SEAPATRICK, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER IVEAGH, but chiefly in that of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, on the river Bann, and on the mail coach road from Newry to Belfast; containing, with the post-town of Banbridge, 7584 inhabitants. This parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 7582 ½ statute acres, of which (with detached portions) 3141 are in Lower and 4441 ½ in Upper Iveagh; the whole is rich land in a high state of cultivation. On its border is Lenaderg Cottage, the residence of T. Weir, Esq., built by his ancestor, in 1645, as an asylum for the officers of the royal army. Its connection with the flourishing town of Banbridge has rendered the parish highly important as a seat of the linen manufacture: here are numerous bleach-greens, linen manufactories, yarn-mills, and depots, with the various other branches connected therewith, which for extent and importance are not excelled in any part of the kingdom; this is mainly attributable to the river Bann intersecting the parish.

Upon part of the glebe, extensive manufactories, depots, and handsome houses have been built by F. W. Hayes, Esq. Among the most remarkable gentlemen's seats may be enumerated Millmount, the residence of R. Hayes, Esq.; Brookfield, of Brice Smyth, Esq.; Huntley Glen, of Hugh Dunbar, Esq.; Seapatrick House, of F. W. Hayes, Esq.; Ballyvalley, of the Rev. J. Davis; Ballievy House, of G. and T. Crawford, Esqs.; Edenderry, of W. A. Stewart, Esq.; Banview, of G. Little, Esq.; the residence of F. Welsh, Esq.; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. D. Dickenson.

It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dromore, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory forms part of the union of Aghaderg and of the corps of the deanery of Dromore.

The tithes amount to £390. 16. 4., of which £119. 11. 9. is payable to the vicar, and £271. 4. 7. to the dean. The glebe-house is a commodious old building: the glebe comprises 111 ¾ statute acres, valued at £155. 5. per annum. The church, a small building on the eastern shore of the Bann, was erected in 1698 upon the site of the ancient edifice, which had been destroyed in the war of 1641; being incapable of accommodating one-sixth of the population, a large church has been lately built near Banbridge, under the provisions of an order in council, obtained in 1834, at an estimated cost of £2890, of which £1500 was given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £600 by the Marquess of Downshire (who also gave the site), and the remainder was raised by voluntary contributions.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Tullylish. Near Banbridge is a meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Remonstrant Synod, of the first class; here is also a meeting-house in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, built in 1830; one in connection with the Seceding Synod, and a chapel each for the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The parochial schools, with residences for the master and mistress, situated on the glebe, are endowed with an acre of land and supported by subscriptions Near Banbridge is a large male and female school-house, comprising a centre and wings, the former the residence of the master and mistress, and the latter the schools; it was built by subscription, to which the Marquess of Downshire contributed £90, and is endowed with an acre and a half of land and £50 per annum.

There are also schools at Ballydown, Ballylough, and Banbridge. At Tullyconnaught is a large school-house, founded and endowed by Miss M. Mulligan, by will dated 1824, and built in 1829, at a cost of £150: the interest of the principal bequeathed having accumulated, it furnished a greater surplus than was expected, the interest of which, £15 per annum, is given to the master: it is in connection with the Board of National Education. There are also six private schools in the parish. On the Dromore road is a valuable chalybeate spring, similar in its properties to the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle, and efficacious in scurvy. Baron McClelland was born here, as was also his contemporary, Dr. Dickson, Bishop of Down and Connor.

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »