being greatly enhanced by the assistance given by the Brass Band. By the time the service was concluded heavy rain had set in, which precluded the holding of sports. Recourse was had to the large Protestant Hall, where the children received their Coronation mugs and partook of tea. It was decided to postpone the sports programme and fireworks till a later date. Later in the evening the bands turned out and paraded the village, which was most elaborately decorated, tall poles carrying festoons of colour, with cross arches of flags and bunting. About nine o’clock the huge bonfire was lighted, and the proceedings closed with cheers for their Majesties, and the singing of the National Anthem, accompanied by the Brass Band.

Marriage Notice — Dr Patrick and Miss Nina Moore

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald 19th August 1911.

Marriage of Dr. Patrick, Glenavy.

A graceful ceremony was witnessed on Thursday afternoon in Finvoy Parish Church, when the marriage was solemnised of Mr. Norman Colum Patrick, M.B., F.R.C.S., son of the late Mr. John Patrick, J.P., Gledheather, Glarryford, County Antrim, and Miss Nina Mary Adelaide, daughter of William Moore, K.C., M.P. for North Armagh, Moore Lodge, County Antrim. The pretty church was extensively decorated with white flowers, Mrs and Miss Fraser having charge of the embellishment of the sacred building. At the hour of the ceremony the seating accommodation of the church was fully occupied, the event attracting great interest throughout the district where the parents of the contracting couple are so widely known. The ceremony was performed by the Lord Primate, assisted by Rev. Canon Courtenay Moore, D.D., rector of Mitchelstown, and grand-uncle of the bride; and rev. George Frazer, rector of Finvoy. The bride and groom were recipients of hosts of valuable presents from these well-wishers, these including the gift of an Irish hammered silver cup from a number of Unionists of North Armagh, and a silver sugar-bowl and cream-jug of old Irish pattern from the Marquis of Londonderry. The happy couple have gone to the Continent on their honeymoon.

McKeown Family of Sunnyside

The McKeown Family who resided at Sunnyside, Glenavy

The McKeown Family who resided at Sunnyside, Glenavy

Advertisement for Hay and Grain Sheds, 1912

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald Sat 23rd March 1912

Hay and Grain Sheds 1912

Our business in the erection of sheds is steadily increasing. Last year we erected or supplied materials in the neighbourhood of the following places – Antrim, Banbridge, Ballynahinch, Ballygowan, Ballyutoag, Castlereagh, Comber, Crumlin, Desertmartin, Dundonald, Downpatrick, Glenavy, Greyabbey, Killinchy, Killyleagh, Lurgan, Moira, Newtownards, Randalstown, Rathfriland, Saintfield and Tynan. …

Correspondence invited.
Potts & Houston
Iron and Hardware Merchants
115, North Street,

Glenavy Dispensary

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald Saturday June 29 1912

Glenavy Dispensary Residence.

The following communication was read by the assistant clerk (to the Lisburn Board of Guardians meeting on Tuesday last):

“District Office of Public Works 24 06 1912, Sir – I beg to inform you that I intend to inspect the site for the Glenavy Dispensary on Friday, 28th inst., about 12.45 o’clock. Your obedient servant, J.H. Wigg.”

Mr. Higginson – Is that not rather late, now that the dispensary is being built?

Mr. Balance – What is the meaning of that?

The Chairman – I suppose it is some Government Official performing his duties. (laughter)

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday August 31st 1912

Lisburn Board of Guardians
Glenavy Dispensary

The Commissioners of Public Works wrote stating that the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury have been pleased to sanction a loan of £1,500 for the purpose of purchasing land and erecting thereon a dispensary and residence. The Clerk said they had waited a very long time for the loan. The dispensary was practically erected.

Retirement of Sergeant Barrett

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald 31st August 1912.

Retirement of Sergeant Barrett

The Chairman said he desired to express the regret the magistrates felt that they were not to see Sergeant Barrett there any more as he was retiring from the Constabulary. He had always found the sergeant most courteous, obliging, and efficient in the discharge of his duty in that district. He was an exemplary man in every respect, and they were sorry to lose him.
Colonel Pakenham, Dr. Mussen, and Mr. Hunter endorsed the observations of the chairman.

Mr. Maginess said, as the senior solicitor present, he could bear out what had been said about Sergeant Barrett, who had conducted his cases in a fair and honourable manner, and had given no trouble to the legal profession.

District-Inspector Heatley said he was much obliged to their worships and Mr. Maginess for thei kind remarks concerning Sergeant Barrett, with whom he had been associated for several years, both as constable and sergeant – he had been promoted while serving under him – and he was one of the best men he ever had.

Sergeant Barrett said he wished to return his best thanks for the flattering remarks that had been made in reference to him. He had been 25 years in the Royal Irish Constabulary – one of the best forces in the world. He was leaving it as he entered it without a stain on his character. During the time he had been stationed in Crumlin and it was comforting to him to know that in the cases he brought there he was dealing with such an intelligent and considerable body of gentlemen as their worships, and as for the inhabitants, there was not a more loyal or lawabiding people anywhere. He had always found them very kind, and willing to render him every assistance in the discharge of his duties, which, in consequence, were rendered pleasant. He was sure his successor would have little trouble with them. He (the sergeant) was glad to think that he was not going far away – that he was practically going to live in their midst. He had decided to settle down in Glenavy and hoped to meet them often.

Glenavy Fair

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday, April 16th, 1918


It has been decided by the
Farmers and Influential
Residents of the Town and
District to revive this old-
Established Fair, which in future
Will be held Monthly, on the
FIRST FAIR to be held on
THURSDAY, 18th April.

Notice to Creditors re Thomas McMullen

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday, March 16th, 1918

Notice to Creditors

In the goods of Thomas McMullen, late of Glenavy,
in the County of Antrim, Farmer, deceased.
All persons having claims or demands
against the Estate of the above Deceased
who died on the 19th day of December,1917, are
hereby required on or before the 22nd day
of March 1918, to furnish detailed particulars
thereof, in writing, to the undersigned Solicitor
for the Executors, to whom Probate was granted
on the 25th day of January, 1918.
Dated this 28th day of February, 1918.
William George Maginess, Solicitor,
28, Bow Street, Lisburn.

The Wickliffe and McKeown family

There is an interesting document at titled CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF MONA MCKEOWN (1904-985) OF GLENAVY.

Sarah Mosina McKeown compiled her memoirs about 1966/1967. She refers to older family members including her grandmother Wickliffe.

Her mother was Jane McKeown nee Wickliffe. Jane Wickliffe (baptised 30 May 1875 at Glenavy Parish Church) was the daughter of Moses and Sarah Jane Wickliffe from Tullynewbane. She had two other siblings – Lizzie (baptised at Glenavy Parish Church 3 1 1872) and John (baptised at Glenavy Parish Church 28 11 1873.)

Moses Wickliffe had been the son of John and Jane Wickliffe from Tullynewbane. He was baptised at Glenavy Parish Church on 15th January 1837. The Wickliffe name goes back to at least the 1720 period in Glenavy records and there is evidence of the surname in the Tullynewbane area from the early 1800’s.

Moses married on 14th October 1870. At this time his age is recorded as 28 years. He married Sarah Jane Adams from Glenavy, daughter of Robert Adams, a farmer. The witnesses to the wedding were Johnston Adams and Betty Wickliffe.

Moses Wickliffe died a young man. He was buried at Glenavy Parish Church on 20th March 1876 aged 38 years. His wife Sarah Jane was still alive in 1911 and is listed in the 1911 census, aged 73, a Methodist, partially blind at Tullynewbane. It states she had a total of 3 children and only one survived. This was Jane McKeown (nee Wickliffe).

PRONI Will Calendars

The following information is taken from the will calendars in the PRONI and are reproduced with kind permission of Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

John Wickliffe died 21 10 1897.
Date of grant of will 01 12 1897 at Belfast
Effects £39 1s

Full Abstract:

Probate of the Will of John Wickliffe late of Tullynewbane County Antrim Farmer who died 21 October 1897 granted at Belfast to Bessie Wickliffe of Tullynewbane Spinster

John Wickliffe was the father of Moses Wickliffe. The executors of his will were Joesph Colburn and James Collier of Ballynacoy. The farm at Tullynewbane was left to his wife Jane and daughter Bessie. He also left money to his daughter in law Sarah Jane (wife of late Moses Wickliffe) and her daughters Lizzie and Jane. John also made mention of his sons John and Samuel who were in New Zealand and his daughter Sarah Jane Millar who was in Australia.

