Glenavy Townland, Glenavy


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.

Mills and Manufactories

The manufactories in this parish consist of a cotton factory, a bleach green with its machinery and a corn mill. The cornmill is situated in the village of Glenavy. The machinery is propelled by a breast water wheel 14 feet in diameter and 2 feet broad.

The cotton factory is within a short distance of the southern end of the village of Glenavy. It is in rather a dilapidated states, though at present at full work. The machinery is propelled by a breast water wheel 26 feet in diameter and 5 feet broad, and having a fall of water of 24 feet.


…It is of very little importance as a mill stream, but would supply more machinery with water than is at present erected on the river, to take advantage of which it is the intention of Mr. Howe, who has a cotton manufactory in the town land of Glenavy, to erect a flax mill in the same town land next year (1836).

Old Flock Mill

One of the Glenavy Mills (February 1911) which was situated at Glen Road, Glenavy. Known in more recent times as the Flock Mill. It had been a mill since the early 19th century period. This is a fascinating depiction of what was once there. The railway opened in 1871.

A big thank-you to Bert Trowlen for sharing this picture which was supplied by George Cairns!!

One of the Glenavy Mills (February 1911)

One of the Glenavy Mills (February 1911)

Cotton Mill, Lands and Houses for Sale

The following is an extract from The Belfast Newsletter dated 28th March 1834 and is used with permission from The Belfast Newsletter.

Cotton mill, lands and houses.

To be peremptorily Sold by Public auction, at the Sale Rooms of Mr. G.C. Hyndman, castle-Place, on Friday, 25th April next, at the hour of Two o’clock.

All those extensive Cotton Mills and concerns adjoining the Town of Glenavy. The Mill contains 2064 Throstle and 1968 Mule spindles, with 50 carding engines, and other requisite Machinery; is heated by Steam, was driven by a Metal Water Wheel, lately erected, of 24 feet diameter, equal to 25 horse power, with an abundant supply of Water; also a Steam Engine of 10 horse power, for which coals can be landed within one mile of the Mill.

Attached thereto are 40 acres of land, 25 of which are occupied as Reservoirs, with ten workmen’s Houses, and a comfortable Cottage, garden and Orchard; held under the Most Noble the Marquis of Hertford, for Three Young Lives, at the Annual Rent of £32, 12s 10d.

The property is situated in a fertile country, ten miles from Belfast, and adjoins the thriving post-town of Glenavy; would be admirably adapted for Spinning Flax or bleaching. Linen weavers are abundant, and labour cheap; it would also suit a Flour Mill or Distillery.

For particulars, apply to John Forsythe, Esq; or Mr. Thomas F. How, on the premises. Belfast march 17th 1834.

Glenavy Mill

The following appeared in the Belfast News Letter Friday 31st May 1839.
Reproduced by permission of Belfast News Letter.


Dwelling Houses and Land

The following Valuable properties, at and near the
Town of Glenavy, are offered for sale, in
Lots, to suit Purchasers:-
Lot No. 1 – Consists of Three Parcels of LAND
Containing altogether about 15A 2R 12P, statute measure,
Held by lease, from he Marquis of Hertford, for Three
Young Lives, all in being, at the annual rent of £21. 13s.
3d. Upon this Property has been lately erected a Valuable
CORN MILL, at present used for the manufacture
of Oatmeal, fitted up with the most improved Machinery,
containing Two Pair of French Burr Mill-Stones, four
feet eleven inches in diameter, in good working order, and
power and space for four pair more; Sifting machines,
Elevators, Fanners, Kilns, &c., &c. driven by a new overshot
Water-Wheel, of 20 feet diameter, computed to be
equal to 25 horse-power, with extensive Storage. Also, a
FLAX SCUTCHING MILL, containing Nine Scutchers,
driven by a Water-Wheel of 15 feet diameter, and capable
of cleaning from 45 to 50 stone of flax a day. There
is adjoining the Mills a comfortable DWELLING-
HOUSE, in the Cottage style, with Garden and Orchard,
well stocked with Fruit and other trees, Nine HOUSES
for workmen, and a stock Dam of about 7 acres.

Lot No. 2 – Immediately adjoins Lot. No.1, and contains

about 10 acres of Prime LAND, held under the
Marquis of HERTFORD, for 3 lives, at the Yearly Rent
Of £10.

Lot No. 3 – Contains about 24A 1R 24P is included
In the same lease with No.1, although some distance
From it, and will be either disposed with it, or separately,
Subject to the Yearly Rent of £10 10s 7d; on this
Lot has been constructed a Stock Dam, covering about
16 Acres of Land, which, with the other Dam already
Mentioned, keeps up a regular supply of Water to the
Mills in all Seasons.

The Post Town of Glenavy is situated in a fine grain
Country, is 10 miles from the town of Belfast; 7 from
Lisburn; 4 from the Ulster Railway, which affords water
communication with the Counties of Down, Armagh, Tyrone
and Londonderry; and by the Lagan, Newry, and
Ulster Canals, to Belfast, Newry, and the interior of the
Province. The Scutch mill has produced on an average
for the last 4 years, £35 per annum. The 9 workmens’
houses produce an annual profit of £21 10s 0d. The
Dwelling-house consists of a Parlour, 4 Bedrooms, Kitchen,
pantry, Sculleries, Stable for 4 horses, and Outhouses.

For further particulars apply to Mr. Thomas F.
How, the Proprietor, on the Premises; or to James
Davis, Solicitor.
23, Arthur Street, Belfast.

There is further information on Lorimer’s Corn Mill, which was located south of the Parish Church in the village, on the Environment and Heritage website.

Hertford Estate Rejoicings

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 10th February 1859 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Rejoicings on the Hertford Estate.

