Place:Carncastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland


Alt namesCastle-Cairn
Coordinates54.9°N 5.883°W
Located inCounty Antrim, Northern Ireland
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Historical description

Extracts pertaining to local and historical information are taken from a Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis published in 1837.

CARNCASTLE, or CASTLE-CAIRN, a parish, in the barony of UPPER GLENARM, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 3 miles (N. W. by N.) from Larne; containing 2167 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the shore of the North channel, which forms its eastern boundary, and upon the road from Larne to Glenarm, and the royal military road from Belfast to the Giant's Causeway; it contains, according to the Ordnance survey, 9725 statute acres, and is in an excellent state of cultivation. The soil is very fertile, producing excellent crops: there are only 15 acre's of bog. Basalt is quarried for building and repairing the roads; limestone is abundant, and coal is known to exist in great quantities. At Ballygally is a coast-guard station, which is one of eight that are included in the district of Carrickfergus. About five miles from the coast are the Hulin or Maiden rocks, two of which are always visible above water. On these lighthouses have been built by the corporation for the improvement of the port of Dublin, which are called the North and South Maiden Rock Lights, and are 1920 feet apart. The northern light is 84 feet above high water level, and the southern, 94 feet; both are fixed and bright lights.

The living is a rectory and perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Connor, of which the rectory was united, by charter of the 7th of Jas. I., to the rectories of Kilwaughter, Ballycor, Rashee, and Derrykeighan, together constituting the corps of the prebend of Carncastle in the cathedral church of St. Saviour, Connor, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the perpetual curacy is in the gift of the rector. The tithes of the parish amount to £174. 4. 6., and the gross value of the tithes and glebe of the union is £751. 5. 4. per annum, of which £55 is paid by the prebendary to the perpetual curate, whose stipend is augmented to £96 per ann. out of Primate Boulter's fund. The church, a small plain edifice with a lofty spire, was built on the site of a former church, by aid of a loan of £350, granted in 1815 by the late Board of First Fruits; and a house was purchased for a glebe-house with a gift of £450, and a loan of £50, from the same Board: the glebe comprises five acres. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Larne and Carrickfergus; the chapel is a small building. There are two places of worship for Presbyterians, one connected with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class; the other connected with the Remonstrant Synod, of the second class. Near the church is the parochial school, endowed with £3 per annum by the late Mr. Wilson; a school of 43 boys and 9 girls is in connection with the National Board; and there are a private school of 12 boys and 25 girls, and two Sunday schools. On an insulated rock in the sea are the remains of Ballygally or Cairn castle, from which the parish takes its name. There are also some remains of the ancient manor-house, built in 1625, in the Elizabethan style; and of an old church. In the parish are a curious perforation in a mass of basalt, called the Black Cave, and a very pure vein of feldspar, capable of being worked to advantage.