Aghadowey Linen Bleaching Greens Co. Londonderry, Ireland excerpts from the book Aghadowey by Rev. Thomas H. Mullin, Belfast: Century Services, 1972. Used by permission of the author
The linen industry was an important one in Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries, and many families were involved in either the spinning of flax into yarn, or in the bleaching of the linen. This section gives some background on the bleaching greens and the families in the parish of Aghadowey, Co. Londonderry that ran them during that period. For information on the families that were involved in the spinning of flax, see the
Flax Seed / Spinning Wheel List , which is available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Library. The discussion below refers often to the O.S. Memoirs (Ordinance Survey Memoirs), and these compilations of information from the ordinance surveys of the 19th century have been published for many counties by The Institute for Irish Studies, Queens University, Belfast.
Bleaching was done at the bleaching greens. A linen bleaching green consisted of central housing for bleaching and finishing, with lands extending up to 25 or 30 acres on which to spread the linen. In the days of water power, there would be a carry or lead to bring the water to the water wheels. The size and type of water wheels is given in great detail in the O.S. Memoirs, but we can give only a single example of this. The older O.S. maps show the lands used for spreading linen, and at times the positions of the watch houses used by the watchmen guarding it. As to the buildings, the most important housed the washmill and the beetling machinery, and these are closely described in the 0.S. Memoirs. The Memoirs say:
"It may be added that to each (bleach green) is attached a
drying house and a lapping room. The former is in general
30 feet to fifty feet long, with large latticed windows on each
side to admit the fresh air upon the linen."
To identify the bleach greens mentioned in deeds and newspaper advertisements is not as easy as it seems. With their large spreading fields they often extended to two townlands, and they were sometimes given names differing from the townlands in which they stood. Mullamore green is in fact in the townland of Mullahinch, now in the townland of Mullaghmore. Greenfield is part of the townland of Mullan in Aghadowey parish, and to make matters worse there is another Greenfield bleach green in Macosquin parish which again dofs not correspond to ;an actual townland. Detailed local knowledge of various sources of information is a great help here; but even so, one could be mistaken. I intend to give below abbreviated details of the bleach greens on the Aghadowey, the Agivey and the Macosquin rivers, and to give them in order from the source of the river towards the mouth.
Index to Bleaching Greens
Aghadowey Gortin greens A and B Ballinrees Greenfield Ballybrittain Inchaleen Ballydevitt Keely Caheney River Killure Collins Macleary Drumcroon Moneycarrie Dunderg Mullamore Englishtown Rushbrook
Aghadowey. Townland of Aghadowey. Run by Abraham Browne in 1782, may have been succeeded by his sons Andrew or Robert, green failed under Brownes. In 1816 linen buyers in Coleraine were Hemphill and McFarland, Aghadowey. In 1835 it was part of property of Greenfield bleaching company of Hunter, Hemphill and McFarland, with two slated houses, three wheels and 25 acres. Wooden bridge connecting it with Greenfield green on the other side of river built 1810. Mortgaged 1853 by Curtis Hemphill of Greenfield and Wm. Hemphill of Flowerfield to Alex. Hurley of Coleraine. In 1859 occupied by James Smith & Co. In 1864 James McFarland, the younger, of Newry, gentleman, renounced absolutely his claim to this green. An old house among briars and bushes still to be seen, entrance past Bellevue House, owned by Mr. H. Morrison. (Reg. of Deeds 1853.25.154,1857.31.90, 1864.30.186).
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Ballinrees . James Barklie of Coleraine had a lease here in 1800 (Lyle papers). It passed to John Wilson of Drumcroon about 1819, and he had a beetling establishment here at the time of the Valuation book (Val.1.B51 P.R.O.N.I.). At some later date it was again run by Barklies, as it appears on the drawings of the different Mullamore establishments. At the time of the Griffith valuation it was held by the Barklies as a beetling mill from Matilda Wilson.
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Ballybrittain . The O.S. in 1835 state this is oldest bleach green in parish. It is therefore prior to 1744, and may be 1734. Started by John Orr (Lewis and Orr papers). Lease from Heyland to John Orr of Ballybrittain in 1760 of this bleach green appears to show it previously in possession of Alderman Forrester. (Did Forrester move later to Greenfield?) Sampson 1782 gives John Orr, although he died 1780: possibly succeeded by his son, Henry Orr. Corry 1816 gives John McCleery of Ballybrittain as a principal buyer: he moved to Moneycarrie about 1830. In 1835 owned with Aghadowey and Greenfield greens by Hunter, Hemphill and McFarland, elsewhere in the O.S. called Hemphill & Co. At this time comprised three slated houses, three wheels and 20 acres. The three wheels described as:
- Beetling mill wheel 20 ft. by 4 ft. with fall 4 ft. striking abreast.
- Beetling mill wheel, undershot, 14 ft. by 4 ft. outside engine house but boxed.
- Washmill wheel 13-1/2 ft. by 2-2/3 fcct, fall 8-1/2 ft. striking abreast.
1859 shows bleachmill and offices unoccupied under William Orr. Parochial hall was on the site of the beetling mill, and was built from materials of the latter. The spreading ground was the big meadow across the river from the Church of Ireland.
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Ballydevitt . Washmill house contained stone inscribed J. B. 1744, original building by John Blair, 1744. Blair said to have sold to Francis Bennett, whose son Thomas was there by 181?. An old ledger commencing 1818 or 1814 was used by Sam Henry in his article "When Aghadowey hummed." 1835 gives the owners as Thomas Bennett and John Adams, and the green as having two good houses, four wheels and 30 acres. Rebuilt in 1856. Assigned 1865 by Thomas Bennett of Castleroe to John Adams of Ballydevitt, the firm becoming Adams & Co. The firm was later controlled by Adams' daughter, Mrs. Lopdell, whose son Christopher joined the Bleachers Association. and the mill closed after the first world war. Spring water played an important part in the bleaching and was obtained from wells in Ballywillan and Carnrallagh by Pipe line. The old houses in Ardreagh village were owned by the company. The housing on the mill site was used until lately in connection with mushroom growing.
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Caheney River . Sampson gives J. Chambers, Culterammer, as a bleach green in 1782. This should be Cullyrammer. A Morrison family note says: "Agnes married Robert Jameson (Brookfield) then a bleach green, Chambers owned it lived in Gettistown." In the Griffith valuation John Adams has a corn mill and flax mill in Boghilboy, next to Cullyrammer.
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Collins . Wilson's second bleach green was at Collins. It was started apparently by James Barklie. In 1796, James Barklie of Coleraine, linen draper, got a lease of 54 acres of land in Collins formerly possessed by Arthur McAlester, Wm. Beresford, Jos. Irwin and John McQuillan, with 14 acres of turf bog in Culdrum. The yearly rent was f60. By the time of the O.S. John Wilson was running Collins green. There was one long slated two story building with a water wheel for the washmill and another for the beetling mill. Nolan's survey of 1842 said that there was a fine bleach green on Wilson's farm in Collins, but it was now out of use. The engine houses were good, though the machinery was nearly worn out.
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Drumcroon. John Wilson of Coleraine got leases of 91 acres at Drumcroon in 1792, and John Wilson of Drumcroon an additional 54 acres in Drumcroon in 1796 (D668/43/2, 3 and 4). In 1823 Parnell says that John Wilson of Drumcroon occupies two bleach greens. In 1830 Westwood was told by Wilson that he was thinking of withdrawing his capital as the linen trade was so unprofitable. Westwood thought this would be a severe loss as Wilson had two bleach greens which afforded employment to many people. Actually the O.S. state that Drumcroon had not worked for 15 years and Fagan gives 1820 as the year in which Drumcroon ceased to bleach. S. Henry's article "When Aghadowey hummed" has a photograph of Drumcroon's old mill. Drumcroon was on a tributary of the Macosquin river.