A descendant of the Wickliffe family made contact in December 2007 and informed me that John Wickliffe had emigrated to Australia in 1860, and then sailed onto New Zealand within two years of landing.

Baptism records in Glenavy show that John and Jane Wickliffe, Tullynewbane had possibly the following children:

John (baptised 29 07 1832)
David (baptised 25 1 1835)
Moses (baptised 15 1 1837)
Sarah Jane (baptised Dec 1839)
Samuel (baptised 4 6 1843)

John and Jane Wickliffe are possibly the couple who married at Glenavy in February 1829. Jane’s maiden name was Barrett/Barnett – or similar spelt surname. There is a burial record of John Wickliffe aged 97 at Glenavy Parish Church on 23 10 1897. Jane Wickliffe appears to have died aged 96 years and is buried at Glenavy in March 1899.

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 17th October, 1899 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Messrs. J.D. Martin and Co’s Property Sales.

… A farm at Tullynewbane, formerly in the possession of the late Mr. John Wickliffe, held under the Irish Land Commission for forty nine years, at the annuity of £6 4s was bought by Mrs. Wickliffe at £85.

Their unmarried daughter Bessie died on 3 3 1899. She was buried at Glenavy on 5 March 1899. She left money to her sister-in- law Sarah Jane Wickliffe (widow of Moses) and their children Lizzie Wickliffe and Jeannie McKeown (nee Wickliffe.)

In 1924 Jeannie McKeown erected a headstone at Glenavy Parish Church in memory of the Wickliffe family

The McKeown family grave is also in Glenavy parish Church.

Early 20th Century Postcard

Glenavy Village postcard - Early 20th century

Glenavy Village postcard

Early 20th century

Glenavy in the 1920s

The following articles are the first four in a series of seven titled “Glenavy” written by William McLeavy. The articles originally appeared in “The Lisburn Herald” in 1923. Please note that some of the original articles were unreadable.

The Lisburn Herald, Saturday February 3rd, 1923:


Seldom do we see the country village taken as a descriptive article for the Press, yet nowhere are there more lovely surroundings and natural beauty. Her wooded highways, babbling brooks, and water mills, surrounded by lakes or massive hills, should appeal to the artist’s eye more so than the fashionable seaside resort, largely beautified by artificial inventions. To the careless eye of the stranger, Glenavy and its environs may not present my feature of absorbing interest or any material to inspire the scribe to write about. No hold prominence strikes the traveller, no stoned castles stir the imagination, and it is the misfortune, but not the fault, of the place that there is a not a total abundance of wood and water to vary the landscape and bewitch the tourist, like Killarney, Wicklow, and the shores of Lough Erne. Yet, the place has an interest and charm of its own, not only for the native whose mind is steeped in its history and traditions, but also for lovers of nature in its milder aspects, who find satisfaction in fertile fields and comfortable living rather than in the barren splendours of the “stern and wild.” The village has been admired by strangers passing through for its clean and tidy appearance; in fact the inhabitants seem to vie with each other as in the neatness of their dwellings although situate somewhat in a valley. The health and sanitary conditions are of the highest standard, its local school scarcely ever closed for an epidemic; its distance from the capital of Northern Ireland is about equal or a mile or so further than to Bangor in opposite direction, and we have no doubt whatever had the Great Northern Railway Coy. offered any facilities to travellers or encouragement to villa buildings, that quite a number of summer resorts would have been in existence overlooking Lough Neagh and Ram’s Island; but instead the company seemed to clog its commercial and industry progress by its abnormal high rates in passenger and goods traffic, as even compared with the Midland Railway’s rate to Antrim, ten miles further. The surrounding is such as Oliver Goldsmith might have taken delight in comparing with his Sweet Auburn in all but the silent decay which fell upon that loveliest village of the plain. The horizon is broken up on one side by the high rounded country, the Crewe Hill being the pivot which secludes from the eye of the traveller the Divis and White Mountain, beyond which lie the bolder outline of Cave Hill, standing like a sentinel over Belfast and its lough. The Crewe Hill figures much in medieval history relating to the period when Ulster possessed a king of her own with the other three provinces. It is conjectured that the large stone to be seen on the summit of this hill was the spot where the coronation ceremony was held. It undoubtedly possesses the natural advantage as being recorded the highest hill in Ulster taken from the sea level, and where five counties are visible to the naked eye. Perhaps with the aid of a telescope Northern Ireland might be all seen. It further shows the marks of being at one time a strategical point in military warfare, as evidenced by its large dug-out forts. The late Reverend Charles Watson’s History of Glenavy, gives historical record of this renowned hill of Ulster , and it is within the memory of a great many of your readers that on the accession of late King Edward to the Throne of Great Britain and Ireland, the inhabitants of the village under review and surrounding districts marched in procession with music, headed by the present Dr. Mussen, J.P., to this hill to celebrate in miniature the notable event. On the opposite side, Lough Neagh, with Shane’s Castle and Langford Lodge, with their beautiful wooded demesnes and enchanting scenery; and to the lovers of natural beauty and artistic taste, what could surpass the glory and splendour of the setting and with its reflecting rays over this tranquil lake, with the fishermen casting their nets and anchoring their boats? It is comparable only to the rising sun on the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland.

The main thoroughfare of the village is wide and spacious (and is now inviting the attention of its Rural Councillors for a new coal of metal, steam-rolled) being the main road from Moira to Antrim and Belfast. Where these latter roads converge a large monument in obelisk form was recently erected in memory of her fallen sons and survivors in the great struggle for liberty. Let us hope the patriotism of the village will rise and have it substantially enclosed with a railing. As evidence of its increasing prosperity a branch of the Northern Banking Co. and a monthly fair have been established -a great acquisition to its industrial life. Prohibition has not yet taken control, there being all present two licensed premises, one styled as Hotel. The manner in which they are conducted is highly commendable; yet it is a very pleasing feature to note that in the whole rural district from here to Lisburn not a public house exists , and this has had a salutary effect on the morals and conduct of the whole countryside.

Glenavy possesses the ideal characteristics of village life. On entering it you hear the sound of the blacksmith’s anvil; at its terminus you see “the children coming home from school, peep in at the open door: they love to see the flaming forge and hear the bellows roar.” At this juncture a word or two as to its local industry. Nature has endowed it with vast water power, which, if properly and scientifically conserved , would be capable of driving an electric station for large machinery. These possibilities lie dormant, seeking the enterprising capitalist, with a patriotic motive. Some few years ago it was considered certain that the raising of the lignite would have become a (lo n) industry , but , alas the project was abandoned , for what cause the public never knew exactly, and we anxiously await the research and enterprise of Sir Samuel Kelly, across the lough in County Tyrone, in the discovery and development of coal mining. Let us hope that Glenavy will some day come under his survey for research. There is a true proverb which says ” That where there is no vision the people perish.” In this connection I might add the honour recently conferred on Mr Kelly was hailed with great satisfaction by the people of the village, the home and birthplace of his grandfather – an humble cottage at Crewe Hill , only a few years ago, passing out of the Kelly name. The ancestral tie with Glenavy justifies my bringing him under review. During the war, a Flax Syndicate required the lands; and old corn mill owned by the late Mr. Lorimer. It was fully anticipated that the growing and cultivation of flax would be encouraged, and selective knowledge imparted in a practical form on Continental lines. Here we have rich and suitable land, with an abundant water supply, and what a benefit it would have been both in the farming and linen industry had this enterprise been developed and the flax bought from farmers in the fibre? The old system is entirely out of date and a lucrative industry doomed from want of co-operation and practical application. We have plenty of theorists in our national Universities and Technical Institutes who can write and explain the minutest details from the germination of the seed and the different processes undergone till it comes out in white linen or thread. It is grand and interesting to read but without the knowledge the practical part would be a forlorn failure. All we require is practical businessmen to put the theory in practice. It is most distressing to write that this mill with all the new up-to-date machinery was sold at scrap prices labour-begging workmen travelling 20 miles for the unemployment dole, and not a field of flax under cultivation or likely to be for some time. There are two mills employing about a dozen hands one the old corn mill solely driven by water. During the period when oatmeal formed the staple food of the country the quality produced by this mill was proverbial fro sweetness. It is no wonder the people reared on this wholesome commodity do cive ? the do loss by their amazing vitality in overcoming disease and living to a ripe old age. This mill has for some time been under new management; great improvements have been made in more up-to-date machinery and installation of electric light, and with its cheap producing power it should compete very favourably with the city mills. This industry is now fighting for its very existence to keep out the manufactured flour from America, labour seemingly having no foresight as to the catastrophe should we come back to the days when nothing but American flour was being sold and continue and support only the home industry. The other one is a flock mill for dealing with rags, which are sterilized into material for mattresses, etc.

