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You Might Even Have Been in England

The following impression of Lisburn is taken from the book entitled ‘Ireland Illustrated’ by Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall. They visited the town around the mid-nineteenth century.

Lisburn is a pretty and flourishing town on the Antrim side of the River Lagan. It consists principally of one long street, at the eastern side of which is the picturesque and interesting church, containing two very remark­able monuments, one to the memory of Lieut. Dobbs, who was killed in an engagement off the coast with the famous Paul Jones, the other to that off the great and good Jeremy Taylor, sometime Bishop of Down and Connor, who died here in the year 1667. There is probably no town in Ireland where the happy effects of English taste and industry are more conspicuous than at Lisburn.

From the Drum Bridge and the banks of the Lagan, on one side, to the shores of Lough Neagh, on the other, the people are almost exclusively the descendants of English set­tlers


Those in the immediate neighbourhood of the town were chiefly Welsh, but great numbers arrived from the Northern shires and from the neighbourhood of the Bristol channel. It is interesting to trace their annals from existing facts; which may be easily done, even where they not duly recorded. In the village of Lambeg, situated only a few perches from the Belfast road, the old English games and pastimes were regularly celebrated on Easter Monday within the last twenty years. The English language is, perhaps, spoken more purely by the populace in this districtthan by the same class in any other part of Ireland. The names of places are modern: as Soldiers­town, English-town, and Half‑town, Stoneyford, etc, etc. and the people of all ranks have, for their stations, high ideas of domestic comfort, the neatness of the cottages, and the good taste displayed in many of the farms, are little, if at all, inferior to aught that we find in England; and the tourist who visits Lough Neagh, passing through Ballinderry, will con­sider to be justly designated 'the garden of the North'.

The original pursuits of the adventures of Plantation, have been transmitted from father to son; those who settled from the cider counties having variably an orchard of some extent attached to their dwellings.

The multitude of pretty little villages scattered over the landscape, each announcing itself by the tapering spire of a church, would almost beguile the traveller into believing that he is passing through a rural district in one of the midland countries of England.'