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Dunderg dates at least from 1778. In 1780 John Richardson of Summerseat leased to Hugh Lyle of Coleraine, linen-draper, 12 acres of Dunderg "in order to encourage the said Hugh Lyle to continue to maintain and keep in repair the Bleach yard or Bleach green on the thereby demised premises on which Hugh Lyle late of Coleraine aforesaid father to the said Hugh Lyle had expended large sums of money." The lease was back-dated to 1st November, 1778, the year in which the earlier Hugh Lyle died. (Reg. of Deeds 352:142).
In 1783 Sampson gives F. Burnett, Mausky (properly F. Bennett, McCasky). A rent roll of lands belonging to Samuel Lyle in 1811 gives Francis Bennett as renting a major portion of Dunderg and Macleary at #350 per annum (Lyle papers).
Dunderg was offered for sale in November, 1814 by the trustees of the late Hugh Lyle and is described as at present in the occupation of Hugh Ovens Esq. Ovens name appears in records 1814 to 1818. In 1820 Francis Bennett bequeathed to his grandson, Francis son of the late Francis, the bleach green of Dunderg held under the late Hugh Lyle. Pigot in 1824 gives as registered bleachers Bennett & Son, Greenfield, and F. T. and R. Bennett & Co., Ardverness. I take the latter to be Francis, the grandson, and his brother, Richard: Richard was living in Ardverness in 1842 when he had an accident caused by a threshing machine. I take their green to be Dunderg. In 1835 Dunderg was occupied by Mr. Robert Thompson of Coleraine, who also holds it in 1859 from Mary Bennett. By the 1860s Gribbons were bleaching at Dunderg, and it continued to operate until after the first world war. It is now used for mushroom growing.
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Englishtown. This again is a very old bleaching site. In 1731 William Richardson of Summerseat granted to William McFee and Samuel Wills, both of Englishtown, farmers, 84 acres of Englishtown reserving to Richardson the power to build a mill, mill-dam and water courses in the most convenient part of the premises, and to rent five acres of land most convenient to it at a nominal rent. The green may well have been set up soon afterwards. William McFee died in 1747 leaving two sons, Samuel and William. I find a lease of 1766 (Deed 163,274), witnessed by William McFee of Englishtown, linen draper. In 1762 Samuel McFee set the green to Robert Smyth and John Orr, both of Coleraine for f214 and a yearly rent of f3. McFee reserved the right to keep all the kelp dross and ashes, and to cart them away. In 1782 the green appears in Sampson's List as A. Orr's. In an affidavit Alick Orr stated that his father gave him about 1782 "a small but not valuable bleach green with Mills and machinery thereof which he had purchased some years before for f200." The lease of this expired about six years after, and Alick Orr on giving up the green to Mr. Richardson the landlord was only allowed f10 for all the mills and machinery by two men skilled in the linen business.
Corry gives James Hamill, Englishtown, as buyer in 1816, while in 1824 Pigot gives Smyth Hamill & Co. at Englishtown. In 1835 the O.S. say that the green ceased to bleach in 1832, and remarks that the machinery was of a very superior description. (Registry of Deeds, 187:515, 216:617, 272:30).
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Gortin Greens A and B . A most interesting subject. Beck only goes back to the Conns; but from the Orr papers and the Registry of Deeds I have been able in the previous chapter to go back to 1749. The large green was owned by John Orr, and the small green by William Orr. The third brother, James Orr, obtained first one half and then the other half of John Orr's green. James Orr and W. Orr are both recorded here in 1782; I take William to be the son of the original William, as the latter died about 1767. At some stage, maybe when William moved to Moneycarrie, the larger green absorbed the smaller. There were buildings used for the linen trade both in Upper and Lower Gortin, both being served by the same carry; but I cannot say for certain if these represent the two original greens.
Considerable light is thrown on the green by a law case between Alick and Rebecca Orr, son and daughter of James Orr, in 1797. James Orr handed over his business in Gortin to his son Alick on 2nd October, 1788, with #5,500. This was the year Alick built Landmore; but his father continued to live in Gortin. An affidavit of William and John Orr, both of Gortin, linen drapers, made in 1797, stated that they were nephews of James Orr and, that his residence and theirs wore in the same townland and adjoining each other. It looks from this as if William Orr had only moved to Moneycarrie around the time of the original lease of Moneycarrie in 1802.