The Lisburn Herald, Saturday February 24th, 1923:

It is not my purpose in this brief sketch to go into medieval history touching the period when Brian Boru was King of Ulster, and of his wars and battles with the other kings of Ireland, or of his adventures during the two years’ stay on Crewe Hill. To do so I would only be copying ancient manuscripts and rewriting an animated history. Much better for me to continue my remarks to the present age, and recollections of those now living and thereby create a fresh interest in matters pertaining to the life and history of this village and make my subject pleasant reading. In my preceding article I touched upon the two mills, which in the labour market are not of paramount importance, as I daresay the four shops therein employ more hands than they do, the principal and leading one being Messrs. M.L.&S. Johnston, which has been for some time a Limited Company with Mr. W.J. McKeown as managing director. This old-established business house has been most prosperous even in depressing times maintaining a steady output, and expanding and catering for the whole countryside, so that it now is a “provider” of every commodity; its business methods are up-to-date prices so finely cut that contractors and builders find it to their advantage to purchase here rather than in Belfast. The shop known as “The Emporium” in which Mr. F.G. Barrett pushed a fine business, is now in the hands of Mr. James Wilson, locally connected with the village. His moderate profits combined with courtesy and obliging manner should ensure him a progressive trade. His premises are in a central position, while his yard and stores are large and spacious. Mr. Robert Wilson, who carries on the business of auctioneer and valuer , has recently fitted up a new salesroom in which periodic auctions are held. He has opened a shop for the sale of miscellaneous article and where refreshments can be had on stated occasions . His contact with the general public should materially help him in his new venture. Mr. Kavanagh’s shop is still conducted on the old principles, and, without having any display or advertisement , seems to do a steady business. What a beehive of life and activity this village would be if some local industry were started giving work and employment. The late Sir John Savage, a native of Glenavy and prominent mill-owner in Belfast , on entering into the manufacture of linen thread cast his eye on Glenavy, built a large warehouse, which was stated to be for hemstitching and embroidery purposes as an accessory to his enterprise and to benefit the village, but, alas his tragic death nipped the enterprise in the bud. This warehouse is now converted into a beautiful residence. Without any pretensions to Royalty Glenavy becomes a title of the United Kingdom. Sir James H Campbell, on vacating the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland and being elevated to the Peerage, adopted this humble village as his title. Lord Glenavy, by which he is now known and styled. And I am sure I am voicing the sentiments of the inhabitants of the village and surrounding country how highly honoured they are in this brilliant and distinguished lawyer, who rose to the highest judicial position in the land, assuming Glenavy as his future title in his exalted sphere. Mr. Campbell, as he was formerly known, was a prominent figure-head in the North-East Circuit, and as leading Counsel in several interesting cases , criminal and civil, he brought the litigants successfully out, and his name had a household one. We can all remember the interesting claim of Mr. James Ballance, Ballypitmave, Glenavy, against the Belfast City and Water Commissioners, involving a lot of legal argument which Mr Campbell piloted the case before Judge of Assize in Belfast; King’s Bench, Dublin, and finally through the Court of Appeal in a verdict for Mr. Ballance with costs. He was a staunch supporter and advocate of the maintenance of the Legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland, but when His Majesty’s Government entered into a binding treaty with the accredited representative of Southern Ireland, in conferring on her Dominion status Lord Glenavy bowed to the inevitable and threw himself heartily, on behalf of his country, in honouring the Treaty and as evidence of his outstanding abilities he was elected Chairman of the Senate of the Irish Free State, and here we see the greatness and magnamity of the man when the Senate raised the question of opening its proceedings with prayer, Lord Glenavy, as an ardent and devoted member of the Church of Ireland, from the chair, explained how difficult and delicate would be the task of arranging public devotions in so theologically mixed an assembly, and he suggested that at the opening of each day members should rise and stand for a minute by the clock in silence. Oh the thoughts, aspirations and emotions of those sixty seconds in that assembly! However, it was an omen of the true spirit in this distracted land. I hope in a future issue to take up other men connected with the village who have distinguished themselves.

The Lisburn Herald, Saturday March 17th, 1923:

My task up till now has been comparatively easy, as the matters dealt with were quite familiar to the ordinary person in touch with the village and its surroundings, but to enter into even a brief survey of the distinguished persons closely identified with its social and economic life, or of her sons who have become famous in foreign lands, I must at the outset admit my utter inability and incompetence to do justice thereto, and I know of no historical record to help me in the undertaking. No doubt one could get some inspiration from the tablets in the parish church erected there in sacred remembrance of those who have been benefactors of Glenavy, or by strolling round the graveyard and reading the epitaphs chiselled on the works of art in memory of notable and distinguished personages, many having history behind them requiring a biography of their own. However, I wish to make it perfectly plain that it is without prejudice in any way to anyone that I select a few for a short narrative of those I am conversant with and of whom your many readers are in some way acquainted with. No “Carnegie” to chronicle amongst them; not one even to embrace the beneficent gifts of this world wide benefactor in the propagation of a free library for the village; no philanthropist to record to endow no hospital for incurable diseases or a Home for the poor and destitute. Yet the want of means could not excuse them but the unwillingness or desire to do so.

The question of the depopulation of the villages has been much discussed and written about, and different reasons assigned. Some allege it is economic, others that it is social; the weight of opinion favours the latter – that it is the loneliness, the dullness, the absence of means for recreation that is driving the people into the towns or crossing the wide seas. No doubt the occupation is not congenial as it now exists or conducive to mental improvement or social activities. There is plenty of back-breaking and heart-breaking with its monotonous routine for the body, but for the mind and spirit little or nothing, in the wave of social and mental recreations. The clergymen are in no small way to blame for this state of affairs in the social conditions of village life. You see the rector of this rural village, who has got comfortably settled for life, claiming it as a sort of home of rest, often not visiting or seeing his parishioners once in the year, allowing the agency vital to its existence to dwindle away; even the old-timed parochial soiree with its hallowed influences is being neglected and getting out of date. They seem to consider that their ministrations on Sundays fulfil their duty and earns their salary, conditions which would not be tolerated in the towns. However, we are pleased (?) serve that our social reformers have treated this problem in England in the creation of village clubs, at the back of which there is an association which aids in every way in providing plans and also lectures. Lord Ernle sums up the matter in these words: “The villages must imitate the towns and organise life so that it ca be enjoyed and not merely endured.” Why not in Ulster with a democratic Parliament of its own? There could be no greater benefit to the Six Counties than the institution in our midst of a village clubs movement and the foundation in every hamlet of such a club.

We are pleased to recognise that such a movement has the wholehearted approval of such leaders as Right Honourable E. M. Archdale, Minister of Agriculture; and of the Right Honourable J. M. Andrews, Minister of Labour. All that is now required is for public opinion to voice itself and the child is born.

The handloom weaving industry was a great asset to the economic and even social condition of the village. In almost every dwelling one would hear the sound of the shuttle mingled with the enchanting song and merry laughter of the weaver. Here contentment and prosperity reigned, capital and labour met together, friendship and co-operation kissed each other; ad it is inspiring to recall the spectacle of perhaps on hundred weavers in the harvest time with hand hooks reaping a field of golden grain. I might re-echo the familiar sentiment , that these were by far the happier days for village life.

