County Antrim Rivers

The two largest rivers are the Lagan and the Bann, both of which rise in the county of Down: at Belfast the Lagan spreads into the wide aestuary called the bay of Belfast, or Belfast Lough, and above it, with the aid of several cuts, has been made navigable to Lisburn, forming part of the navigation between Belfast and Lough Neagh: the Bann flows through Lough Neagh and Lough Beg, and continues its course to Coleraine, below which it falls into the sea. Most of the rivers strictly belonging to the county rise in the mountains on the coast, and owing to the rapidity and shortness of their currents are unnavigable. The Bush runs westward from the mountains of Lisanoure to Benvarden, and then northward to the sea at Port Ballintrae: the Main flows southward into Lough Neagh, and has three copious tributaries, the Ravel, the Braid, and the Glenwherry: the Six-mile-water also falls into Lough Neagh, at Antrim, and the Camlin, or Crumlin, and Glenavy rivers at Sandy-bay. The rapidity of these and the smaller rivers renders their banks peculiarly advantageous sites for bleach-greens, cotton-mills, and flour and corn-mills, of which the last are especially numerous. The only artificial line of navigation is the Belfast Canal, or Lagan Navigation. The Lagan Navigation Company were incorporated by an act of the 27th of Geo. III., empowering them to levy a duty of one penny per gallon on beer, and fourpence per gallon on spirits, in the excise district of Lisburn; but these duties having recently been repealed, an equivalent sum was annually paid to the Company by Government, until the year 1835, when their right ceased: it is navigable for vessels of fifty tons' burden, and the entire length from Lough Neagh to the quays of Belfast is twenty-two miles: its construction was powerfully aided by the noble family of Chichester, and the expense amounted to £62,000, raised by debentures.

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