Extracts pertaining to local and historical information are taken from a Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis published in 1837.
PORTGLENONE, a market and post-town, and district parish, in the barony of LOWER TOOME, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 32 3/4 miles (N. W.) from Belfast, and 104 (N.) from Dublin, on the road from Ballymena to Castle-Dawson; containing 6860 inhabitants, of which number, 773 are in the town. This place is situated on the river Bann, which is navigable to Lough Neagh; the fords, which are now superseded by a bridge, were regarded as one of the most important passes between the counties of Antrim and Londonderry, on the confines of which it is situated. The town consists principally of one long street, and contains 148 houses, of which several are neatly built; the inhabitants carry on a small trade on the river by lighters, which bring up timber and slates, and at the bridge there is a considerable eel fishery; the weaving of linen is also carried on in the town and neighbourhood, and large quantities are exposed for sale in the linen market, which is held on the first Friday in every month. Fairs, chiefly for cattle and pigs, are held on the first Tuesday in every month. A constabulary police force is stationed here; petty sessions are held on alternate Wednesdays; and the manorial court of Cashel is held monthly, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £5 late currency.
The parish was instituted in 1825, by separating 21 townlands from the parish of Ahoghill, with which its acreable extent is returned in the Ordnance survey; that part which is on the Londonderry side of the Bann is called Glenone; on the other, Portglenone. Portglenone House, the residence of the Rev. Archdeacon Alexander, occupies the site of an ancient castle of the O'Nials; and Mount Davies, the present residence of Alex. McManus, Esq., was originally built by Col. Davies, about the year 1700, and rebuilt in 1758 by the late Alex. McManus, Esq. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the iiocese of Connor, and in the patronage of the Incumbent of Ahoghill; the curate's stipend is £92. 6. 7 1/2., of which £69. 4. 7 1/2. is payable by the Incumbent of Ahoghill, and £23. 2. from the augmentation funds in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The church, a neat plain edifice, was built as a chapel of ease to the mother church of Ahoghill, prior to 1739, by the late Bishop Hutchinson, who was interred under the chancel. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Ahoghill: the chapel is situated at Aughnahoy, about a mile from the town. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, and with the Seceding Synod, of the second class, and for Wesleyan Methodists. About 600 children are taught in ten public schools, of which one is supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, who pay the master £32 per ann.; seven are under the London Hibernian Society, and two under the National Board. There are also three private schools, in which are about 70 children; and eight Sunday schools.