In 1797 Rebecca claimed that Alick had carried away to another bleach green which was his property (Mullahinch) the principal parts of the works and machinery of Gortin green, and that Gortin had been allowed to fall into ruin and decay. In his reply Alick claimed that while the utensils and machinery at Gortin were decayed and worn by length of time, he could not renew or repair them because of the uncertainty of tenure. His father's title to half the green had expired the previous November, and the other half was dependent on the life of an old man. For this reason he had removed two old furnaces and a beetling beam. He claimed that the green was at present of no value to him.
I do not know when the two Gortin greens were united. Sometime after the turn of the century Alick Orr disposed of Mullahinch to James Barklie and of Gortin to Conns. I find Robert Conn at Gortin in 1811 (Aghadowey Vestry Book), and Samuel and Robert Conn sign certificates in 1814. The bridge between Gortin and Ballygawley was erected by Mr. Conn about 1815.
In 1835 the Gortin green is described as owned by Samuel Conn, as 18 acres in extent, and having three water wheels. The buildings are described as:
"7 different houses, 3 slated, 3 thatched, and one a slated one standing separate.
The 6 with different elevations and a variable pitch of roof are connected together
in a row so as to form an irregular building."
To Mr. Conn's green there was a neat thatched dwelling house of two stories, while nearby there was a slated dwelling house belonging to a farmer, James Torrens, the dwelling house of an extinct green whose ground was included in Mr. Conn's. It is interesting that James Orr, Alick's father, mentions a niece, Margaret Torrens, in his will.
The Hull family has preserved the following record of James Harper:
"My great grandfather's (James Harper) home was at Terrydremond (near
Limavady), and he came to Moneycarrie to Mr. Orr's green, and stayed with
a Hugh Hull, and it was there that he met Margaret Hull whom he married.
James was foreman in Wilson's bleachworks, and then he went to Clarks of
Upperlands. Then a vacancy came in Gortin, and James Harper came there
as foreman and got a house from Mr. Hemphill in Seagorry ... Conn of Gortin
died (of drink) and left the business to a nephew Creswell, but the business went
down. Owing to his wife's 'persuasion' James Harper bought a farm in Tamneymore."
Later, James Harper went to Charleys of Dunmurry, left after 1851, and died in 1870, aged 84.
In 1859 Gortin was held as a beetling mill by Wm. Clarke and Co. from James Lancey, who also had farms there. In 1867 these farms were conveyed to Margaret Lancey of Newtownlimavady. When Gortin was finally dismantled, Clarks are said to have bought the beetling engines. Two old office houses are left at Upper Gortin; but nothing at Lower Gortin.
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Greenfield. Townlands of Mullan and Crevolea. Run by W. Forester in 1782. I choose this as against Macosquin since Macky's diary 1791 refers to Will McFawl at Mr. Forrester's green on Aghadowey river, and Sampson to plantings made by Mr. Forrester of Aghadowey. Beck notes B.N.L. advt. 2/10/1812 for a foreman bleacher by Curtis Hemphill, Hunter & Co., Greenfield, near Coleraine. In 1816 Corry mentions buyers under the same style, and also John Hunter, Hemphill & Co. of Greenfield which I take to be the same firm. In 1835 owned by Hunter, Hemphill and McFarland, with two houses, one slated, one partly thatched, three wheels and 25 acres. In 1839 Beck quotes McAdams' list of bleachers as giving the largest bleachers as being Hemphills of Coleraine and Chaine of Muckamore, each bleaching 50,000 pieces. Firm still bleaching 1843/44. In 1859 occupied by James Smith & Co. The Landed Estates Court on 18/2/1873 dealing with the estate of Rev. John Blair Stirling says:
"The tenants of the bleach green and bleach works on Mullan and
Crivolea have a right to divert the waters of the Aghadowey river
for mill and other purposes by means of a weir at G3 on map, and
they are also entitled to the full and free use of the stream which
forms a portion of the eastern boundary of Crivolea and partly
divides Crivolea fromBallybrittain. The river is the water power
for mills both above and below this townland, and the right of the
public in said roads and in respect of the said water of said river
will be preserved as they now exist. The tenants of the bleach works
on Mullan and Crivolea are entitled to use the waters of the spring
well at H3 on the map of townland of Mullan for bleaching and other
purposes and to convey the same by pipes to the spring dam at K3 as
laid down on the map; they have also a right to enter on the farm
through which the water is conveyed in order to repair or relay the
pipes through which it flows."