When it became known on Tuesday last that the lady of W.T. Stannus, Esq., J.P., Lisburn, had given birth to a son and heir, the tenantry on the Hertford estate assembled in large numbers on yesterday evening to manifest their respect and gratitude towards the family, by kindling large bonfires on the range of hills extending from Aughrim towards Glenavy. Tar barrels blazed on Bannister’s Hill, Whitemountain, Aughrim, Crew Hill, Carnkilly, Sentry Hill and other places. Many hearty cheers were given, which broke the dull ear of night, and were echoed far and wide amid the Glens of Stoneyford, and the adjacent districts. Such demonstrations as these give a sure indication of the state of public opinion on the estate. The agent of the Hertford Estate is deservedly popular amongst all classes of the tenantry. They have always found him to be a gentleman in the highest sense of the term, willing at all times to investigate their claims in a fair, free and full manner. The best proof of this is that great improvements are taking place on the estate, and the sweet power of cultivation appears, when formerly there was nothing but a dismal swamp, or a barren heath. This is not the only time on which the tenantry of this great property manifested their respect and esteem for the agent. On the occasion of his marriage with a lady of high rank, they presented him with a valuable service of plate, and gave a dinner at which were present, not only the respectable and influential men of all parties on the estate, but also many gentlemen from the adjacent districts. Such demonstrations of regard indicate a sound state of things, and furnish a pleasing picture of the mutual confidence and good-will which prevail between the agent and tenantry of one of the largest properties in Ireland.

Attempts to Save the Old Mill

The Ulster Star featured the Mill on 5th August, 2005. The following extract has been reproduced with permission of The Ulster Star.

Society urges renovation rather than demolition
Call to save Old Mill in Glenavy

The Old Mill in Glenavy

The Old Mill in Glenavy

One of the rarest mills in Ireland could be demolished to make way for a housing development in Glenavy.

Dundrum Developments is currently seeking permission to build 27 dwellings at the site of the 165-year old mill, the only known Irish example of a double water wheel in the same building which has fallen into a bad state of repair in recent years.

But the Ulster Heritage Society says it will oppose any plans to demolish a building of such historical significance. The mill was built in 1840 and listed four years ago and Andrew McClelland, Heritage Project Officer of the Ulster Heritage Society, said it is one of their "Buildings at Risk".

He said the charity would strongly oppose any decision by the planning department to approve the demolition of the building to make way for housing but would not oppose any scheme for it to be used as a dwelling.

"We believe it is very important to preserve such a rare building as this," he said.

"We would like to see the building restored and if it is used again as a dwelling then that would be fine as there are some very nice examples of that sort of scheme," he said.

A survey conducted by the Ulster Heritage Society described the mill as a "good example" of a medium sized rural enterprise which has existed for almost 230 years with a "surprising amount" of internal machinery which still survives.

They also stated that with exception of spade mills it is the only Irish example known which has two waterwheels in the same building.
"The fact that one of the waterwheels has an attested local manufacturer (Kane) is also of note" the survey added.

One concerned resident said he was aware the mill was in bad need of repair and that it is often used as a drinking den, but he urged the developer and the planners to do what they could to preserve the wheels.

"What I would like to see, if the mill cannot be saved, then the wheels being given to a museum" he said.

A similar story appeared in the Irish News in relation to the development. It was reported that the old mill was at the centre of a row between local residents and developers. At that time a businessman named as Sam Finlay had applied for planning permission for a mixed residential development of 43 units, containing a mix of town houses, apartments and semi-detached houses, located at the watermill site. At that time it was reported that Planning Officials in Lisburn confirmed that the planning application contained no information on the conservation or destruction of the mill, house and outbuildings on the site.

The area has since been developed and is known as Miller’s Lane, Glenavy.

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

Glenavy Mill redevelopment, Feb 2008

The area where the Mill once was has now been redeveloped. The developers have kept some of the old mill and themed it accordingly. (February 2008)

In "Mills – The Millers & The Mills of Ireland" of about 1850 compiled by William E. Hogg there is a reference to Glenavy.

Glenavy Town (no name) Corn Mill 14/0 2/0 a small mill
Thomas Howe Cotton 26/0 5/0 24 mill dilapidated

There is sufficient water supply and it is intended that more machinery will be erected. The men work 12 hours a day, total number employed is 100 to 120.

Extract from Griffith Valuation 1862 – Union of Lisburn (Part of)

