Dungonnell Townland, Killead

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.

Military: Castle

There are not now any military remains in the parish, nor have any stood in it within memory.

In the townland of Dungonnell, within a few feet of the shore of Lough Neagh and towards the northern side of the parish, are 2 small cottages which are said to stand on and to be partly constructed of the ruins of an ancient castle, the residence of the celebrated Sir Neill O’Neill, the last of the family who possessed this parish, and whose lands, having been confiscated, were sold by the Crown in 1701 to the ancestors of their present proprietors.

The situation of the ruins is very agreeable, commanding a most extensive view of the coasts of Lough Neagh and of the woods and ruins of Shane’s Castle, which are on the opposite side of the Antrim bay. The only remains of the ruins now consist of some fragments of massive walls of grouted masonry lying scattered about, a portion of a wall forming the gable of one of the cottages and a cellar containing a well underneath a house erected many years ago for the purpose of a shooting lodge.

The gable alluded to is about 17 feet high and from 3 feet to 3 feet 5 inches thick. Attached to its exterior is a very wide chimney with the hearth in the interior of the cottage. The chimney is finished at the summit with modern brickwork. The cellar is within a few feet of the gable. It is of very trifling extent, about 6 feet, and entered from the outside by a flight of stone steps. It is not vaulted. In the cellar is a spring well about 3 feet deep, neatly faced with stone.

From the description given of the foundations as remembered, they would seem to have been of considerable extent. The site of the garden and pleasure grounds is still shown. In the former a very fine old pear tree still flourishes without manifesting any symptoms of decay. In the latter there were within memory several artificial ponds, which could be filled at pleasure by a little channel from a rivulet running into the lake. There had also been a "pleasure mound" which had probably been an old fort.
Portions of a well-built, dry stone wall about 6 feet high can be traced at intervals extending for several hundred yards along the shore on each side of the castle. It extends into the Deer Park in grange of Muckamore and can altogether be traced for about 3 miles.
The old road which runs past the castle was formerly the main road from Antrim to the Crumlin Water foot, a distance of rather more than 10 miles. It keeps along the edge of the water for the entire distance. It is now scarcely passable for the carts of the farmer.
There is not any local tradition concerning this residence, or castle as it is locally termed, nor have any further discoveries made about it.

Corn mills.

The corn mill in the townland of Dungonnell is propelled by a breast water wheel 13 feet in diameter by 3 feet broad, having a fall of water of 8 feet. This mill is in but middling repair.

Amusements: Dancing

The Killead people retain a greater taste for amusement and recreation than those of any other of the neighbouring districts, though certainly it has somewhat declined. The farmers are very jovial and social, and very fond of giving and going to entertainments, which are generally dinner parties given on Sundays.

Dancing, which is now being revived, is their favourite amusement and was at one time well kept up. Now there are about a dozen dances in the year in the parish. They are generally got up by the young men and are held in a room given for the occasion by a farmer. The expenses of the entertainment are defrayed by the sale of tickets, which vary from 1s to 2s 6d each, according to the description of the entertainment, which generally consists of punch and biscuits. They are conducted with much spirit and at the same time with decorum.

There is at present a dancing school in the townland of Dungonnell, at which there are 20 pupils, 10 of each sex. They pay each 7s 6d per quarter and receive 2 lessons in the week. Reels and country dances are the usual figures and a violin the only music. They in general dance well and lightly.

Their christenings are scenes of festivity and as such are of more celebrity than their weddings. On such occasions they invite as many as they can possibly contain and feast them with the best they have.


They are very fond of music and many of the women have sweet voices and sing pleasingly, but they have no national music.
In the townland of Dungonnell there is a singing school (at present) at which sacred music of the Presbyterian Church is taught. There are 30 pupils, about an equal number of each sex, who pay 3s 6d per quarter.

Marriage Notice – Gibson / McConnell

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 14 04 1849 and has been used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


On the 10th inst., in the Old Presbyterian Meeting-house of Antrim, by the Rev. James Carley, Mr. Robert Gibson, of Antrim, to Eleanor, eighth daughter of Mr. Arthur McConnell, of Dungonnell.

Death Notice – Eliza Craig

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 3rd March 1910 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Craig – March 1st, 1910, at her niece’s residence, Dungonnell, Crumlin, Elizabeth Craig, only sister of Mrs. John Young, Niblock, Antrim. Funeral private. Annie O. Clarke.

Drunk at Dungonnell

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard Saturday 3rd December 1910.

Crumlin Petty Sessions.
Police cases

Sergeant Barrett v John O’Hara, drunk at Dungonnell 14th November; 5s and extra costs.

Death Notice – John S Harpur

The following extract is from The Belfast Newsletter dated Wednesday 24th July 1912. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Harpur – July 12 at Hastings, Michigan, USA John S Harpur, Elm Grove, Killead

Park View

The following can be found in the book "Buildings of County Antrim by C.E.B. Brett published in 1996." page 141, no 117. Includes a photograph by M. O’Connell.

Park View (formerly Mansion Farm, formerly Mill Hill), Crumlin. Situated at 21 Antrim Road, formerly Dublin Road, Crumlin. Town land – Dungonnell.

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