LARNE in 1888.


LARNE owes its origin to the protection afforded by Olderfleet Castle, the ruin of which is a picturesque object near the extreme end of the Curran. The Castle was built in the 13th century by the Bissets, Scottish settlers under a grant from Henry III. Hugh Bisset, by joining the standard of Edward Bruce, in 1315, lost his title to the lands of the district, but it was restored by Queen Elizabeth, conditionally,to Angus Mac Donnell, son of James Mac Donnell, Lord of Cantire, who claimed by right of kinship to the Bissets. In 1569 Olderfleet was strongly fortified and governed by Sir Moyses Hill. In 1603 Sir Randal McDonnell received a patent for a portion of the district from James I., but the Castle and another part of the possessions were given 9 years later to Sir Arthur Chichester, Baron of Belfast Lough, and Governor of Carrickfergus. He also received the right to maintain a ferry to Island Magee. In 1798 the rebels endeavoured to capture Larne, but did not succeed. The population in 1831 was 2,616, but the Towns Improvement act of 1854-5 was not adopted until 1858. On the 17th of November, 1857, a public meeting was held to memorialize the Lord Lieut. on the subject. The Commissioners elected were Messrs. John Macaulay, Jos. T. Boyd, John Smiley, Thomas Dixon, Charles Ferres, Thos. Kirkpatrick, Samuel Alexander, and John Hamilton. With the exception of Mr. Macaulay all are dead. The boundary continues as in 1857, but there is a movement on foot to extend it so as to take in the Harbour and the Glenarm Road. The rate struck for 1887-8 was 8d. in the . This covers the expenses for lighting and cleansing only The valuation, including the townlands of Curran and Drumalis, was 3,994 1n 1858, 65,188 in 1868, 7i359 in 1878, 10,286 in 1887. A first-rate water supply has been provided by the Board of Guardians, as the Sanitary Authority. It comes from a spring at the foot of the Sallagh Braes, 4-11 miles from Larne. In the driest season it was giving 64,000 gallons in each 24 hours. The water was analysed by Dr. Hodges, Belfast, and found to be pure. Twenty-one public fountains are supplied. The general rate is 6d. in he , with an additional assessment of 4d.. on houses into which the water is piped. In 1884-5 the works were erected at a total cost of 5,000. The pressure is sufficient to send a stream over the highest house in town, and only requires direction by the Fire brigade in case of emergency. The Fire Brigade is under command of Captain Geo. Baine, controlled by the Town Commissioners. The sewerage system has also been completed by the Poor Law Board at a total expense of 1,300 since 1875. This work has been clone so thoroughly, and the fall is so good, that cases of fever are rare, and becoming more so every year. Lighting by gas was first introduced in 1851. Sixty-five public lamps at 1. 8s. 6d. each, are paid for out of the rates. Beyond the town boundary there are 25, of which 20 are at the Harbour, paid for by the estate, and 5 on the Glenarm Road, paid for by private subscription. A limited liability company owns the gas works. The markets are also managed by a limited liability company, formed by the merchants in the interests of the town. It resulted from action taken at a public meeting in 1862. The market place is situated near the station of the Carrickfergus and Larne Railway, and has a siding for the convenience of shippers. The general market is held every Wednesday, and is good all the year round. In the season markets are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for grain and beans. Farmers come from a distance of 7 to 9 miles with pork and butter. From January to September last year the dead pigs brought to market numbered 4,001. A live pig market, held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, was established last year. There is also a monthly market for cattle, which serves the purpose of a fair. Oats, wheat, beans, and potatoes are the chief crops grown in the district. Hiring fairs are held on the 2nd Thursday in May and 2nd Thursday in November. It has recently been arranged to hold a Civil Bill Court twice in each year for the baronies of Upper and Lower Glenarm.

extracted from Bassett's Book of Antrim 1888
reprinted by Books Ulster, Bangor

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