In this connection I might refer to a few gentlemen who took a prominent and conspicuous part as manufacturers in this industry: – Mr. James Johnston, a large property owner of the village residing there personally and by every means encouraging the weavers, fostering and stimulating its life and activities; Messrs. Chatres of the renowned firm of Messrs. John Chartres & Coy., millowners in Belfast, and manufacturers of fine standard yarns, etc., gave large and remunerative employment to hand weavers. Their yarns were of superior quality, hence weavers and local manufacturers if possible obtained them. They resided and owned the lands now in possession of Mr. Sefton, who has erected a modern and beautiful house thereon. As you know, with the advent of steam power-loom, the hand industry in a very short period became almost extinct, and any that did stick to it it became unremunerative, as only inferior yarns they got, which would not stand the steam power; and as a consequence the gentlemen I have already named realised and took their capital to encourage the steam loom operations and develop and enrich our “Northern Athens” to the depopulation of our town lands and villages who now rear their scores where once they reared their thousands; and I am justified in stating that the success and development of our cities are to a large extent due to the product and raw material of our villages in supplying men of stamina in body and brain and enduring energy and enterprise.

I wish now to refer to an esteemed lady ho took a deep interest in agricultural matters, encouraging and helping this industry in a practical form – the late Mrs. Waring, of Bellbrook, Glenavy, whose husband was Law Agent to the Estate Office in Lisburn, she residing for the greater period of her life, entrusting the management of her farms on the shores of Lough Neagh, and Crewe Hill to a land-steward, thus benefiting the country side with both production and labour. Her antecedents are of old historic fame. Mrs. Waring evinced a warm interest and sympathy towards every movement calculated to benefit the village. It is pleasing to record that her son, Mr. Lucas Waring, still retains the farms directly referred to.

My thoughts now go out to a wealthy old gentleman who might have given the historian something to record in the annals of history or earned some monument to perpetuate his memory or some institution to bless hid beneficence. I refer to the late Mr. McKinstry McNeice, of Crewe Mount, Glenavy, who died possessed of considerable money and property with no immediate relatives, but by his will devised his entire assets of every kind to foreign missions. Let it be understood I don’t in any way deprecate a reasonable bequest to this object, but I hold charity in the first place should commence at home to poor and deserving relatives and objects to brighten and cheer the lives of your fellow men, particularly in your own locality which should have first claim on your bounty. A nephew of his, born in adjoining town land to the village and with only the primary education of a country school, left his home as an apprentice in a business house. He possessed ambition and ideals for public distinction, and in order to obtain scope and recognition for these qualities he emigrated to New Zealand and made his mark there as a journalist. On entering into politics he rose rapidly, becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand. I refer to the late Right Honourable Sir John Ballance, who was broad-minded and progressive, a most sympathetic friend of labour, an able administrator and sound imperialist. Glenavy feels proud of having contributed a share to the founding of what is now known as the British Commonwealth. Mr. Henry Ballance J.P., our representative on the Rural Council, is a brother.

The Lisburn Herald, Saturday April 21st, 1923

A short distance outside Glenavy at a place called the Mount, is a small and homely cottage where there resided a man named Patrick Gillen who was married to Nancy Kinsella, who had a large family of sons and daughter. They were both descendants of an old Irish stock, quaint and old-fashioned in their demeanour, yet honest and straightforward in all their ways; pure in motive and design, an open book which every one could read. In addition to the small farm of land, and as a supplementary asset, they followed weaving, working with tireless energy and unfaltering diligence in the maintenance of their large family, and if possible to give them the rudiments of an elementary education. Amidst stern privations and difficulties they always maintained a cherry aspect and hopeful outlook for brighter and more prosperous days. It was no easy task to maintain this optimistic spirit in the dark famine days in Ireland. Their two eldest sons recognising the struggling and embarrassed circumstances of their parents, volunteered to emigrate to Australia, with that single purpose and aim prompted with a filial devotion to help them in their difficulties. No two young men ever left home under more adverse circumstances or greater disadvantages , without friends or credentials of any kind with only a meagre education and no money in their pockets. Working their passage out as emigrants , they settled in the province of Queensland where they soon found work; and to their first saved money was sent to their father. This was continued until the old man could look the world in the face for he owed not any man. Could I record any more sublime heroism than that exemplified by these young lads? The reminiscence of such deeds live on, their memory a hallowed influence, their name a benediction. Afterwards prosperity seemed to follow their every efforts, and every enterprise they undertook turned into gold; so marked and rapid was their success that they became leading magnate in the financial world and have often been designated in the public Press as “the Rothchilds” of Queensland, and I think I am within bounds in stating that had it not been for the total failure and utter collapse of the Australian Banks in which Messrs. Gillen lost to the extent of over ¶35,000, yet, notwithstanding were still able to carry on and pay twenty shillings in the pound, it might have been my privilege to chronicle a millionaire connected with my sketch. Abounding wealth and influence made no difference with them, ostentation was a word they did not know neither courted popular favour or public display. They preferred rather the quiet, hard, industrious life, without pomp and display or vain show of any kind. The younger brother, Joseph, on failing health setting in came home to Glenavy in the hope that his native air and quiet surroundings would regain back to him renewed health and vigour, but, alas, such was only temporary for he died at his brother’s residence on Belfast Road, and was buried in St. Joseph’s Chapelyard in the family burying ground there, leaving his brother John, his partner and beneficiary, to the sole management and control of their large properties in Brisbane, Bundaberg and other centres in Queensland. This latter brother died a few years ago but unlike the old gentleman I portrayed in my last article, by his will three-fifths of his estate came to his brother, the late James Gillen, J.P., and his two sons, Patrick and Charles, and it is gratifying to record that these latter are patrons and supporters of Glenavy in farm and household requirements. At this juncture I feel a great blank would occur and a missing link in my narrative of Glenavy if I omitted to refer to the present Doctor Arthur Mussen, J.P., whose associations with its life and environment date back for 58 years. Although not a native of the village, even could not claim any connection by ancestral ties, yet his close touch with all its social improvements justly warrant a few remarks from my pen. I know it is not customary procedure to eulogise a person and his deeds while living, but rather to leave all the good things you have to say for his obituary notice. He veteran Doctor, as he is now familiarly styled, came to Glenavy as Dispensary Doctor quite a young man. His only previous experience was a short period under that famous surgeon, Dr. Thompson, of County Antrim Infirmary, as assistant to him. Coming at a period when the village and surrounding country was very popular his dispensary work entailed arduous and incessant work, yet he was able to cope with it, in addition to an ever increasing private practice, even extending outside his dispensary area. It would be incredible that this could be done now without the aid of a motor car; yet the Doctor surmounted all with a few small ponies for about half the emoluments accorded to the present staff of the Dispensary Doctors. During his uninterrupted term of over 40 years he made many friends and very few enemies. His election as Coroner by an over whelming vote and his elevation to the Bench are tangible testimony to the esteem and regard in which he was held. While his influence on the social life and conduct of the village had a beneficent effect, he always acted as peacemaker in any political or social quarrel, not countenancing litigation in any form. He was a man of the people, so always pleased to enter into their petty ways, rendering advice and counsel when approached. Although a strong politician and enthusiastic Orangeman yet most tolerant in his views, willing to accord to others the same liberty of opinion and franchise which he claimed for himself, and in no place or sphere did he inculcate those principles more than on the Twelfth of July, riding on horseback at the head of Glenavy District in commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne not as a proud despot or autocrat but as a standard bearer of civil and religious liberty won for all creeds and classes. Although sometimes misinterpreted and abused, yet its priceless privileges have enfranchised mankind. Although now on the threshold of fourscore years, yet we are proud to see him so hale and active, mingling amongst the people of the village ever ready with his pen and influence to do a good deed or kindly act. The prayer of all is that he may be spared many years yet to the village.

