Ballyginniff Townland, Killead

Marriage – Erskin/Larimore

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th February January 1810 and is reproduced here by permission of the Belfast News Letter


A few days ago, Mr John Erskin, of Seacash, to the agreeable and accomplished Miss Larimore, of Ballyginniff, both of the parish of Killead.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs

The following extract is from "Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim XIII 1833, 1835, 1838". Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

The ancient family residence of the Moores is in the storey house, slated, in the town land of Ballyginniff, near the Roman catholic Chapel. It is locally called Moore’s Grove, but is now occupied by a farmer named Henry Harpur; in very bad repair.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs

The following are extracts from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim XIII 1833, 1835,1838”. Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Corn mills

The corn mill in the townland of Ballyginniff is propelled by a breast water wheel 14 feet in diameter by 2 feet 6 inches broad, having a fall of water of 8 feet. This mill is in but indifferent repair.

The Wreckers

The following is an extract from "Glenavy The Church of the Dwarf 1868 – 1968" by Rev. Patrick J. Kavanagh.


During the dark days of the early eighteenth century Mass was also celebrated on a hill in Ballymacrickett where, just as in the Largy there was a good view. Sometime around the 1760’s probably, this too was elevated into a "Mass-house." It stood there until 1798 when seven or eight locals who called themselves "The Wreckers" lived up to their name. There seems to have been an organised plan of destruction as around the same time the old churches or "Mass-houses" of the Rock, Derryaghy, Aghagallon and Ballinderry were also destroyed.

The poverty of the priests and people during the nineteenth century is almost impossible to believe in our more affluent days. Fr. Crangle was Parish Priest at the time of "the wrecking" and he is the first of the priests of the parish who emerges from the records as a person of flesh and blood, and not just as a name on a tombstone. He was a native of Sheepland in Dunsford and was ordained at home before going abroad, as was the custom, and studied at the College of Vadastus in Douai getting the degree of B. Philos. at the University there. In 1783 he returned to Ireland and worked in Belfast, and on May 25. 1787, came to Glenavy. He had a brother who lived at Darachrean-indeed this is still known as "Crangle’s Hill"-and the priest lodged with his brother. On Aug. 20, 1802. he got 13 guineas compensation for the damage caused to the church, and Fr. Devlin of Derryaghy got 12 guineas. It was Fr. Crangle who re-erected the church at Chapel Hill. Ballymacrickett, which is described as "a neat modern building measuring 60 feet by 30 feet." It was used until the erection of the present building. There is another story that Fr. Crangle lived in a house which formed part of the church, but whether this was an interim measure while the new church was being built or not it is now impossible to say. It is possible that he feared "the Wreckers" might one day return. The old chapel was of stone, roofed with thatch, and probably had an earthen floor. Fr. Crangle died in 1813 or 1814 and was buried beside it. The position of his grave is roughly about the position of the sacristy door in the present building.

On Palm Sunday, and at other times when the priest could not conveniently celebrate two Masses, it was customary to say Mass at a place called "The Gulf," on the bank of Lough Neagh, which was nearly central for the two congregations, but this custom had to be stopped because of disturbance by Orange mobs. When the Catholics ceased using the Mass-house at Thompson’s they used to assemble for Mass at a store-house in Ballyginniff. This was a long building with thick walls covered with ivy and surrounded by trees. Mr. McClure who later owned this property found human bones in the vicinity. Fr. Crangle as well as building the church in Ballymacrickett, built a small chapel in the townland of Ballyquillin which was later enlarged into the present church.

The date of the erection of this old chapel is not known. The building in Ballymacrickett was completed by Fr. Crangle in 1802. From the time of the "wrecking" Mass had been said among its ruins.

Catholic Church

The following extract is from "Diocese of Down & Connor Ancient and Modern" by Rev. J. O’Laverty P.P.M.R.I.A.

Aldergrove Church

After the Catholics ceased using the Mass House in the town land of Ardmore, they assembled for Mass at a store-house in Ballyginnif. Father Crangle built a small chapel at Alder grove (town land of Ballyquillan), which was enlarged and altered into the present church, erected by Father MacMullan in 1824. It was dedicated under the invocation of St. James. That good priest is interred in front of the altar; and in front of the church the Rev. John McAreavy is interred. Father McAreavy was born in the parish on the 4th March 1842; after studying in the Diocesan Seminary, he entered the Humanity Class in the college of Maynooth, November 15th, 1860. He was ordained by Dr. Dorrian in St. Peter’s, Belfast, November 1st 1866. He officiated as curate in Ballykinlar for a short time, when he had to retire from the mission through bad health; and he died in his mother’s house. On his tomb is inscribed:-

Of your charity, pray for the soul of The Rev. John McAreavy,
aged 26, who died 8th October 1868.

There is preserved in Aldergrove church a holy-water stoup from the old church of Templepatrick; it was presented to the Rev. Jas. MacMullan.

Supposed Drowning at Lough Neagh

The following is an extract from The Belfast Newsletter dated 18th January 1886 and is used with permission of The Belfast Newsletter.

Supposed Drowning Fatality near Antrim.

Samuel McKeen, fisherman on Lough Neagh, left his house at Ballyginniff, at five o’clock on Thursday morning for the purpose of shooting wild fowl on and near the shore, stating he would be back again at seven. He took his gun and went off in a small flat-bottomed boat. The morning was rather squally. As he did not return, doubts were entertained for his safety, and a fruitless search was made. Yesterday the fishermen joined in a thorough search of the locality, and found opposite Lord Massereene’s deer-park the boat McKeen went out in, an oar, his topcoat and hat, so that there is little probability of his being found alive. He was about 35 years of age, and leaves a wife and three young children unprovided for.

Illegal Fishing

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

Fishery prosecution

Andrew King, inspector of fisheries, prosecuted Daniel Barr and William McCormick for having a boat, on 2nd August, at Ballyginniff, trammel nets for which they had not a license.

The Inspector said that on the date mentioned in the summons he was on duty at Ballyginniff when he found the defendants in a boat with trammel nets. He demanded to see their licensem and they could not produce it. David McKean came down to the shore and said the nets were his and that he had a license. The penalty they were liable for was the price of the license £1.

Barr said that he and McCormick were employed by Mckean, who was the owner of the boat and nets.

McKean corroborated this, and added that the arrangement they had come to was that each was to get a third of the fish been captured.

Colonel Pakenham – In that case you were partners.

McKean, in reply to Mr. king, admittes that he had been convicted several times for illegal fishing, and that he had recently produced the license in question at Drumshambo, but it was not accepted.

Mr. King said he would be satisfied to withdraw the charge against Barr and take a conviction against McCormick.

their worships acted accordingly, and fined McCormick £1 and costs.

McCormick protested that the nets were not his.

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