County of Antrim — Barony of Massereene — Parish of Glenavy

Column 1 : Number and letters of Reference to map
Column 2 : Occupiers
Column 3 : Immediate Lessors
Column 4 : Description of Tenement
Column 5 : Area
Not included Rateable Annual Valuation of land and buildings and Total Annual Valuation of Rateable property
Townland: GlenavyOrdnance Survey map number: 59
1 Arthur Armstrong Marquis of Hertford Land 42 03 34
2 same same same 33 00 15
2a unoccupied Arthur Armstrong House
2b Anne Kearney same House
3 Rev.Ed. J.Smyth Marquis of Hertford Land 06 02 00
4 same same Land 02 00 30
5 same Freehold Glebe Land 05 01 25
4a Moses Atkinson Rev. Ed. J. Smyth House,Office,Garden 00 00 20
5a Church and Burial Ground see exemptions
5b Church Education Society’s male
And female school house
see exemptions
6A a John Lorimer Marquis of Hertford Offices and Land 52 03 02
6B same same Land 18 01 38
6C same same Land 11 02 15
7Aa same same House,Office,Corn Mills, Kilns and Land 03 00 00
7B same same Land 02 03 10
7C same same Land 00 03 20
6Ab Edward Regan John Lorimer House and Garden 00 00 16
6c John Armstrong same same 00 00 14
6Ca John McVeigh same same 00 00 32
6b Alexander McCanley same same 00 00 32
8 George Lyons Marquis of Hertford Land 09 00 00
9 Edward Dornan same Land 08 00 39
10 Francis McAffee same Land 07 03 29
11 George Ferris same Land 11 03 19
12 James Johnston same Land 32 00 15
13 John Sefton same Land 03 03 10
14 Jane Johnston same Land 17 03 28
15 Henry A. Pollock same Land 44 02 02
15a William Organ Henry A. Pollock House
15b unoccupied same House
16 John Waddle Esther Wallace House,Offices,Land 24 02 37
17a Esther Wallace Marquis of Hertford House,Office,Land 04 03 00
17b Unoccupied Esther Wallace Old Mill (dilapidated)
17c Alice McCurry same House
17d Robert Neeson same House
17e William Martin same House
17f unoccupied same House
17g unoccupied same House
17h unoccupied same House
18 Esther Wallace Marquis of Hertford Land 06 03 39
19 George Quigley same Land 02 00 10
20-1 Jane Cardwell Jane Johnston House,Yard,Sm Gar.
20-2 George Montgomery same House and Yard
20-3 Jane Just same House
20-4 Jane Johnston Marquis of Hertford House,Offices,Yard Garden 02 02 00
20-5 Primitive Wesleyan Methodist
Meeting House
see exemptions
20-6 Denis McKendry James Johnston House,Off,Yard, Small Garden
20-7 Sarah Hendren same House
20-8 unoccupied same House and Yard
20-9 James Smyth same House
20-9½ John Courtney same House
20-10 James Johnston Marquis of Hertford Office
20-11 James Johnston same House,Offices,Yard, Garden 02 10 00
20-12 Rev. Edward J. Smyth same House,Offices,Yard Garden 00 02 00
20-13 Langford Shane same House,Yard,Garden 00 01 25
20-14 Ellen Thompson Langford Shane House (in rere)
20-15 James McGarrold Marquis of Hertford House and Garden 00 01 15
20-16 John Sorley James McGarrold House (in rere)
20-17 Francis McAfee Marquis of Hertford House, Offices, yard, Garden 00 01 30
20-18 Charles Greer Esther Wallace House and yard
20-19 John McLoughlin same House,Yard,garden 00 00 35
20-20 Rose Quinn same House,Yard,garden 00 00 35
20-21 Henry Farr Marquis of Hertford House,Yard, garden 00 00 35
20-22 Thomas Logan same House,Yard,Garden 00 01 05
20-23 Alexander McPherson Thomas Logan House (in rere)
20-24 Margaret Barnes same House (in rere)
20-25 Mary McMullen Marquis of Hertford House,Office,yard Garden 00 01 00
20-26 Denis McKendry Esther Wallace Garden 00 02 32
20-27 James Johnston Marquis of Hertford Garden 00 02 25
20-28 Mary McCappan James Johnston House
20-29 William Morgan Henry Smyly House
20-29½ Unoccupied same House
20-30 Clement Fitzgerald same House and garden 00 01 32
20-31 Patrick Logan Thomas Logan House
20-32 Thomas Logan Marquis of Hertford Workshop,Office, Garden 00 01 00
20-33 Robert Malcolmson Thomas Logan House (in rere)
20-34 unoccupied John Sefton House
20-35 Ellen Gillen same House
20-36 Eliza Eakins same House
20-37 Lewis Hamilton same House
20-38 James McMullen same House
20-39 Joshua Hyland same House
20-40 John Sefton Marquis of Hertford House, Office,Yard Garden 01 00 20
20-41 James Bradbury John Sefton House and Offices
20-42 James Brady same House
20-43 George Ferris Marquis of Hertford House,Offices,Yard Garden 00 02 16
20-44 Anna Jane Ferris same House and Yard
20-45 Arthur Armstrong same House,Office,Yard Garden 00 02 00
20-46 Catherine Cranny Arthur Armstrong House and Yard
20-47 James Hill same House and Yard
20-48 William Ferguson same House and Yard
20-49 Joseph Dickson Marquis of Hertford House,Offices,Yard Garden 01 02 35
20-49 Thomas Finn Joseph Dickson House (part of)
20-50 John Culbert Moses Atkinson Ho.,Yard,Sm garden
20-51 James Kennedy same Ho.,Yard, Sm garden
Waste under houses, yards, streets and small gardens     05 01 18
Total of Rateable Property     373 01 00
Exemptions: Church and grave yard     00 03 25
Church Education Society’s male and female school house    
Village of Glenavy : Jane Johnston, Primitive Wesleyan    
Methodist Meeting House    
Total of exemptions     00 03 25
Total including exemptions     374 00 34

Glenavy Mill Sale

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 11th October 1865 and is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Mill Property, houses and Land for Sale

To be sold by private contract the Lessee’s Interest in Glenavy Mill. Land and premises, adjoining the new intended station of the Dublin and Antrim Junction Railway, and comprising 14a 2r 25p, with an excellent Dwelling-house, neat cottage, large garden and Orchard, and three workers’ houses, held under the Most Noble the Marquis of Hertford for two lives, subject to the yearly rent of £21 8s 8d. The Mill premises are on the Glenavy River, and a large Water Wheel has been erected thereon.

Also, about 17a 3r 3p of land adjoining the above, held for three lives, subject to the yearly rent of £19 2s.

For further particulars, apply to
Mrs. Wallace, Glenavy;
Rev Thomas F Black, Fortview, Doagh; or Mr. James Morton, solicitor, 110 High Street, Belfast.

Death Extract – 1915 – Dorothy Jane Watson

The following death was registered on the 8th December 1915 by Dr. T. West. It recorded the death of 19 year old Dorothy Jane Watson on the 5th December 1915. She was a worker in the warehouse and she was found drowned in the Mill Dam at Glenconway Mill. The cause of death was recorded as "
suicidal drowning while in unsound state of mind." The information was received from Dr. A. Mussen, Coroner for County Antrim.

Dorothy Jane Watson was born on 2nd December 1896 (U/1898/144/1018/10/173). Her parents were Henry Watson and Isabella (nee Thompson). They were married at Ballinderry Parish Church on 15th May 1896 (M/1896/E1/1727/3/126 refers).

In the 1901 census the Watson family were recorded residing at Kilcreeny townland. At that time there were two children – Dorothy Jane and Thomas Henry (born 21 12 1898 – U/1898/144/1018/10/321 refers). The house they resided in was owned by Henry Ballance.

In the 1911 census the family were residing in the Crew townland. There were six children listed –

  1. Dorothy Jane
  2. Thomas Henry
  3. Sarah Elizabeth (born 14 10 1901 – U/1901/144/1018/11/29 refers)
  4. Samuel John (born 15 05 1904 – U/1904/144/1018/11/231 refers)
  5. William Edward (born 11 03 1907 – U1907/144/1018/11/426 refers)
  6. and Charles George (born 02 12 1909 – U/1909/144/1018/12/101 refers)

There is a birth of Margaret Eveline Watson recorded on 25 05 1914 (U1914/144/1018/12/354 refers).

In c1927 the Watson family relocated into a house built by Lisburn Rural District Council at Lisburn Road, Glenavy. There were 5 houses built at this time. The other four were occupied by Thomas Matier, Fred Morgan, William Harbinson and Archie McCord.

Belfast Water Board Arbitration

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 5th August 1888 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Belfast Water Board Arbitration – the inquiry into the meaning of the phrase "average fine weather flow" employed in the Belfast Water Act of 1884, as indicating the compensation in water which millowners on the stream at Stoneyford, about in part to be appropriated by the Commissioners, were to receive, was resumed yesterday in the Grand Jury Room, County Courthouse, before Mr. Edmund Murphy, J.P., Government Arbritrator, with Mr. A.R. Binnie, C.E., Bradford, acting as assessor. Mr. Bewley, Q.C., and Mr. John McLean, Barrister – at – law (instructed by Messrs McLean, Boyle and McLean), represented the Water trust; Mr Dodd, Q.C. (instructed by Mr. Berryhill, Lisburn) appeared for Sir Richard Wallace; and Mr. Lorimer, on of the millowners affected, and Mr. Walter Long (instructed by Mr. David McGonigal) represented by Mr. Briggs, the owner of the Glenconway Mills. Mr. McCullough, assistant to Mr Macassey, was examined, and subsequently counsel on both sides addressed the Court, and the proceedings terminated. The arbitrator’s award will not be given for some time.

"Ulster Journal of Archaeology

The following extract is taken from the "Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol V, Part 1, November 1898". It is reproduced with the permission of the Ulster Archaeological Society.

Burial Urns Found at Glenavy

by A. Mussen, M.D.,
Her Majesty’s Coroner for South Antrim

Small urn found at Glenavy

Small urn found at Glenavy

These urns were found in a field belonging to James Lorimer, in the town land of Glenavy, Co. Antrim, about a quarter of a mile east of that village. The smaller one (Figure 1), with covering urn (Figure 2), was discovered in 1854, embedded in the gravel, at the summit of an abrupt natural mound, about three feet under the surface. This mound was being levelled at the time to facilitate farming operations. The soil all round was alluvial, and did not appear to have been disturbed by interments. The urn proper was half-filled with calcined bones, and resting in the gravel; the covering urn (Figure 2) was inverted over it. There was no cist or supporting stone, and no flint or bronze implements of any kind were near the place, which had no appearance of having been a general place of sepulture. A number of trees, but nothing worthy of the name of timber, had until recently been growing round the mound, their planting being evidently due to the fact of the mound being unfavourable. At a distance of about five feet from the urn, and about three feet under the surface, part of a human skeleton was found. From the position in which the bones of the head and those of the feet were found, it seemed as if the body had been crushed into a hole too small for it. The body had been placed on its back and doubled up.

Covering urn found at Glenavy

Covering urn found at Glenavy

The larger urn (Figure 3) was discovered in June 1898, in a field about 350 yards west of the field in which was found the smaller urns. A gravel pit had been sunk, the sides of which were being levelled in when the spade struck the bottom of the urn, knocking a hole in it. This disclosed its nature, and James Lorimer had it carefully uncovered, when it was found to contain a large quantity of calcined bones, of what must have been a very large-sized human being. The urn was inverted over the calcined bones. The soil about is entirely alluvial, showing no signs of a general sepulchre, but merely a hole large enough to admit of the insertion of the urn and nothing more. There were no flints or bronzes about the urn, but a stone about six inches in diameter rested upon the bottom of it. The field is quite level at the place, and has no appearance of a former mound near it.

Larger urn found at Glenavy

Larger urn found at Glenavy

The bones found have been examined by Professor Cunningham, of the Queen’s College, Belfast, who reports as follows:- The charred fragments of bones from the urns (Figures 1 and 3) are in such a fragmentary condition, that it would be impossible to tell in a limited examination to what animal or animals they belonged. The bones found in the earth I have identified as belonging to one aged human being. The following have been identified by me:

  • 1. Fragments of Skull – i.e.
    • (a) base of cranium in sphenoidal region;
    • (b) petrous portion of two temporal bones;
    • (c) portions of orbits;
    • (d) fragments of upper jaw
    • (e) greater part of lower jaw – the shape of this last indicates an old individual.
  • 2. Vertebrae – i.e. portions of axis or second cervical, and portion of another cervical
  • 3. Arm
    • (a) shaft and lower end of radius;
    • (b) metacarpals
  • 4. Pelvis – Fragment, with part of ace tabular cavity
  • 5. Leg
    • (a) upper portion of femur;
    • (b) two calcanea;
    • (c) two astragoli;
    • (d) other tarsal bones;
    • (e) metatarsals of the great toes.
Ornamention found on urn

Ornamention found on urn

The small urn (Figure 1) is 4¼ in. high, 4 7/8 in. in diameter at the mouth, and 2 3/8 in. at the base, and is entirely covered with ornament, which is continued on the inside of the lip. This ornament is accurately shown in the illustration (Figure 1) The covering urn (Figure 2) stands 6¼ in. high, 6¼ in. in diameter at the mouth, and 4 in. at the base, and few urns show more ornament. It is to be regretted that it has been much broken, but not so much as to spoil the character of the ornament. It is to be regretted that it has been much broken, but not so much as to spoil the character of the ornament, which has been sketched in Figure 4, and accurately depicts the original. Very similar ornamentation is often seen on calabashes from the West Coast of Africa.

