Our Parish

Parish of Rasharkin        May 1833


Rasharkin Parish was once part of the ancient barony of Kilconway, county of Antrim and diocese of Down and Connor.  The only village or hamlet in the Parish is Rasharkin, it is situated on the main road from Ahoghill to Ballymoney and is one and three-quarter miles east of the River Bann.  The Ordnance SurveyMemoirs of 1833 records 260 inhabitants residing in the village. 

The main trades were: 3 blacksmiths, 2 carpenters, 6 constabulary, 1 cooper, 6 grocers, 3 shoemakers, 1 schoolmaster, 1 tailor and 1 wheelwright.  In the district there were four flax or lint mills.  Linen was the only manufacture, the spinning and weaving of which was the chief support of many of the peasantry of both sexes.  The principal crops were potatoes, oats, flax and, in some places, wheat.  An annual fair was held on 16th November.


It is bounded on the north by the parish of Finvoy, on the east by the River Main, parishes of Killagan, Ahoghill and grange of Dundermot, on the south by the parish of Ahoghill, on the west by the River Bann and county of Derry.  It extends from north to south about 5 miles and from east to west about 6 miles.  It contains 19,253 statute acres.  It is divided into 30 portions called townlands, including the glebe and a detached portion of Church Tamlaght.  The principal proprietors are Mr. Harvey, Mr. Caulfield, Mr Smith and E. McDonald, Esq., none of whom resides in the parish.  It is mostly let in small farms of 20 to 50 acres on lease of 21 years, 10s. to £1 10s. per acre.


The River Bann, which is the largest in the province of Ulster, bounds the parish on the west for 4 and half miles.  The Bann abounds with salmon, trout and eel.  There is an eel fishery a short distance below Portna where there is a small landing place and one mile further is situated Kilrea bridge.

On the Portna Road was Ross's Mill; Simpson's Mill was at the foot of Artadoney (on the Portna Road); McKinley's Mill (later McCaughern's) was located in the Mill Lane (off the Moss Road) and Dunlop's Mill on the Ballymoney Road.  There was also a corn mill in Ballydonnelly townland and one in Magheraboy townland.


The 30 townlands (1856/7) are: Anticur, Ballydonnelly, Ballymaconnelly, Bellaghy, Caralunty, Carnfinton, Church Tamlaght, Crushybracken, Culmore, Dreen, Dromore, Drumack, Drumcon, Duneany, Dunminning, Fernagh, Glebe, Glenbuck, Gortahar, Gortrighey, Granagh, Killycowan, Killycreen, Killydonnelly, Lisnagaver, Magheraboy, Moneyleck, Rasharkin town, Tamlaght, Tehorney.