Stoneyford Village

Ordnance Survey Memoirs

The following extract is from "Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim II 1832 – 1838". Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Parish of Derryaghy

Stoneyford Spa

About 30 years ago there was a mineral spring discovered in the remains of bog beside Stoneyford, the water of which tastes strong and resembling that of iron. The scum and gilt over it was a reddish colour. However, it was visited daily by hundreds of persons from various districts to drink of its waters. It is said that many persons suffering from internal diseases and bodily pains found effectual relief from the application of this water. However, the assemblages at the spring became so great on Sundays and weekdays (that) they commenced quarrelling and combating amongst themselves, to the extent that in about 10 years after the spring was discovered, the local inhabitants were obliged to close it up in order to put a stop to the confusion and disorder created in that neighbourhood by the numerous visitants to the spring. Information from Francis Hunter, James Simpson and others.


Stoneyford and the flow bogs: in the whole between 40 and 50 acres in the rough calculation, and some scattered patches of nearly cut out bogs in different lowlands throughout the parish.

Old House in Stoneyford

There is now standing in Stoneyford the understorey of a 2 storey house erected for the accommodation of a portion of King William’s army stationed there in 1688.

Stoneyford Village.

Stoneyford village is the only village of any note on the above parish and seems to be of ancient standing. It is situated in the west side of the parish on a leading road between Lisburn and Antrim. The following are the number and height of houses, and also the trades and occupations in the village: farmer 3, publicans and grocers 2, grocers 1, farmers and weavers 5, weavers 3, linen drapers 1, schoolmasters 1, pensioners 1, shoemakers 1, blacksmiths 1, labourers 2, workwomen at farming etc 4, schoolhouse 1, trades and occupations total 26. Slated houses 1, 2 storey-houses 4, 1 storey houses 22, total houses 26 and all thatched except he one above mentioned. This house was formerly the residence of the late James Boyes Esquire, who built it over 90 years ago. It is an oblong building, 2 storeys high and counted one of the best houses on the Hertford estate at the above period.


The old road from Stoneyford to Glenavy averages 19 feet wide clear of banks or fences, all within the above parish, and is kept up by presentment.

The new road from Belfast to Glenavy by Stoneyford averages 21 feet wide clear of banks or fences, all within the above parish, and is kept up by presentment. This line was made through Derryaghy in 1830.

The road from Antrim to Brookhill, and passing by Stoneyford and Dundrod, averages 20 feet wide, all within the above parish, and is kept up by presentment.


Stoneyford Bridge, at the village of Stoneyford, has 3 arches; span of middle arch 8 feet 6 inches, span of the 2 outside arches each 8 feet. Breadth of the road on the bridge 29 feet 6 inches, average height of parapets on road 3 feet 3 inches, thickness of parapets on bridge 1 foot 4 inches, length of parapets on either sides of the road 18 yards. All built of whinstone and in good order at present. This bridge was built above 100 years back but widened some feet in 1831.

Weaving and Textile trade.

The chief trade in the parish is linen and cotton weaving, but even that trade in latter times is not carried on by farmers or cottiers to the same extent as it is in either Blaris or Magheragall. Since the fall on cotton and linen cloth the trade is to a great extent superseded by other sources of employment in this quarter; same in the neighbourhood of Stoneyford. Information obtained from James Simpson, Francis Hunter and many others, 20 September 1837.

Stoneyford bleach greens and cotton factory

Mr Boyes and his sons, James and William Boyes, Esquires, established at Stoneyford about 110 years ago 2 extensive bleach greens, the first of the same established on Lord Hertford’s estate. These greens were carried on by the Boyes family up to about the year 1800, when the place passed into other hands. Cotton was subsequently bleached and printed in these greens. However, that business was relinquished about 30 years ago and a cotton spinning factory established on the site of the greens by Mr. John Bell of Belfast. In 1810 it was consumed by fire. It was rebuilt by Mr. Bell in 1821, and the business carried on up to 1831, when failures obliged Mr. Bell to relinquish. This place then passed into the hands of John Dickson of Belfast, who is now removing the machinery out of the place altogether. The buildings are also falling to decay. The factory house stood 4 storeys high and slated, and measured 59 by 36 and a half feet outside was built of stone and line. The water wheel was breast, diameter 32 feet, breadth 5 feet. This wheel, with the other machinery, is now broken down and in a state of ruin. The other buildings connected with the establishment stood 2 storeys high and slated. The supply of water here was limited in dry seasons.

Taking all the aforesaid establishments into account, they gave annual of constant employment to an average of 40 persons for a period of nearly a century, besides hundreds of weavers who were connected with them and making a livelihood for themselves and families, and who now suffer much privation since their relinquishment.