The urn (Figure 3) is imperfectly burned, and shows the least ornament of the three. It is 12 in. high, and 10 in. wide at the mouth, and 5½ in. at the base. A raised band encircles it a little above the centre, and another below the lip, between which the lip there is a diagonal line ornament.

I am indebted to Charles Elcock, of the City Museum, Belfast, for the accompanying drawings.

Tenders for Erection of Labourers Cottages

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday June 20th 1903

Lisburn Rural District Council
To Builders.

The Lisburn Rural District Council will, at their meeting on Tuesday, 14th July next, at the hour of half-past ten o’clock a.m., consider Tenders for the Erection of Labourers Cottages, as follows: Four cottages in the town land of Ballynadolly (Mr. J. Milliken’s land); four cottages in the town land of Glenavy (Mr. M. Armstrong’s land), two cottages in contractor (Mr. S. Green’s land_; one cottage in Ballyvannon (Mr. J. Craney’s land), the work to be done in accordance with the plans and specifications prepared by Mr. James Hunter, C.E., and which can be inspected at this Office, or at Mr. Hunter’s residence, Beechwood, Ballymacash, Lisburn. The work must be carried out to the satisfaction of the Architect, and he houses completed and ready for occupation before 1st November next. Contractors when Tendering should state plainly in their Tender which of the Cottages they are tendering for, and the lowest sums for which they are willing to do the work.

Tenders containing the names of two solvent Sureties who are willing to enter into a bond for the due performance of the Contract will be received by me up to the hour of Twelve o’clock noon on Saturday, 11th July next.

The lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted. No tender will be received after the hour appointed in this notice.

(By order)
William Sinclair, Clerk of the Council. Poor law offices, Lisburn.

Marriage — Mussen and Oakshott

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald Saturday, 22nd July 1911


Mussen – Oakshott – July 12, at St. Peter’s, Rock Ferry, by the Rev. G.H. Oakshott, D.D., assisted by the Rev. C.F. Newell, Vicar of Templepatrick, and the Rev. T.J. Evans, Vicar of the Parish, Arthur Augustus Mussen, M.D., only son of Arthur Mussen, M.D., J.P., Glenavy, Co. Antrim, to Norah Elsie, youngest daughter of the late Thomas William Oakshott, J.P., Derby House, Rock Ferry, and Mrs. Oakshott, derby House, Rock Ferry.

Pretty Wedding at Liverpool
Mussen – Oakshott

At St. Peter’s, Rock Ferry, near Liverpool, on 12th inst., Miss Norah Elsie Oakshott, daughter of the late Alderman Oakshott, was married to Dr. Arthur A. Mussen, assistant medical officer of health for Liverpool, and only son of Dr. Arthur Mussen, J.P., County Antrim. The interior of the fine old church was beautifully decorated with white flowers and foliage. The very large congregation included employees, personal servants and spectators of all classes. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. G.H. Oakshott, D.D., who was assisted by the Rev. T.J. Evans, the vicar, and the Rev. C.F. Newell, vicar of Templepatrick, County Antrim. Mr. davies, the organist, gave a recital of music while the guests were assembling, and Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March" at the close of the ceremony.

The bridal party were met at the church door by the clergy and choir, who preceded them to the chancel, singing the hymn "O, Father, all creating." The bride, who was escorted by her brother, and given away by her mother, looked very beautiful in her lovely gown of silver brocade and old Limerick lace veil draped from a coronet of orange blossoms. She carried a bouquet of pink roses, and wore an amethyst and diamond pendant, the bridegroom’s gift. Following her came a retinue of six small bridesmaids – Miss Catherine, Miss Elizabeth and Miss Alice Oakshott, Miss May and Miss Louise Newell and Miss Nora Bannen. These little people wore Quaker frocks of white satin and white lace caps. Their bouquets of red roses were tied with pale blue ribbons, and the bridegroom presented them with pearl bar brooches as mementoes. The 67th Psalm and the hymns "Lead us, Heavenly Father," and "Father of all, to Thee with loving hearts we pray," were part of the service. The best man was Mr. Pierce, town clerk of Liverpool. After the ceremony there was a large reception at Derby House, at which numbers of Liverpool people were present, among them Sir Charles and Lady Pietre, Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster, Sir James and Lady Barr, Dr. and Mrs. Hope, Mr. and Mrs. R. Morrison, and Miss Hughes. The handsome old house was handsomely adorned with flowers and ferns, pink and white sweet peas, and roses everywhere – in the hall, in the upper corridors, and in the drawing rooms. The wedding cake, which sat among sweet peas and white heather, was cut in a blue and white pavilion erected in the grounds. The wedding gifts, upwards of 400 in number, were of the most beautiful kind, among them china, oak, silver, pictures, jewels, and rare glass. The bride and bridegroom left later en route for Paris and Switzerland, where the honeymoon will be spent, the bride going away in a beautiful gown of amethyst embroidered ninon over satin, with a travelling cloak of amethyst satin, and a hat of amethyst aeroplane, arranged with natural coloured marabout feathers.

NB. Dr Arthur Augustus Mussen, M.D., D.P.H. died on 3rd May 1954 at The Grand Hotel, Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Norah Elsie Mussen died at Duchy House Nursing Home, Queen’s Road, Harrowgate, Yorkshire on 30th November 1961.

War Comforts

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald Saturday 18th May 1940.

Glenavy War Comforts Effort

In common with other centres Glenavy was working for war comforts during the winter months. Starting with a general collection of the district in November a sum of over £18 was raised. Appeals to the various L.O.L.’s brought in £1 each from Glenavy L.O.L. 227, Crew L.O.L. 124, Pride Of Glenavy L.O.L. 618, also Red Cross Volunteers R.B.P. 286. £3 was received from Ballydonaghy Temperance L.O.L. 351, and proceeds of concert pre Miss Wilson L.T.C.L., £10 1s 6d.

