Ballygortgarve Townland, Camlin

Mill Sale

The following is taken from the Belfast News Letter dated 8th December – 11th December 1789. Thanks to the Belfast News Letter for permission to use this extract.

Flour – mills

To be sold by Public Auction on Thursday the 24th inst at 12 o’clock at the house of Mr Archibald McCleaver, North Street, Belfast – a leafe of 15 acres, Scotch Cunningham measure, during the life of Bishop of Osnaburgh, and 16 years from November last unexpired: on which is erected a flour-mill with two pairs of hones, and machinery in good repair, a tall for a bleach-mill, on which is erected good houses for the same, a neat cabin and orchard, also 3 tenements for labourers, all possessed by the late William Thompson of Cyder Court, in the Parish of Glenavy and County of Antrim; those Mills are well watered, being situated half a mile below Crumlin flour mills on the same water, in the heart of good wheat country. Any person willing to become a purchaser by private sale, may apply to Mr Conway McNiece of Pigeontown nigh Glenavy, or James Sloane who lives on the premises, who will show the same.

Cyder Court, Dec 9th 1789
To be inserted three times.


The following extract is 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.

Parish of Camlin – Mills

The machinery of the parish consists of 1 corn and 2 flax mills. The corn mill is situated in the town land of Ballygortgarve, on the Crumlin water. It is propelled by a breast water wheel 16 feet in diameter and 3 feet 6 inches broad; fall of water is 3 feet. There is sufficient water for only 7 months in the year.

In an article published in the Belfast Telegraph on 24th August 1922 by W.H.D. Downer mention is given to The Crumlin Mills. Thanks to the Belfast Telegraph for permitting the use of this extract.

The article is titled "Ulster Flour Mills. Relics of Bygone Times. Once Great Industry Recalled – by a Trinity Man."

The article refers to the recent destruction of the old windmill at Ballyholme, by fire. Mention is given to the village of Glenoe, County Antrim. The following then appears –

The Crumlin Mills

Lewis, in his "Topographical Dictionary," gives some interesting information about the Crumlin Mills. Built in 1765 by Rowley Heyland, these mills were the first erected in the North of Ireland, and seen to have been at all times the staple industry of Crumlin, The Irish Government considered them of such importance that they erected extensive warehouses, and encouraged by every means the growth of wheat. Lewis goes on to say that a large portion of the flour was shipped to the Clyde and the several ports of the North of England, and tells us that during the year 1833 two hundred thousand tons of flour and oatmeal were sent from these mills (which were connected with some subsidiary mills) to Liverpool and Manchester. When later, Messrs. McCauley & Son held the Crumlin Mills the quantity of grain annually consumed by them was on an average 5,000 tons of wheat, and 3,000 tons of oats. These mills have, however, "weathered the storm" of Free Trade by their conversion into a tweed factory, and the yare now an extensive and flourishing concern.

Few places, however, have been as fortunate as Crumlin. The overwhelming majority of Ulster’s old flour mills are now in ruins, many of them having only the four bare walls left standing. A short distance form Crumlin are the once important Glenconway Mills, on the Glenavy river, where only a few men are now employed in the production of flock, while nearer to Crumlin, is Cidercourt, a large old mill which lies absolutely idle, and is rapidly mouldering into decay. Goldsmith describes it also, since its millstream, like that mentioned in the "Deserted Village."

"Choked with sedges, works its weary way."

Nowadays we hardly realise the importance of the once great industry. The words "seed time and harvest" have, alas, lost much of their former significance. We so seldom now see the reapers out in the golden cornfields, working by the silver light of the harvest moon, so that "all may be safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin." After the reaping came the threshing, and the journey to the mill. Perhaps we can picture the old grey mill – perchance a windmill, but more often driven by water. Standing back among the green meadows, we can see the carts rumbling up a county lane, bearing their precious freight. We see the mill-dam among the fields, and we hear the water rushing down the mill race to the great wheel. We hear the clanking and crunching, the creaking and groaning as the big black wheel turns, and perhaps we see the miller within the building, passing to and for. Tennyson saw it all, and in "The Miller’s Daughter," beautifully puts the scene before us –

"I loved the brimming wave that swam,
Thro’ quiet meadows round the mill,
The sleepy pool above the dam,
The pool beneath it never still.

The meal sacks on the whiten’d floor,
The dark round of the dripping wheel,
The very air about the door,
Made misty with the floating meal."

"Glenfield" Lease

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 6th June, 1843 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


In the matter of James Johnston, petitioner. Robert Bell, Respondent, and the Act of the 5th and 6th of Wm. the 4th, chap.55.

Pursuant to an order made in this matter, bearing date the 20th day of February, and to a further order, bearing the date the 26th May, 1843, I will, on Tuesday, the 20th day of June inst. at One o’clock afternoon, at my Chambers on the Inn’s Quay, Dublin, set up and let to the highest and fairest bidder, for 7 years pending this matter, from the 1st day of May last, all that Part of the lands of Ballygortgarve, known by the name of Glenfield, as now in the possession of the respondent, Robert Bell, containing 29 acres, and 2 roods, Scotch Cunningham measure, or thereabouts, situate near the Town of Crumlin, in the Parish of Glenavy, and County of Antrim, Dated this 3d day of June 1843.

William Henn

The tenant, on being declared, will be required to execute leases and enter into security by recognizance with 2 sureties in double the yearly rent, conditioned for payment of the rent as in such cases usual.

For further particulars, apply to John Ferguson, solicitor for the Petitioner, Antrim and 28 Lower Dominick-street, Dublin; or to Mr. John Liggat, the Receiver in this matter, Ballyrobin, Antrim.

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