Stoneyford weavers and their display

About 70 years ago there was about 100 weavers in Stoneyford and its vicinity, and trade and money so brisk amongst them that they counted themselves superior to those of any neighbouring district in strength and means. However, at that time they constructed a loom to be wrought on while carried about men’s shoulders, for the purpose of exhibiting this novel mode of weaving over the moving supporters of the platform on which the loom was situated. The weavers of the district, with several hundreds of the peasantry, assembled at Stoneyford on a day, a procession of the trade was formed and the newly constructed loom placed on the shoulders of a number of the trade deputed to carry it about. The web being then fixed in the loom and ready to be wrought, a weaver took his seat on the loom and commenced his work, at which he continued with much anxiety while the procession moved up and down through the village and along the branching roads several times, amidst the interval huzzas, waving of hats and handkerchiefs etc., of the immense concourse assembled on the occasion. After the procession was over all sat down in the houses, streets and other places where they could and enjoyed themselves during the evening at drinking, singing, dancing, and various other amusements. Such a scene was not only novel in the neighbourhood, but also truly interesting to all who witnessed it, and particularly to the Boyes family, then resident in the village and the chief support of the trade. There are still more linen and cotton weavers about Stoneyford than in any other part of the neighbourhood.

Headstone at Christ Church Cathedral, Lisburn

There is a headstone in the graveyard reads-

Erected by James Simpson to the memory of his beloved wife, Elizabeth, (daughter of the late James Boyes, of Stoneyford) who died 4th September 1859, aged 82 years.

The following entry is from the Belfast Newsletter and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter. Dated Wednesday September 7th 1859.

Simpson, September 4, at the residence of her husband, near Stoneyford, aged 82 years, the beloved wife of Mr. James Simpson.

For further reading re headstones at Christ Church Cathedral, Lisburn read "These Hallowed Grounds" published by Lisburn Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society

Christmas Present to Postman

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th December 1864 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Christmas Present to a Postman. A few of the people connected with the Stoneyford Post-office district have presented the letter-carrier, James Carrick, alias Old Jemmy, with a valuable waterproof coat and leggings, as an appreciation of his obliging disposition, and for his conduct as a faithful public servant. He has carried the post-bag from the first establishment of the Post Office at Stoneyford, more than ten years ago, and during said time there was never lost or mislaid a single letter, packet, or parcel, passing through his hands. – Correspondent.

Red Heifer Lost

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th December 1897 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Lost. Lost, in Antrim fair, 25th Nov., a Red Heifer, with scissor cut on right shoulder. Anyone finding her might kindly communicate with Henry Scott, Stoneyford, Lisburn.

Malicious Injury to Public House

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 7th November 1899 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Malicious Injury Claim

John McMurragh, Castlewellan, publican, claimed £250 compensation for malicious injury done to a public-house at Stoneyford, by its being set fire to and destroyed on the 9th June last. Mr McGrath, Barrister-at-law (instructed by Mr. Charley, solicitor), appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. G.B.Wilkins, solicitor, for the Lisburn Rural District Council. After hearing the evidence, his Honour held that the premises were wantonly and maliciously fired, and he gave a decree for £145 for the house and £17 for the goods destroyed. He also awarded Mr. Connor, a neighbouring tenant (who was represented by Mr. Berryhill), £3. The above amounts to be levied on the rural districts of Lisburn and Aghalee.

Newspaper Cuttings — Various

The following are from newspaper cuttings, source unknown.


Elliott – September 21, 1935, at his residence, Stoneyford, Joseph Elliott.

Elliott – May 21, 1934 (suddenly) at her residence, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Minnie, dearly beloved wife of James Elliott.

Parker, March 2, 1934, at County Antrim Infirmary, Lisburn, Sarah, dearly-loved daughter of Ben and Agnes Parker. Funeral from her parents’ residence, Filter Beds, Stoneyford on Sunday at 2.30pm to Stoneyford Churchyard. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing father, mother, brother and sisters.

Parker – October 14, 1947 at her residence Filter beds, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Agnes, dearly-beloved wife of Ben Parker. Funeral on tomorrow (Thursday) at 2pm to Stoneyford Churchyard. House Private. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing husband and family.

Lynn – March 27, 1936, at the District Hospital, Lisburn, Sarah Jane, dearly-loved sister of William Robert and David Lynn, Aughnacarnan, Stoneyford.

Campbell – January 11, 1947 at his residence, Derrykillltagh, Upper Ballinderry, James, husband of the late Elizabeth Campbell. Funeral on Monday at 2pm to Stoneyford. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing family, son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Ulsterman’s death in South Africa was Belfast Tram Official became Johannesburg Inspector.

The death of Mr. Thomas Samuel Thompson, a native of Stoneyford, Co. Antrim, has occurred at the General Hospital, Johannesburg. He was for many years an inspector on the Johannesburg Municipal Tramway service.

After serving with the Belfast Street Tramway Company, Mr Thompson went out to South Africa. He joined the Capetown Tramway Company, but later went to the Rand, and took up appointment with the Johannesburg Tramways. He was in the service for 27 years, including 20 years as an inspector.

Mr. Thompson took a keen and active interest in the affairs of the Orange Institution and Royal Black Precentory. At the time of his death he was a member of LOL No 4 and of RBP no 330 in Johannesburg.