Matier Family Photos

Thomas Matier

Thomas Matier

Margaret Matier and Peggy Moore

Margaret Matier and Peggy Moore

John Matier taxi

I was told this is a photograph of John Matier (1890 – 1920). He was married to Anna Maria McClurg in Jan 1911 at Lisburn Cathedral

Site of Old Flock Mill

Once the location of the Flock Mill at Glenavy

Once the location of the Flock Mill at Glenavy

Annandale, Glenavy and the Downer family

Annandale at Main Street, Glenavy

Annandale at Main Street, Glenavy, once the home of the Downer family

AT one time the two storey house named Annandale was one of the most prominent houses in the village of Glenavy. In the early 20th century it was occupied by Miss Mary Eliza Johnston, her sister – Mrs Margaret Downer and Margaret’s daughter – Jane Rosamond Downer. At this time the family employed a servant – Miss Jane Murray. Annandale was the original residence of the Johnston family.

Margaret Downer, born in 1838, was the ninth of 13 children of John Moore Johnston, born 1799, and Jane Thompson from Rosamonds Hill, Ballinderry. Jane was a descendant of Bishop Jeremy Taylor and was just 16 years of age when she met John Moore Johnston. A member of the Downer family can recall a wooden chair in one of the rooms at Chrome Hill, Lambeg known as “The Jeremy Taylor chair”.

Read more…

Johnston billhead

M.L. & S. Johnston – Billhead – overstamped with Edward Scott

Annandale later passed into the hands of William Sloan and Edward Scott and Annandale will also be remembered as a surgery for the local GP.

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday, March 23, 1929.

“Annandale,” Glenavy.

About 5 minutes walk from Glenavy Railway Station.
(Belfast to Crumlin bus, via Lisburn, passes several times daily.)

Important clearance sale of household furniture, piano and outside effects.

We are instructed by the executors of the late Miss M E Johnston to sell by auction, on the premises, Thursday, 28th March, 10.30 o’c. a.m.

Comprising the contents of drawing room, dining room, library, 5 bedrooms &c., including Baby Grand Piano (Canterbury). Piano stool, Music stand, couch and 9 drawing room chairs, 2 easy chairs in green plush, corner whatnot, 2 ottomans, black oak folding table, gilt clock, cake stand, 2 reading stands, standard and bracket lamps, wilton, Brussels and Axminster carpets, hearth rugs, hassocks, cushions, plaques, ornaments, brass fenders and fire irons, coal vases, inlaid ebony cabinet, over mantels, beaded chairs and footstools, mirrors, 2 banner screens, odd chairs, pictures, engravings, poles and curtains, mahogany sideboard with p.g. back, 12 mahogany dining room chairs, dinner waggon, large dining table with leaves, writing table, basket chairs, small polished birch table, clock, couch, 2 carving chairs, large arm chair, copper coal scuttle and shovel, stair carpets, rugs, mats, plaster figure, folding waggon, hat and umbrella stands, stick racks, gong, half-round table, mahogany and other wardrobes,, marble top and other washstands, small tables, mahogany and other toilet glasses, work table, dressing tables, toilet ware, towel rails, mahogany and brass-rail bedsteads, hair and wire mattresses, feather beds, eiderdown and other quilts, bedding, commode, gipsy table, medicine chest, work table, folding and pokered chairs, mahogany and other bookcases, mahogany pedestal table, sofa, oak arm chair, 2 mahogany cabinets with plate glass, mahogany rocking chair, 2 chests mahogany drawers, milner’s safe, large white pink press with drawers, boot and shoe stand, chest of old oak drawers, grandfather’s clock, cathedral gong clock, Shaftsbury table in two leaves, hanging clock, kitchen and cooking utensils, valor perfection oil cooker, outside effects, scrap, &c.
On view morning of sale at Ten o’clock.

Admission to view and sale, 1s, which will be returned to all purchasers.

Terms – cash and auction fees at sale.

J.D. Martin & Co., F.A.I.
Auctioneers, Belfast and Lisburn.

Steeles’s Blacksmith Shop

Postcard showing Steeles's Blacksmith

The Blacksmith’s shop at Glenavy owned by

Thomas Steele in the early 20th century.

It would later be owned by Alexander Ferguson

Blacksmith at Glenavy

Alexander Ferguson, Blacksmith at Glenavy

Alexander Ferguson,

Blacksmith at Glenavy.

Photo appears with permission of the Ulster Star

The Smithy at Glenavy

The Smithy at Glenavy

(Source and date unknown)

Alexander Ferguson at his blacksmith's shop

Alexander Ferguson

at his blacksmith’s shop

in Glenavy Village

Jane Morgan vs George Matier

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald, Saturday March 2nd, 1929.

Alleged Abusive behaviour

Mrs Jane Morgan, The Cottage, Glenavy summoned George Matier, same place for as alleged abusive language towards her on 14th January.

Dr H A Maginess, solicitor appeared for the complainant; and Mr D Barbour Simpson solicitor for the defendant. James Edward Morgan stated that on the date in question George McAteer made a certain charge concerning Mrs. Morgan and asked him to communicate with her husband who was in America.

Mr Simpson submitted that there was no abusive language, that it was a case of slander, and that their worships had no jurisdiction. The case was dismissed without prejudice.

Cholera Hospital

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald, Saturday March 16th 1929

Lisburn Board of Guardians.

Glenavy Dispensary.

Miss Stannus made a suggestion for the consideration of the Board, that if they decided on the removal of the cholera hospital, the stones could be used in the building of a new dispensary residence at Glenavy.

Glenavy Dispensary

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald Saturday July 27th 1929

Lisburn Board of Guardians.

Glenavy Dispensary

Mr J D Martin stated that no offers had been received for Glenavy Dispensary.

Private Motor car used as a Public Service Vehicle

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard Friday, May 2nd 1930.

Crumlin Petty Sessions

Crumlin Petty Sessions were held on Monday, before Mr Phillip Bell, R.M. (Chairman) presiding, Colonel Pakenham, and Mr. T. J. English, Justices.
Mr. G.F. Alderdice, Clerk and D I Fletcher were also in attendance.

“Occasionally let for hire.”

James Armstrong, Glenavy, driver, was summoned by D.I. Fletcher for, on the 2nd, 15th, and 16th January, using a private motor-car as a Public Service vehicle. John J. Hughes, was also summoned as the owner.

Mrs. Ellen Farr gave evidence as to sending for Armstrong on the dates in question to take her certain places. She paid him on each occasion. If she wanted a car it was well-known locally that he had a car for the purpose of carrying passengers.

Cross-examined by Mr. John Callery, who defended witness said that she sent for him on three occasions. He never asked witness to engage him.

Constable Malone said he saw the defendant’s car standing outside Robinson’s shop in Glenavy on the 16th January. There was no passengers in it, but they came along five or six minutes afterwards. It was standing there about 15 minutes. It would be reasonable to suppose that the owner knew the car was out.

Cross-examined by Mr. Callery – It was Mrs. Farr got into the car on the occasion. She came out of Robinson’s.

To R.M. – He did not see the Public Service Vehicle plate on the car.

Mr. Callery submitted that there was no offence committed under the circumstance. The Act allowed for vehicles to be occasionally let for private hire and he submitted that this car was occasionally let for private hire.

Hughes, the owner, in the course of his evidence said he had an agreement with the driver that he would get one third of what he (Hughes) got in fares and he, himself, kept two thirds. He knew he drove Mrs. Farr, but he never gave him permission to stand on the street and ply for hire. He never stood on the street except on the occasion he waited on Mrs Farr outside Robinson’s.

The D.I., cross examining, asked Hughes did the agreement about money not suggest making a run of traffic out of the car.

Defendant – No.

The D.I. Said he was “not out for blood” in the case, but he thought that it was not fair that the public service vehicles should be deprived of their living by cars that were not licensed. His object was to stop the practice. “If the defendant gets his car licensed,” added the D.I., “there will be no one happier than myself.”

It was stated by Mr Callery that Armstrong was now employed in Belfast.

Eventually the R.M. said he would dismiss the case on the payment of costs, the defendant to give an undertaking not to do it again.

Mr Callery after consultation with his client, agreed to the ruling of the R.M.

The Sergeant announced that there were extra costs for a car to bring Mrs. Farr to court.

Mr Callery – Was it a Public Service Vehicle you brought her in? (laughter)

Death – Mr F G Barrett, J.P.

The following is an extract from the supplement to the Lisburn Herald, Saturday June 13, 1931.