The O.S. map shows the green as stretching from Greenfield house towards Aghadowey, Beck thought some of its buildings were incorporated in farm buildings.
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Inchaleen. A lcasc datcd 7/2/1792 from Rebecca Dupre and others demised to David Rankin of the parish of Aghadowey "all that part of the lands of Inshallen called his Bleach Green containing 11 acres and 16 perches Cunningham'' for 31 years from 1/11/1790. Corry gives as buyers in 1816 William Rankin of Inchilin and Robert Ogilby of Garvagh, and at Stewartstown, Rankin and Heathfield (sic.). Pigot's directory gives as linen merchants and registered bleachers in 1824 Robert Ogilby, Woodbank and Rankin and Ogilby of Heathfield. Parnell's survey for the Ironmongers in 1823 says: "from thence we went over the upper part of Inchaleen, saw Mr. Rankin's bleachgreen, for which and for a farm, he pays no more than #23 13. 0, per annum." Westwod's survey in 1830 says: "In the townland of Inishalleen, of which we only got a distant view, there is a good bleach green, the property of Mr. Rankin, in full employ, as appeared by the grounds being covered with linen cloth."
On 21/11/1829 the trustees of the estate of Wm. Rankin of Moneycarrie of 1st part, said Wm. Rankin of 2nd part, granted David Rankin of Heathfield "that part of the townland of Inshaleen otherwise Boyestown together with the bleach Works tenements etc. late in possession of Wm. Rankin." for the residue of original lease (Registry of Deeds, Book 854 page 2). In 1835 the O.S. Memoirs list Killykergan green as having two houses and two wheels, as idle for two years, and belonging to Nolan and Taafe of Dublin, who had advertised it for sale.
This green illustrates the difficulty of identification. Sheet 18 of the original O.S. Map of County Derry in 1831 marks the Inchaleen bleach green and mill stream. Boyestown (or Bweestown) was the name for this part of Inchaleen, and there was a farm and house here, which Rankins once owned. Sometimes the home of the linen bleacher is given for the green. Heathfield house is in Killykergan; Woodbank house at Garvagh.
Smiths had the Killykergan farm at the time of the Tithe book in 1833. Beck quotes McAdam's 1839 list of bleachers as including Pollock and Smith of Garvagh, bleaching 25,000 pieces per annum. He thinks Pollock and Smith succeeded Rankin and Ogilby. In 1859 the main farm in Inshaleen is owned by David Rankin, The farm now belongs to the Welch family, while Heathfield belongs to James Torrens.
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Keely . In the townlands of Keely and Ruskey. Lease dated 11/4/1781 between James Stirling of Wallworth and James Orr Jr. of Ballybrittain in which Stirling sets to Orr "all that part of Keeley laid off for erecting a bleachyard containing 20 acres 1 rood and 13 perches" for 20 years with possible further 20 at yearly rent #23. 2. 4. (Reg. of Deeds 337.590). In 1782 list name given as J. Molyneux at Keely, probably relative of Orr. In 1835 the green was operated by John Blair and rented from Andrew Orr: it had two houses and three wheels. "The field originally filled up as a bleach green by Mr. Orr is 30 acres Cunningham." The Keely green prepared and bleached only the coarsest linens. Lease of Keely green and farm under Rev. J. R. Stirling ran out November, 1840, and Andrew Orr moved to Milburn. (Devon Commission Report). Nolan's 1842 survey shows a beetling engine on Ruskey farm, unused, engine house and machinery all very old (D2211/9). In 1859 James Orr Lecky, nephew of Andrew and grand nephew of James Orr of Keely had a flax mill and thrashing mill at Keely. Keely appears to have ended its days as a flax scutching mill: a house can still be seen from the roadside.
