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Donacavey Parish & Fintona, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1837
Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia

DONAGHCAVEY, or FINDONAGH, a parish, partly in the barony of OMAGH, but chiefly in that of CLOGHER, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER; containing, with the post-town of Fintona, 11,787 inhabitants. At the general plantation, this parish was known as the smaller portion of Fintona, and was granted by Jas. I, partly to Sir F. Willoughby, and afterwards to John Leigh, Esq., under the name of Fentonagh, and partly to Sir. W. Cope, under the name of Derrybard: it is now called the manor of Castlemaine. It is situated on the road from Omagh to Enniskillen, and contains, according to the Ordnance survey, 23,052¼ statute acres, of which 18,342¼ are in the barony of Clogher, and 4,710¼ in that of Omagh; 9,403 acres are applotted under the tithe act. Much of the mountainous land affords good pasturage for sheep and cattle, and is re-claimable; the bogs afford fuel, but they are fast being worked out. Great benefit has been derived from the improvements of the resident gentlemen in cultivation and planting, and by new lines of road. The country around Fintona is fertile and well planted; and the woods around Eccles are large and flourishing. Lime stone is found within the parish, in which are some indications of coal and iron-ore. The inhabitants combine the weaving of linen cloth with their agricultural pursuits: there is a small forge, called a plating mill, for manufacturing spades, shovels, &c. At Fintona, a court is held monthly for the manor of Castlemaine. The gentlemen’s seats are, Ecclesville, the residence of C. Eccles, Esq.; Derrabard House, of S. Vesey, Esq.; Cavan House, of W. Dickson, Esq.; Cavan Lodge, of C. Lucas, Esq.; and the glebe -house, of the Rev. J. McCormick. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Clogher, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory forms the corps of the prebend of Findonagh in the cathedral of Clogher. The tithes amount to £600; there is a glebe-house, and two glebes comprising 400 acres. The gross annual value of the prebend is returned at £865 17. 8. The church adjoins the town of Fintona, and was built after the civil war of 1641, during which the old one was destroyed; it is a large and venerable edifice, with a modern square tower, which was erected and the church much improved by aid of a loan of £400, in 1818, from the late Board of First Fruits. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel is near Fintona. There are two large meeting-houses for Presbyterians, and one for Wesleyan Methodists. Here are thirteen schools, in which about 580 boys and 300 girls are taught; and about 400 boys and 300 girls are educated in fifteen private schools: there are also six Sunday schools. On an eminence, in the midst of an extensive cemetery, the ruins of the old church form an interesting object; near the bridge are the remains of a very large cromlech. Nearly adjoining the glebe-house is a valuable sulphureous chalybeate spring.

FINTONA, a post-town, in the parish of DONAGHCAVEY, barony of CLOGHER, county of TYRONE, and province of ULSTER, 7 miles (S.) from Omagh, and 97¾ (N. by W.) from Dublin, on the road from Omagh to Enniskillen; containing 1,714 inhabitants. At the plantation of Ulster, by Jas I, this-district was placed in. the lesser proportion of Fentonaigh, and was granted, in 1611, to Sir Francis Willoughby, who neglecting to comply with the terms of the grant, the lands reverted to the Crown. In 1614, 2,000 acres were granted to John Leigh, Esq., who, prior to 1619, had built a bawn and house, in which he resided, and then commenced building the town. It now consists of one main and several smaller streets, very irregularly formed, comprising 354 houses, some of which are well built; and is situated in a fertile vale, on both sides of the Fintona water, occupying an advantageous position for trade, in a fine and improving country. The only manufactures are the weaving of linen and the making of spades. The Market is on Friday, and is well supplied with all kinds of provisions; and large quantities of brown linens are sold every alternate Friday to the bleachers, who attend from a great distance. A fair is held on the 22nd of every month, which is large and well attended. Petty sessions are held on the second Tuesday in each month; and a court, leet and baron for the manor of Castlemaine once a mouth, for the recovery of debts under 40 shillings, by a seneschal appointed by C. Eccles, Esq., the lord of the manor. Here is a constabulary police station, for which most convenient barracks have been recently built, and another at Barr. The gentlemen’s seats in the neighbourhood are Ecclesville, that of C. Eccles, Esq.; Derrabard House, of S. Vesey, Esq.; Cavan House, of W. Dickson, Esq.; Cavan Lodge, of C. R. Lucas, Esq.; and Dundiven glebe-house, of the Rev. Jos. McCormick. The parochial church, and a Presbyterian, and a Wesleyan Methodist meeting-house are in the town, within a short distance of which is the R. C. chapel.