Death of Mr. F.G. Barrett, J.P.,

Admitted to the District Hospital on Sunday last, Mr. Francis George Barrett, J.P. passed away on the following afternoon. He had been in declining health for some time past, but it was generally not known that his condition was of a serious nature, and his death came as a surprise to the public. The late Mr Barrett was an ex member of the R.I.C. and rose to the rank of sergeant, in which capacity he had charge of the Crumlin station during the latter part of his service. On his retirement on pension, he commenced business in the grocery and provisions line in Glenavy. Later on he removed to Chrome Hill, Lambeg, where he carried on a dairy. Subsequently, he returned to the grocery trade, opening a shop at the corner of Bow Street and the Dublin Road. Following an unfortunate fire, which destroyed the premises, he retired into private life, remaining a resident of Lisburn. A Justice of the Peace for Co. Antrim, he was one of the most regular attenders at the local court. He was an enthusiastic member of the Orange Institution, as was affiliated with Lambeg Lodge. During the Ulster Volunteer movement, he was prominently identified with that body, and rendered valuable service. He worshipped at Chris Church. Mr. Barrett is survived by a widow, two sons and two daughters, for whom there is deep sympathy in their bereavement. The funeral, which took place on Wednesday forenoon, to the Cemetery, was private, only the immediate relatives being present.

Public Reference.

At the fortnightly petty sessions, on Thursday, before the business was commenced Mr. McElroy, R.M., said they had to deplore the loss of another member of the Bench. Only lately he had made reference to the loss of Mr. Morrison, and now Mr. Barrett had gone. It was a coincidence that both those gentlemen belonged to the old R.I.C. The late Mr. Barrett had been in the Force for many years, and attained honourable rank. As a magistrate, his knowledge and experience were of great benefit and assistance. He was a loyal and kind friend and they greatly regretted his loss. To his widow and family, they extended their sincere sympathy.

Mr. John T. McConnell, on behalf of the solicitors, joined in the expression. Mr. Barrett, he said, was a most regular attender at the court, and they always found him honourable and fair-minded.

District-Inspector Fletcher, on behalf of the old R.I.C. and present R.U.C., associated himself with the sympathetic remarks.

Notes: In the 1901 census the Barrett family were residing at Massereene Street, Antrim
Francis G Barrett aged 33, born County Cavan, Constable R.I.C. resided with his wife Sarah F aged 25, sister in law Elizabeth Maude Chiney aged 21 a national school teacher, and children Florence aged 2, Francis George aged 5, and Thomas Halliday.

In the 1911 census
Sarah Frances Barrett aged 37 a National school teacher is residing at Ballynacourty, Tipperary with her daughter Florence Jane aged 13, Thomas H aged 10, Muriel Edythe aged 6, James CC aged 1 (born Tipperary). It states she has been married for 17 years with 5 children born, and 5 alive. Her husband is not listed at this address.

Sarah Frances Chiney b 1873,Elizabeth Maude Chiney b1875, Edith Anna Chiney b1877,James William Chiney b1881 and Margaret Angeline Chiney b1886, Eveline Florence Chiney b1888 and Helen Louisa b 1890 were all children of James Chiney and Mary Pentland Chiney.

The marriage of Sarah Frances Chiney and Francis George Barrett was registered in Ballymena October – December 1894.

Valuable House Sale – Glenavy

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 28th August 1931 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Glenavy, Co. Antrim. Sale of Valuable House Property.

We are instructed by Mrs. McCartney to sell by auction, at our Belfast Mart, on Friday 4th September 1931 at one o’clock.
Those two dwelling houses situate as above, together with about an acre of land attached, held in fee-simple, subject to annuity of 8s 6d to Ministry of Finance N.I. The houses are at present let at £20 16s per annum. Half of the land is used as a fruit and vegetable garden and remainder is in grass. Situate a short distance from Railway Station and bus. A very neat property and worthy of the attention of the public.

For title, &c., apply
W.G. Wilson & Sons, Solicitors,
29, Wellington Place, Belfast.
Woods & McClure
43, Chichester Street, Belfast; and Lisburn.

R. Robinson & Sons

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald Saturday August 31st 1940.

R. Robinson & Sons

Have pleasure in announcing that their business
has been re-established on a CASH BASIS as a
General Store. Our stock covers everything required
by the general public and will be sold at a minimum

Our Speciality this week:

Boots and shoes in great variety.
Robinsons’ Cash Stores

Glenavy Village and James Young

One of Ulster’s most famous comics was James Young.

James Alexander Young was born in Union Street, Ballymoney, County Antrim in 1918. He was the only son, and he had three older sisters. His father was a bread server. At the age of six months the family moved from Ballymoney to 26 Fernwood Street at Ormeau Road, Belfast. His father had taken up employment with one of the bakeries looking after their horses.

James attended the Cooke Church School on the Ormeau Road, Belfast. He started work at the age of 14 with an estate agent at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. Two years later he joined an amateur theatrical company. He then joined the Youth Hostels Association in order to take part in the drama group. In 1943 the YHA entered the Ulster Drama Festival. He won the award for best actor of the year. Later he was to be offered a part with the Ulster Group Theatre.

James was to turn professional. He went to England and eventually he was offered a part with the Combined Services Entertainment and headed to the Middle East. He returned to Belfast and his first job was with the Ulster group Theatre. He then took the part of Derek the window-cleaner in a radio series on BBC Northern Ireland called The McCooeys. James then went to the Group Theatre in Bedford Street, Belfast and regularly appeared in performances. He also toured the province with a variety show.

In 1969 he visited Canada to entertain the “Ulster exiles”. He returned home and he performed in a series called “Saturday Night” for BBC television. In March 1973 he was presented with a silver disc to commemorate selling a quarter of a million records.

He took ill in April 1973 and suffered a heart attack. Undeterred, he visited Canada again, and performed both in Canada and America in March 1974. He returned to Belfast in early May. On 5th July 1974 James Young died as a result of a heart attack as he was driving his car along the Shore Road, Belfast.

Further reading: James Young by Jack Hudson published by Blackstaff Press Ltd.(1975)

For further information on James Young visit: Ulster History Circle – James Young.

There is no doubt that James Young died before his time. However, his legacy remains with us to this day in his many recordings of comical song, humour and monologues.

Amongst this material is a “little gem” which relates to the village of Glenavy. Of all the villages in Ulster, James Young chose Glenavy village for the setting of one of his comical sketches, performed in his own inimitable style. In this sketch he takes on the part of a working-class Belfast man who moved to Glenavy village with his wife. He relates the story of one of his drunken antics.

Thanks to Emerald Music Online for permission to use the following extract from:

“James Young — Very Much Live in Canada”

Track 7 The Belfast Working Man (length: 5m 36 seconds)

(time: 2m28s)

Belfast? Ah Belfast’s alright. I used to live in Glenavy. I liked Glenavy. There was less than 40 people lived in Glenavy. We had a house in Glenavy, and her mother, oh God, her mother. Her mother come to visit us for the day 16 years ago. She’s still there. I think she meant judgement day.

So every night in Glenavy I used to get full, I used to get as full as a lord every Saturday night and they threw me out about 10 o’clock and I would come down the Main Street in Glenavy singing my lungs out as full as the Boyne, as happy as Larry. When ever I got into our house the wife says “Shut Up.”

Yes alright yes certainly. Like if you said anything else her mother would break your leg. So she says to us “Nobody in this place is speaking now. Do you hear me?” She says “if you have to get full on a Saturday night don’t be coming down the Main street singing. Do you hear me? Go round the back of the fields where nobody else will neither see you or hear you. Do you hear me?” So I says “Certainly yes certainly.”

So ah, like I’m very intelligent, you would know that and eh, the next Saturday night like I had a right load on me and I come out and I had minded what the wife had said and here dear I went round by the fields. God I have never have seen it as dark in my life. I have not, you couldn’t have seen your finger. You could not. And the fields was full of cows. And like the first one passed me I says hello. I thought her mother was out for a walk. I did. And-a-wa like you know what cows is. I wish to God you could have seen the state of me when I got into our ouse. The state of me when I got into our house was shocking. So the wife looked at me and said “What happened you?” So I said “there’s no moon the night know that you know that? No moon you know that.” I says “there’s a storm. You know that, there’s a storm, you know that.”