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Killure . A very old bleaching site. Pyke's survey in 1725 mentions that George Gregg has on this land "a Bleaching yard for whitening Linnen cloth." Alsop's survey in 1765 gives the tenant of Klillure as Mr. Robert Givvin, and notes that there is a bleach green on this farm. According to the O.S. it was occupied as a bleach green by the late Robert Kyle of Laurel Hill and ceased to work about 1807. At the time of the O.S. it had been converted to a flax mill and was occupied by John Lynn.
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Macleary . I assume this to be Greenfield. One meets the difficulty that there is also a Greenfield bleach green in Aghadowey parish, where Lyles had also land. For instance, on 9/1/1781 in B.N.L. an advertisement states that linen was stolen from the beetling house of Wm. Forrester of Greenfield, near Coleraine. A reward is offered by Wm. Forrester, #22.15.0, John Murrell f22.15.0, Henry Murrell f11.7.6, Lyle f11.7.6, Fras. Bennett f22.15.0. Beck takes this to be the Macosquin green: if so Forrester may be connected with both Greenfields. A marriage settlement of 1787 between Samuel Lyle and Esther Atcheson mentions the bleach green "in Maclary" held from John Richardson on which Samuel Lyle had spent f1,200 in making improvements (Reg. of Deeds 397:43). In 1783 Sampson gives F. Burnett, Mausky (properly F. Bennett, McCasky). A rent roll of lands belonging to Samuel Lyle in 1811 gives Francis Bennett as renting a major portion of Dunderg and Macleary at #350 per annum (Lyle papers).
On 20/6/1820 in B.N.L. there was offered for sale "the beautiful residence and Bleach Green of Greenfield near Coleraine ... formerly occupied by Saml. Lyle Esq., now in possession of Francis Bennett." It was said that the machinery was of the most improved description, and on the highest order, a large sum of money having been expended on it in the last year, and that the green was capable of finishing 20,000 pieces per annum. In 1835 in the O.S. Macleary bleach green was occupied by Stephen Bennett, who lives in Greenfield House. In 1859, in Griffith, Stephen Bennett is living in Macleary, and the bleach-mill is unoccupied. [Beck; B.N.L.; T810/48 (Will of F. Bennett).]
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Moneycarrie . The green is in Moneycarrie Lower. It goes back at least to 1802 when William Orr got lands of Moneycarrie for 20 years at a rental of #108. Orr papers say the green was built by William Orr, brother of James of Keely and son of William of Gortin (one of the original three Orr brothers). Lease renewed in 1822 to Catherine, William's widow, who in 1830 sold for #3,500 some 88 acres of land in Moneycarrie, and 12 acres of bog in Ballygawley to John McCleery of Beaufort, formerly at Ballybrittain, who moved to Moneycarrie, but died 2/6/1834. In 1839 Nolan and Taafe, the linen factors. sold the premises to Curtis McFarland of Moneycarrie and John Hunter of Greenhill, both linen merchants, for the unexpired portion of a lease of 1,000 years granted 1835. In 1848 John Hunter of Greenhill sold the major portion of the property, 73 acres with the machinery, to Alex. and George Barklie of Mullamore and Andrew and John Mulholland of Belfast, merchants and co-partners in trade, trading as Alex. and Geo. Barklie Ltd. for #850. This shows the fall in value. Barklies were in possession in 1859. After Barklies, the premises lay idle for some years, but were eventually purchased by Wm. Clark & Son Ltd., and were operating for beetling and finishing in 1948. Moneycarrie was the last section of the bleaching and finishing business to close in Aghadowey, and the long shed where 18 beetling engines were worked by six men can still be seen. (See Beck; Registry of Deeds, 866.111; 866.113; 883.142; 1839.3.4; 1839.15.267; 1848.13.55).