Many knitters answered the call, meeting once a month to receive wool, and return finished articles. On April 4th when an adjournment was made for a few months the following articles had been forwarded to the Ulster Gift Fund per Unionist Depot, totalling in all 212:- 20 pullovers, 61 scarves, 48 helmets, 56 pairs socks, 7 pairs gloves, 20 pairs mittens.

Views of Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River
(source and date of photograph presently unknown)

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

Glenavy River from a postcard
Date unknown

Glenavy River

Glenavy River

The Study of the place name – Glenavy

The following extract is from The Ulster Local Studies – Journal of the Federation for Ulster Local Studies. It appeared in the Federation Journal c.1975/1976. Thanks to The Federation for Ulster Local Studies for permitting the use of this extract.

Exemplary Guide to the Study of a Placename by Deirdre Flanagan
Glenavy Townland, County Antrim; Barony Upper Masserene; Glenavy Parish; O.S. 59.

1. Lathrach Patricc Gwynn, The Book of Armagh, I, p.36 (9th c.)
2. Lat (h)rach Patraic Mulchrome, Bethu Phatraic, p. 98 (9th c. text)
3. Lettir-phadruic Colgan, Trias Thaum, p. 147 (A.D. 1647)
4. O Lainn abhaich Stokes, Felire Oengusso (notes), p.240
5. O Lainn Abaich Stokes, Felire hui Gormain (gloss), p. 212
6. O Lainn abaich O’Donovan, Mart. Donegal, p. 298
7. (airchindeach) Laindi Abhaic Book of Ui Maine (facs.), fo. 68a
8. (aircinech) Lainne Abhaich Mac Firbis ‘Gen., p. 515
9. Lann Abhaich, Ecclesia Colgan, Trias Thaum., p. 183 (A.D. 1647)
10. Lhannavach Archdall, Mon.Hib. (A.D. 1782)
11. Lennewy, ecclesia de Papal Tax. 1306 (ex Reeves, Eccl. Antiq.)
12. Lenavy, ecclesia de Terrier 1615
13. Lanaway, vicarious de King’s Books (A.D. 1616)
14. Lunavie, capella de Ulster Visitation 1622
15. Lynavy Regal Visitation 1634 (ex Groves’ copy)
16. Glanawy, vicarious de Visitation 1661
17. Clenough al’ Linawey Inq. Ult. (Down), n.2. Jac.I. (A.D. 1605)
18. Cleonagh al’ Lynawy Cal. Pat. Rolls Jas 1, p.146 b (A.D. 1609)
19. Ballyglaney Inq. Ult., no 1 Car. 1 (A.D. 1625)
20. Ballylenany (recte – avy) Inq. Ult., no.2 Car. 11 (A.D. 1661)
21. Glenavie (par., td) Census 1659
22. Glennevey td. Down Survey bar. map
Glanevey par. (bar. Massereene) (c. 1660)
23. Glenavey Hearth Money Rolls (c. 1669)
24. Clanavie td
Glanavy par. Petty, Hibernia Delineatio (c. 1680)
25. Glenavy (par., td) Conway Estate Map 1729
26. Glanevy Taylor & Skinner (1778)
27. Glenevey Lendrick, map of Antrim 1780
28. Glean Abhaic, "Glen of the Dwarf" O.S. name book
29. gle’nevi current local pronunciation
Lann Abhaigh[1]
Meaning – "church/monastery of the dwarf"
Ainmneacha Gaeilge na mBailte Poist, p.96
(forms 1 – 20 are grouped, as far as possible in chronological sequence, within the several ranges of source material)

The original form of Glenavy is attested in native sources nos. 4 – 9 and by the semi- Gaelic version in number 10. The traditional explanation of the name Lann Abhaigh is given in source number 2: Luid I nDail nAraithi iar suidiu. ..Ocus asbertai dano conga bad du ita Lat(h)rach Patraic. Is and sin ata Daniel aingel 7 abhacc Patraic. (After this he went into Dal Araidi. ..And he proposed moreover to take the place in which Lathrach Patraic (Patrick’s site) is (now). Therein is Daniel (who is called from his purity) “The angel” and (from his small size) "Patrick’s dwarf".)[2]

Here the compiler gives sufficient information to allow the reader to identify the site as Lann Abhaigh but avoids, apparently consciously, use of the anachronistic term lann. (Lann, Welsh llan, "enclosure, monastic enclosure, church", does not occur in the Patrician context but belongs to the immediate post-Patrician phase.[3] The name Lathrach Patraic does not recur recognisably in later documentation[4] and may possibly have been consciously composed in order to bring Lann Abhaigh within the Patrician mission.

The sources of numbers 4 – 6 are locational glosses in the metrologies on Aedhan mac Colca (Nov. 6.) The sources of numbers 7 and 8 refer to "Maelpatraig (mac Celen) .i. Aircinech Lainne Abhaich 7 secnab Bennchair" (Maelpatraig son of Celen .i. Erenagh of Glenavy and vice-abbot of Bangor.) The Annals of the Four Masters give the obit: A.D. 927 Maolpatraicc mac Celen, sac cart 7 secnap Bennchair (decc). At the dissolution of the monasteries the rectory of Glenavy, with its 13 town lands, was found to be appropriate to the Abbey of Bangor (sources nos. 12, 17,18); the association obviously goes back at least to the early 10th century.

Lettir – phadruic (no. 3), with the same reference and in the same context as Lathrach Patraic (nos. 1,2) may be an error for the latter on Colgan’s part. But on the strength of Colgan’s Lettir -phadruic, Reeves (Eccl. Antiq., p. 237) and Olivetti (Down and Connor, 11, p.303) suggest the equation of Glenavy with "Leitir Dal Araidhe", a locational gloss in the metrologies on the three "daughters" of Comhghall (Jan. 22); the Mart. Donegal[5] account is the most detailed:

Colma, Bogha, Laisri, tri derbhsethracha, acus tri hogha, do cloinn Comhgaill, mic Fianghalaigh, etc. Acus robtar daltadha do Comhgall Bennchair iatt, acus i lLeitir Dal Araidhe ata..No gomad I cCamas Comhgaill no beittis.

(Colma, Bogha, Laisri, three sisters, and three virgins of the sept of Comhgall, son of Fianghalach, etc.; and they were disciples of Comhgall of Beannchar; and they are at Leitir Dal-Araide…Or they are at Camus-Comhgaill.[6] )

The equation rests on rather slender evidence. The old Glenavy churchyard, which may have been the original church-site, was at “an angle formed by the Glenavy and Pigeontown roads” (Par. Sur., 11, p. 256). Theterm leitir, "Hill-slope", is not an obvious topographical definition of the site.

The corruption of lann to "glen", which had obviously set in by 1625[7] (no.19), was no doubt accelerated by the presence of a physical glen. The alternative name Clenough/Cleona (nos. 17,18) does not survive recognisably and is too lightly documented to justify speculation on is original Irish form; it may be no more than a corrupt spelling-form of Lann Abhaign (or possibly Lann Abhaic[8] in its transitional anglicised stage.


[1] The modern Irish form of Lann Abhaich.

[2] Translation from Stokes, Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, 1, pp.163, 165.

[3] cf. Proc. 10th Congress Onom. Sciences, Vienna, 1969, p.283.

[4] On the strength of this name-form, Olivetti (Down and Connor, V, 140) identifies the church of Latrach in Dalebinu, granted to St. Patrick’s Abbey, Down c. 1183, with Glenavy; since Glenavy was appropriate to Bangor – an association of long standing – it is unlikely to have been included in a grant to the Abbey of Down.

[5] O’Donovan, Martyrology of Donegal, pp. 24-5.

[6] Near Coleraine

[7] Reeves (op.cit., p.47) has noted that the earliest from with g that he observed was that in Vis. 1661. This is so in the ecclesiastical documentation which tends to use earlier source-lists; it is obvious from the civil documentation that the substitution of "glen" for lann was part of the early 17th c. Anglicisation of the name.

[8] Abhac is the basic form (cf. R.I.A. Dict. sub abacc and Dneen, s.v.) but the form abhach is also attested: McKenna, Focloir Bearla agus Gaedhilge, s.v.; Wagner, gaeilge Theilinn, p.78, where the form is Abhach. In the documentation on Glenavy abhach is the commonly attested form. Form no. 7 has the unlimited c but a suprascript dot appears to have been added by a later hand.

Child Welfare Centres

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated 8th August, 1947

Lisburn & Hillsborough
Rural District Councils
Joint Maternity and Child
Welfare Scheme

The following
Will be opened:-
Aghalee:- The Village Hall, on Thursday
21st August at 2.30pm
Glenavy- The Parochial Hall, on Wednesday,
20th August at 2.30pm
Upper Ballinderry – The Memorial Hall,
On Wednesday 10th September at 2.30pm

For the weighing and examination of
Babies and children under 5 years.
Free expert advice on the care and
Management of children.
Teaching of Mothercraft Lectures
Educational Films.
A cup of tea will be provided.

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated 15th August, 1947

The opening ceremony of the Aghalee, Glenavy and Ballinderry Welfare Centres, commenced in connection with the Lisburn and Rural District Councils Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme, will be performed by the Rt. Hon. Wm. Grant, M.P. (Minister of Health) on Monday next in Aghalee Village Hall at 3pm. It is hoped to include a report of the ceremony in our columns next week.

Shop Receipts – The Grove Garage

This bill covers a petrol account for June/ August 1962. It was issued by Herbert Ingram trading as The Grove Garage, Glenavy. Motor and electrical repairs. Petrol Oil Tyres etc. Telephone Crumlin 355.

The Grove Garage, receipt dated 1962

The Grove Garage, receipt dated 1962

This bill was paid on 18th September 1962 and is signed E. Ingram.

William Groves, Crumlin, receipt dated 1963

William Groves, Crumlin, receipt dated 1963

Herbert Ingram was the son of Herbert Ingram and Mary Fleming. He was born on 17th June 1920 and he died on 19th January 2007. He was married to Edith Magowan. She was the daughter of Joseph Magowan and Chalie Anderson. She died 18th March 2005. They are buried in the graveyard at Glenavy Parish Church.

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.

Anne Oakman

Date of Death 28 07 1859
Date of Grant 25 01 1860
Effects under £1500
Registry Belfast

Full Abstract:

The Will of Anne Oakman late of Glenavey in the County of Antrim Spinster deceased who died 28 July 1859 at Glenavey aforesaid was proved at Belfast by the oath of Mary Jane Oakman of same place Spinster the sole Executrix.

Robert Phillips

Date of Death 07 09 1891
Date of Grant 30 10 1891
Effects £202 2s 6d
Registry Belfast

Full Abstract:

The Will of Robert Phillips late of Aghagallon County Antrim Farmer who died 7 September 1891 at same place was proved at Belfast by Mary Ann Phillips of Aghagallon Widow and John Loughrey of Glenavey said County School Teacher two of the Executors.

The life and times of a famous Glenavy doctor are recalled
The Digger on a man who gave his name to an Orange Lodge

Dr Mussen

Dr Mussen

St. Valentine’s day 1916 was celebrated by sweethearts in many different ways throughout the world. However, at ‘The Cottage’ Glenavy, the home of the Mussen family, Dr Arthur Mussen was preparing to attend the funeral of his beloved wife Jeannie at the local parish church after 47 years of marriage. She had passed away three days earlier.