I says “my cap blew off.”

I says “I had to fit on seventeen before I found my own. The others had no peaks on them.”


(time: 4m50s)

Original James Young material has been digitally remastered and is available on DVD for sale. For full details visit: Emerald Music Online, or contact:

Emerald Music (Ireland) Ltd
Mail Order Department
120a Coach Road, Templepatrick
Co Antrim
BT39 0HB
Northern Ireland

Glenavy Dispensary and Dr West’s Resignation

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday April 25th 1947

Glenavy Dispensary

The clerk said Dr. West, Glenavy had reported that pipes burst in his residence during the frost had not yet been repaired, the boards at Ballinderry and Glenavy dispensaries required to be painted, and the spoutings at Glenavy were in need of cleaning. It was decided that Mr. T. Haire, Lisburn be asked to repair the pipes, and that Mr. Maxwell report on the other matters.

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday May 14th 1948

Board of Guardians

Dr. West’s Retirement

The Civil Service Committee for Northern Ireland wrote stating that permission had been granted Dr. T. West to retire from the positions of medical officer of Glenavy Dispensary district and medical officer of health under Lisburn Rural Council.

Dr. West wrote tendering his resignation as from 4th July and asking the Board to fix his superannuating allowance.

The resignation was accepted on the proposition of Mr. Ireland, seconded by Mr. Balmer.

Mr. Balmer handed in notice of motion to the effect that the Board consider and fix Dr. West’s superannuating allowance at its meeting on 22nd June.

Mr. Ireland asked would it be the Board’s duty to appoint a successor to Dr. West.
The clerk replied that in the ordinary course of events the Board of Guardians would fill the position. However, taking effect from 5th July the Board’s functions would cease, so he suggested that they ask the Ministry what action they should take in the circumstances.

On the proposition of Mr. McCarrison, seconded by Mr. Allister, the clerk’s suggestion was adopted.

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday July 23rd, 1948

Glenavy Dispensary

Mr. Peel asked had the temporary committee on the Board of Guardians any control over vacant dispensary residences. He would like to know who was in charge of the building at Glenavy vacated by Dr. West.

The clerk said that Dr. West had left the keys with him. He did not know what the County Health Authority was going to do, but the Hospitals’ Authority had nothing to do with the matter. He had received a letter from the Northern Ireland General Health Services Board about property transferred to it, asking dispensary officers to send all drugs to the hospital where they were to be retained until further instructions were issued.

Mr. Peel said the property at Glenavy was very valuable and no one seemed to be looking after it. He was afraid it might deteriorate or be wrecked. It might be helpful if they got in touch with the proper authority and told them the building was vacant. The clerk said the letter he had received from the Health Services Board asked the Board of Guardians to maintain property in the meantime.

Mr. McCarrison said that while he appreciated the anxiety felt about the building at Glenavy, it was not within the province of the committee and they were wasting time discussing it.

The matter was left in the hands of the clerk.

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday September 17th 1948

Lisburn Guardians

Question of Practice

Mr. Peel wrote stating that there was no resident doctor in the big Glenavy area served formerly by Dr. T. West. Dispensary Medical Officer, and the residence occupied by him was vacant. He (Mr Peel) understood Dr. Sullivan had applied for the residence and if let to him, would live there and practise in the area. Dr. Sullivan was very popular in the district and if he were let the residence, it would be very satisfactory. He (Mr Peel) was persuaded that a resolution from the Guardians to the competent authority recommending the letting of the residence to Dr. Sullivan would be helpful.

The assistant clerk, who communicated with the General Health Services Board by telephone, said the board was considering two applications for the residence.

On the motion of Mr. McCarrison, seconded by Mrs. McLeavy, it was decided to ask the board to expedite the letting.

Views of Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River (source and date of photograph presently unknown)

Glenavy River

Glenavy River from a postcard

Date unknown

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy Water Supply

The following extract is from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday 25th August 1950

Lisburn Rural Council Meeting on Tuesday:-

Water Supply at Glenavy. Mr Peel said the water supply at the north end of the Glenavy village was now very satisfactory and the resident’s were most grateful to the council for what they had done.

Lisburn Rural District – Official Guide

The following is an extract from Lisburn Rural District, Co. Antrim Official Guide c.1967

Travel Information

Road. The Ulster Transport Authority (Timetables 1 shilling from the local offices at 4 Castle Street, Lisburn) operate the following bus services in the area:

Service 103 Belfast – Lisburn – Killowen – Knocknadona- Glenavy – Crumlin (Daily)
Service 103 A Belfast – Lisburn – Brookhill Bridge- Lower Ballinderry – Crumlin (Daily)
Service 105 Belfast – Stoneyford – Glenavy – Crumlin (Daily)
Service 106 Belfast – Leathemstown – Glenavy – Crumlin (Daily)
Service 107 Belfast – Dundrod – Crumlin – Diamond (Daily)
Glenavy War Memorial

Glenavy War Memorial – reproduced here by kind permission of the photographer, Brian Daulman.

This picture was in Lisburn Rural District Official Guide abt. 1967

Future development of the Glenavy Village area

The planning service website contains the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015. Glenavy is mentioned in these plans.

The Barriers in Glenavy Village

Glenavy Village

Glenavy Village – The barriers in Glenavy Village during the troubles.

A deterrent to the car bombing which was prevalent throughout Northern Ireland.

Glenavy Village

Glenavy Village – The barriers in Glenavy Village during the troubles.

A deterrent to the car bombing which was prevalent throughout Northern Ireland.

Website — Glenavy Development Partnership

A community organisation of people from the village of Glenavy and the surrounding countryside have established the Glenavy Development Partnership. See their website at Glenavy Development Partnership.

PRONI Will Calendars

The following information is taken from the will calendars in the PRONI and are reproduced with kind permission of Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Langford Shane

Date of Death 13 10 1887
Date of Grant 11 05 1891
Effects £48
Registry Belfast

Full Abstract:

Letters of Administration of the personal estate of Langford Shane late of Glenavey County Antrim Labourer who died 13 October 1887 at same place were granted at Belfast to Matilda Shane of Glenavey Spinster a Child.

Shaen Family Crypt at Glenavy Parish Church

The Shaen Crypt

The Shaen Crypt at
Glenavy Parish Church

The Shaen Crypt

The Shaen Crypt at
Glenavy Parish Church

The Shaen Crypt

The Shaen Crypt at
Glenavy Parish Church

The Shaen Crypt

The Shaen Crypt at
Glenavy Parish Church

As you wander round the graveyard at Glenavy Parish Church you can not fail to see the crypt situated on the left hand side of the path as you pass through the lych gate. The inscriptions on the crypt are becoming increasingly difficult to read because of weathering. I was unable to find anyone locally who knew anything about this crypt, however, further research on this burial plot has revealed the following information:

I discovered a book in the Linenhall Library, Belfast titled “History of the O’Ferrall Shaen Families of Ireland, England and the United States 1500 – 1994.” It has been compiled by Robert Shaen Riley, Oklahoma and was published by McDowell Publications, 11129 Pleasant Ridge Rd, Utica, Kentucky, 42376. U.S.A. A second edition is now available of this book having been published in 2001. It consists of 958 pages.

The author, Robert Shaen Riley is a descendant of the Shaen family – Francis Shaen [III] of Cherryvalley, Crumlin. The family visited the Parish Church in 1995 and viewed a family crypt. Robert states that they “saw the crypt in which lies the remains of Francis Shaen [III], his son Samuel Shaen [I], Jane (Dalway), the wife of Samuel [I], and perhaps Jean(?), the wife of Francis [III].”

Prior to their visit, (possibly late 1980’s/ early 1990’s) Robert was made aware that part of the stone cover on the crypt was broken and money was sent to the church in order to have the necessary repairs carried out. The evidence of the repairs can still be seen today.