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Mullamore. This green is not in Mullaghmore, as even the O.S, states. I was considerably confused until I found it was actually in the townland of Mullaghinch. Parnell's report to the Ironmongers in 1823 says that Mullaghinch bleach green is held by Alick Orr at a rent of #163, He goes on to say:
"This is a bleach green built by the landlord and let to Mr. Orr
at #188 a year. He memorialized Mr. Dupre for a reduction and
got #25 a year and immediately let it to Mr. Barklie at #227.10.0.
and #300 of a fine."
A lease dated 5/3/1790 between the trustees of J. Dupre and Alick Orr of Landmore sets to Alick all that part of Mullahinch in possession of Alick Orr containing 70 acres Cunningham with one double engine, two pairs of wash mills, two pairs of rubbing boards and several houses thereon built for carrying on the bleaching of linen with full liberty to cut and to carry away a full and sufficient quantity of turf for bleaching linens on said demised premises. The lease is from 1/11/1791 for 37 years and the lives of Josias Dupre and Rev. N. Alexander at a yearly rent of #188.
This is the "new green" mentioned in Macky's diary [John Macky] in 1791 on the Bovagh river. Alick Orr appears to have worked the green until after 1800, when a draft lease of 1805(?) sets the green to James Barklie of Coleraine, merchant, at a rent of 200 guineas or #227.10.0. James Barklie was succeeded at Mullaghinch (or Mullamore, as it came to be called), by his son, Alexander, who took into partnership his cousin George Barklie as Messrs. A. and G. Barklie. These were the owners in 1835 when it was said that the establishment could not easily be surpassed for its arrangements and the excellence of its machinery. At this time it had one building, two stories high at one end, three wheels and 23 acres of ground.
Mullamore was a progressive firm. In 1832 there was an expansion for the preparation of warps and yarns for linen webs, and 800 looms in the District were kept weaving on task work for the firm. In 1842 it was the most extensive green in the district, and in the fullest work. Further extensions in association with Mulhollands, the York Street firm, were being considered in 1844. Moneycarrie was bought in 1848, and by 1859 the firm was also running Rushbrook and Ballinrees. James Doherty of Cullycapple has lent me a magnificent colored drawing of Marcus Ward of Belfast showing the buildings and bleaching grounds of Mullamore, with linen being spread, and men working with horses and carts. Below Mullamore are shown smaller drawings of Ballinrees, Moneycarrie and Rushbrook.
When Alex. and George Barklie retired, their place was taken by Thomas, George's eldest son, who ventured on great extensions with William Spotten, of Belfast. A slump came, and Mullamore collapsed and was vacant for many years. W. K. Hanna came from Dunminning, and put machinery for dyeing in part of the buildings that had not been demolished; but this venture was not a success. It was bought by Clarke of Upperlands, and W. K. Hanna ran it as a beetling mill for them, and also as a saw-mill.
The imposing chimney stack, a reminder of past glory, remained until the Second World War, when an aerodrome was constructed nearby, and the stack was removed for safety purposes. The control tower built for the aerodrome is now turned into a house. (Beck; Morrison's Modern Ulster ; Reg. of Deeds 446.533; D 664/0/8).
My original intention was not to deal with the Macosquin district. However, since Bennetts, Orrs and Wilsons were connected with both Aghadowey and Macosquin, I decided to add short notes on the Macosquin greens.
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Rushbrook. Townland of Ballynacally, not in Sampson's 1782 list. Dwelling house built in 1803. In Corry's 1816 tour John Knox was a linen buyer in six different centres. In O.S. (1835) owned by John Knox of Rushbrook House, two slated buildings, two wheels, 25 acres in green. In 1859 (Griffith's Valuation) used for beetling by Barklies of Mullamore renting from Robt. Knox. Taken as a beetling mill by Hugh Stewart, who changed the business to corn-milling and scutching. Now Hegartys, who came from the Dunboe district. Works in two different places still visible.