The Mussen surname was synonymous with the Lisburn district over many centuries. Variant spellings of the surname, ‘Muson’ and ‘Musen’ appear in the 17th century Hearth Money rolls for County Antrim. In the 19th century there were many businesses in Lisburn town associated with the surname including soap and candle manufacturers, spirit dealers, drapers and a pawn broker. Read more »

Dr. Gallagher pictured outside Dr. Mussen's house in the Glenavy area

Dr. Gallagher pictured outside Dr. Mussen’s house in the Glenavy area
(Ulster Star 15th may 1984 – with permission of The Ulster Star)

Dr Arthur Mussen

Dr Arthur Mussen

Dr Arthur Mussen

Obituary – Dr Arthur Mussen

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated 20th July 1917

Death of Mr. Arthur Mussen, Lisburn

Genuine sorrow and regret is felt in Lisburn and district of the death of Mr. Arthur Mussen, which took place at his residence, 22 Railway Street, on Wednesday. Mr. Mussen was laid up with a severe illness from September of last year until April last, and he never really regained his wonted health and strength, although he was able to be up and about. A fortnight or so ago he began to feel worse, and, gradually growing worse, he passed peacefully away on Wednesday from heart failure following bronchitis, from which he had suffered more or less severely for several winters.

The late Mr. Mussen, who had reached his 76th year, and who, by the way, was a cousin of Dr. Arthur Mussen, J.P., Glenavy, was a descendant of one of the old Huguenot families. Early in life he began to serve his apprenticeship to the Drapery and outfitting business in the establishment of an older brother, the late Mr. James Mussen, in the Cross Row. In the process of time a partnership was formed between the brothers. Eventually Mr. James Mussen, retired, and his younger brother, the subject of our notice, continued the business on his own behalf for a considerable number of years. he retired into private life about 14 years ago.

He was a staunch Churchman, and worshipped in Christ Church. For many years he taught a Sunday School class, and was a member of the Select Vestry. He was a member of Pounden L.O.L. No. 915, and a P.M. of No. 178 St. John’s Masonic Lodge, and had the distinction of being the oldest Mason in Lisburn.

The late Mr. Mussen was particularly keen on all forms of manly sport. Cricket, however was his favourite pastime, and in his day he was no mean batsman. He retained his interest in the game until the end, and, although one might almost say of a shy as well as reserved disposition, he was very fond, when chatting with friends, who recall the old days, and his reminiscences were always well worth listening to, as we have good reason to know. Arthur Mussen was a kind-hearted, lovable, and very worthy man, and in their grief his widow and children have the sincere sympathy of the entire community.

The funeral will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 o’clock for Lisburn Cemetery.

Lost Spare Wheel

The following extract is from The Ulster Star dated 21st January 1961 and appears with permission of The Ulster Star.

Lost – spare wheel for Austin 5-ton lorry, between Glenavy and Belfast. Reward. David McCullagh, The Mill, Glenavy, phone Crumlin 235.

"The Croft" and "The Curatage" for sale

The following is an extract from The Ulster Star dated 3rd October 1975 and appears with permission of The Ulster Star.

For sale in 1 or 2 lots
Modern detached bungalow

In about ¾ acre grounds together with Olde Worlde Cottage in ¼ acre grounds.

The Croft and The Curatage

The Croft and The Curatage

"The Croft" is a modern detached bungalow on a beautifully elevated and wooded site of about ¾ acre on the outskirts of the village.

"The Curatage," which adjoins "The Croft" is an Olde Worlde Cottage which requires modernisation for which a grant is available.

Accommodation – "The Croft." Porch. Wide entrance hall with telephone. Hot pree. Copper cyclinder Immersion heater, lounge (brick fireplace, wall lights), working kitchen/ dinette (stainless steel sink unit. Double drainer, mixer tap, larder, Xpelair), bathroom (pedestal Wash hand basin, low flush WC. Panelled bath, wall tiling), 3 bedrooms (all with built in robes). Oil fired central heating throughout. Insulated roofspace. Garage (up and over door), power point. "Willis" oil fired boiler, tarmac carriageway, grounds of about ¾ acre in lawns, shrubs and vegetable plots. PLV £36.00. Held free of rent.

"The Curatage" – Tiled entrance hall, lounge, tiled fireplace. Dining room (tiled boiler grate with all-night burner). Living room (Wellstood fuel cooker). Working kitchen. Bathroom, 3 bedrooms. Workshop/ Fuel store. Barn 36′ x 20′. Tarmac Carriageway. Grounds extending to approximately ¼ acre. P.L.V. £18.00 Free of rent. Viewing from agents.

Denis Wilson of Glenavy

Denis Wilson of Glenavy

Denis Wilson of Glenavy

Denis Wilson of Glenavy is a family run business. Denis Wilson began this work in 1979 and now Denis is ably assisted by his sons Darren and Simon. Denis’ grandfather however, laid the foundation for the business on return from Australia in 1903, beginning to sell and work with tools until 1948. By the time he died in 1970 (aged 96) he had instilled an interest in Denis to get involved in the business.

Since then Denis Wilson has always looked to improve his business and provide for his customers. They have a large selection of power tools and hardware and a very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable sales team.

For more information please see their website at

Glenavy Mystery Solved

The following is an extract from The Ulster Star dated 18th May 1984.

The Killultagh Historical Society were very pleased with the response from Star readers to two photographs published in last week’s issue.

Mussen Mystery Solved

Mussen Mystery Solved

Doctor Gallagher of Glenavy was able to name all those in the Doctor’s Lodge. He told Tommy Lamb, secretary of the Society that the photograph was taken outside Dr. Mussen’s house which is situated just outside Glenavy.

Doctor Gallagher said that Dr. Mussen’s house was once a cholera hospital and gave some details of the doctor’s life and times. This will be published in the society’s journal later this year.

Last week’s photograph included William Morgan (The Black Prince); James Lorimer, George Thompson, Joe Young, Hugh Gault and the famous Dr. Mussen.

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