I wrote to Robert (April 2010) and he provided the following information:

“Our Shaen ancestors in Ireland were natives of County Westmeath. They were a branch of the O’Ferralls, who changed their name from O Ferrall to Shaen and who converted to the Church of Ireland and worked for the English during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The first Shaen was John Shaen [I] (Seaan MacSeaan O Ferrall Bane), the Smyth of Ardrath, Co. Westmeath. He had two sons: Nicholas [I] and Edward [I]. The prominent leader of the Shaens in the late 1500s was Sir Francis Shaen [I], the son of Nicholas Shaen [I]. John [I]’s second son Edward Shaen [I] had sons John [II] and Nicholas [II].

John Shaen [II] had son Patrick Shaen, of Co. Westmeath, who became the High Sheriff of Co. Down during the Irish Uprising in the 1640s. His son, Sir James Shaen, fought with the English throughout the uprising and also served as the High Sheriff of Co. Down. Sir James’ son, Sir Arthur Shaen [I], of Togherstown, Co. Westmeath, served as a member of the English Parliament for some years.

Nicholas Shaen [II] had sons Edward [II] and John [III]. Edward Shaen [II] had son Francis Shaen [III] and an unknown daughter. Descendants of John Shaen [III] are believe to have moved to Clonfert, Co. Mayo, and possibly later moved to Mountmellick, Co. Laois. The latter became known as the Mountmellick Sheanes. Some of their descendants emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s.

Francis Shaen [III] served in Dublin as a Cornet in an Irish Regiment from County Westmeath. His Troop of Horse Commander was Sir Francis Aungier. After the Restoration of the Crown in 1660, there was a downsizing of the Irish Establishment, and Francis Shaen [III] found himself without a job. Thanks to Sir Francis Aungier, who had a connection with Sir Arthur Langford of Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Francis [III] moved north to Co. Antrim and became the Manager of the Langford Estates in the Cherryvalley Area between Glenavy and Crumlin. He and his family lived at the Manor House in Cherryvalley.

Also, you mentioned the inscriptions on the Shaen Crypt, but I am not quite sure if you were able to read them correctly or not. The inscriptions are as follows:

The carved stone skull end has the inscription “Me Momento Moi” — “Remember Me.”

On the side of the crypt are these inscriptions:

  • 1. “Here lyeth the body of Mr. Samuell Sheene [or Shaene] who departed this life January 26, 1701.”

Samuel Shaen [I] was the elder son of Francis Shaen [III].

  • 2. “Here lyeth the body of Iane [_____] Shaen who departed this life 28 day December anno domini 1715.”
  • 3. “Here lieth Francis Shaen [III] who departed this life July 3rd day anno domini 1716 in the 82nd year of his life.”

Francis Shaen [III] settled in Cherryvalley, Co. Antrim, in the late 1700s and had two sons.

Samuel Shean [I] — who is buried in the family crypt. Samuel [I] married Jane Dalway, daughter of Alexander Dalway of Ballyhill, Co. Antrim. They had two sons: Francis Shaen [V] and Samuel Shean [II]

Francis Shaen [V] — who remained in Cherryvalley and continued to manage the Langford Estates until his death in 1750. Francis [V] had sons Langford [I], Lieutenant William [II], Dr. Anthony, and Arthur Shaen [II]. Langford Shaen had sons Henry [I], John [IV], Hector, and Arthur [III]. Henry Shean [I] emigrated to the American Colonies before the Revolutionary War (probably in the late 1760s or early 1770s), first to Philadelphia, and later settled in Baltimore County, Maryland. In the mid-1800s, the Sheans who remained in Maryland changed the spelling of their name to “Shane.” We pronounce the spelling “Shean” the same as “Shane.” However, people in the Eastern United States tend to pronounce “Shean” as “Sheen.” We are “Sheans/Shanes” — not Sheens.

I am a descendant of Henry Shean [I], whose eldest son John Shean [VI] migrated to the State of Kentucky circa 1802. Hector Shaen remained in Glenavy. Descendants of Hector live today in Belfast, Co. Down, and Lincolnshire, England. I believe Arthur Shaen [II] had only one daughter before he died. And, I believe John Shaen/Shean [IV] had family and moved to Belfast and then some to Co. Down. They owned a lot of houses at one time. I believe they died out in Belfast and Co. Down. Lieutenant William Shaen of the Irish Dragoons, served for a while in Dublin and in Co. Laois (I believe). He married and lived later in Cherryvalley. He and his wife had no issue to my knowledge. He died in the 1750s whilst a relatively young man.

Samuel Shaen [II] emigrated to Hatfield-Peveril, Co. Essex, England, where he became founder of the “Crix” Shaens — one of whom immigrated to Canada and then moved to Brooklyn, New York. In the late 1800s, the “Crix” Shaens were a family of Lawyers (Solicitors) and had a Law Firm and Office in London.

The Shaens continued to manage the Langford Estates in Cherryvalley until the late 1750s or early 1760s until they were taken over by the Pakenhams — who descended down through the female line of the wife of Sir Francis Aungier, Governor of Co. Westmeath.”

The book includes details of Langford Shane. He was the Sexton of Glenavy Parish Church. Langford Shane, known as Lanky, is mentioned on page 67 in Anthony Drennan’s book titled “Laura Bell, courtesan and lay preacher.”

One of Langford Shane’s daughters was Matilda Shane. She died unmarried and resided at Main Street, Glenavy with her sister, Eliza Jane Farr. They are listed in the 1911 census aged 78 and 80 respectively. Eliza Jane Shane married Thomas Farr on 06 05 1866 at Glenavy Parish Church. Thomas Farr was listed as a land stewart.

Matilda Shane is mentioned in the notes of Sarah Mosina (Mona) McKeown (1966-1967). The McKeown family resided in Sunnyside, Main Street, Glenavy. Monarefers to a “howdie” who was attendant at the birth of the McKeown children. Mona names the howdie as Granny Farr and later in her notes she states that “The earlier-mentioned Howdie had a sister who lived with her, utterly unlike her in every way; very short and barrel-like, with a venomous tongue. Her name was Matilda Shane, though she was known locally as Tilde. If any of us became too rowdy of speech or at play, we were ordered to be quiet, as you could be heard at Tilde Shane’s.”

The Shane home at Main Street, Glenavy was later to be occupied by Ethel Ward (nee Sloan). In 1911 Ethel was residing with her mother Annie, and family in the Ballydonaghy town land. Annie Sloan married Samuel Sloan at Glenavy Parish Church on 15th February 1891.

I was told by a friend of mine, that when he was attending school in the village in the late 1930’s the school children referred to the Ward home as “Shane’s Castle.” He had never known the reason why, until now!!

High Street, Glenavy Village

High Street, Glenavy Village

High Street, Glenavy Village – Thanks to Jennifer Spence

via Facebook

for providing this view of Glenavy Village

“He used his gifts to help his fellow man”

William Calwell 30th July 1863 – 30th July 1953

I had reason to go and visit my maternal grandparents former homestead at Crew, Glenavy a number of years ago with my mother. The farmstead, which had been in the family for generations, had been abandoned in the 1960’s and sold to a neighbouring farmer.

Tumbling Paddy

The Tumbling Paddy at a disused farmstead at the Crew, Glenavy

We visited the derelict cottage and outbuildings and my mother recalled happy memories of her childhood as she passed from room to room in her former homestead. We wandered into the old barn and I noticed a strange farming implement hanging on the side of the barn wall. My mother informed me it was the “tumbling paddy” once used by my grandfather in the fields in the immediate vicinity of the farm. This was a hay collector that was harnessed to the horse. The wooden prongs gathered up every last bit of hay that was in the field. When the collector was full a chain mechanism was operated by the farmer and the hay would tumble from the rake into a mound.

I had mentioned my discovery to another local man and former neighbour of my grandfather. He recalled that there was a similar implement used in a bygone time which was referred to as the “Calwell” hay collector, invented by a man who he believed was linked to the Ballinderry area of Lisburn.

Read more…

Death Notice – John Stanley Alcorn

The extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 27th December 1956 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Alcorn – Decamber 26, 1956, at Hospital, John Stanley Alcorn, son of the late James Alcorn, Adelaide, Australia, formerly of Belfast. Funeral from his late residence, Annandale, Glenavy, tomorrow (Friday), at 12 noon, to City Cemetery, Belfast.

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