The funeral took place at the New Cemetery, Brixton, Johannesburg, in the plot reserved for members of the Order, the service being conducted by Rec. C.K. Storey, of the Methodist Church. An impressive service was laid by the W.M., officers and brethren of L.O.L. No 4.

The chief mourners were the deceased’s widow, Mrs. Thompson; his daughter Elsie; his step-daughter Ethel, and her husband; deceased’s brother Mr. Joseph A. Thompson and nephew Mr. George Thompson. The funeral was attended by many tramway officials, friends and members of the public and there were many wreaths. The pallbearers were chosen from the tramways inspectors’ staff and members of his lodge.

Death: Walker – February 6, 1942 (Suddenly) Thomas Richard, beloved husband of Jean Walker, 115 Ulsterville Avenue, and son of Agnes and the late Richard Walker, Ashvale, Stoneyford. Funeral from his mother’s residence today (Monday) at 2.30pm to St. John’s Churchyard, Stoneyford. Deeply regretted.

Belfast murder Victim.
Funeral of Warder. Sir D. Bates Attends.

Sir Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs, and officials of the Ministry were present and warders acted as pall bearers at the funeral of Mr. Thomas Walker, the Belfast prison warder, who was murdered by gunmen while cycling to the prison on Friday afternoon.
The funeral took place from the residence of deceased’s mother, Ashvale, Stoneyford, to St. John’s Churchyard, Stoneyford.

Mr. William Wellwood, private secretary; Mr. H.C. Montgomery, M.B.E., Assistant secretary to the Ministry, and Mr. R.G. Ronaldson, M.B.E., principal officer in the Ministry, accompanied the minister.

Captain T. Stewart, Governor of the prison, was also in attendance and a detachment of warders under Mr. G.D. Crowe, chief officer, paid their last tribute to an esteemed colleague.

The service at the hose and graveside were conducted by Rev. A.V. McCallin, curate – in- charge, Magheragall parish Church, assisted by Rev. T. Rogers, Magheragall Presbyterian Church.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. T.J. Hadden, castle Street, Lisburn.

Walker – February 14 1947 at her residence, Ashvale, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Agnes, widow of Richard Walker. Funeral tomorrow (Sunday), 16th inst at 2.15pm. House private. Very deeply regretted by her sorrowing family.

There is a headstone at Derriaghy Parish Church reads:

Erected in memory of James Whiteside, Stoneyford who died 28th August 1852 aged 75 years, also his wife Jane who died 16th January 1853 aged 65 years and 2 of their children who died young. Also their daughter Jane Dixon who died 22nd April 1858 aged 44 years, also their son David who departed this life May 24th 1895 aged 67 years. Also his wife Eliza Jane Whiteside who departed this life April 13th 1909 , also Joseph Whiteside who died 25th May 1913 aged 6 years, William John Whiteside who died 27th May 1915 aged 16 years and Charlotte Whiteside who died 12th November 1928 aged 22 years. Also Hugh Whiteside died 21st June 1940 aged 79 years and his wife Eliza Ann Whiteside died 4th June 1941 aged 74 years. At rest.

Further details on headstone inscriptions at Derriaghy Parish Church can be found in a book titled "Christ Church Derriaghy, Gravestone Inscriptions" by Revd W.N.C. Barr 1980.


Lewis – March 31, 1934 (Suddenly), at his residence, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Arthur Clarke, dearly-loved son of R.D. and the late M. Lewis. Interred in Stoneyford Churchyard on Tuesday, 3rd inst. Deeply regretted.

Toland – November 28, 1939 at her parents’ residence, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Margaret Teresa, second and dearly- beloved daughter of John and Minnie Toland – R.I.P. Funeral on Thursday at 1pm to Hannahstown Churchyard. On her soul, sweet Jesus have mercy. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing father, mother, brothers and sisters.

Lewis – April 26, 1943, at his residence, Post Office, Stoneyford, Lisburn. Robert David Lewis. Funeral tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3pm., to Stoneyford Churchyard. House Private. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing family.

Sir Joseph Larmor

If you take a walk round Priory Graveyard in Holywood, County Down you will find the grave of the eminent physicist and mathematician Sir Joseph Larmor. His mother was Anna Wright from Stoneyford.

In loving Christian Remembrance
Sir Joseph Larmor (1857 – 1942)
Lucasian Professor at Cambridge 1903 – 1932
Fellow of St. John’s College
M.P. for the University 1911 – 1922
Fellow of Clare Cambridge
Professor of natural philosophy at Londonderry

Hugh M.A. 1860 – 1882
John S.B. M.A. 1862 – 1931
Jane Anna 1864 – 1930
Mary Isabella 1869 – 1941
William Wright M.A. 1871 – 1936

Also their father Hugh Larmor of Magheragall 1824 – 1877
Their mother Anna Wright Larmor of Stoneyford 1831 – 1890

A History of Stoneyford

History of Stoneyford

A History of Stoneyford
Written by Norma Parker and published in 1990

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