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A look at Acton in the 1840s

ACTON, a district parish, in the union of Newry, barony of Lower Orior, county of Armagh, and
province of Ulster, 3 miles (8. s. E.) from Tanderagee, on the old road from Newry to that place: the population is returned with Ballymore. The village was originally founded by Sir Toby Pointz, who, for his military services, obtained a grant of 500 acres of land, part of the forfeited estates of the O’Hanlons ; he
erected a bawn 100 feet square, a house of brick and lime for his own residence, and 24 cottages for so many English settlers, and called the place Acton, after his own native village in England. It now contains about 50 houses indifferently built and has about 210 inhabitants.

Under the authority of an order of council, in 1789, nineteen townlands were severed from the parish of
Ballymore, and erected into the parish of Acton, which comprises 4395 statute acres, and is intersected by the Newry canal. The improved system of agriculture has been extensively introduced; the lands are well drained and fenced, and the bogs have been all brought into cultivation by the proprietor. Colonel Close. The weaving of linen-cloth, diapers, checks, and calicoes, is extensively carried on by the small farmers and the cottiers in the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Prebendary of Ballymore in the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Armagh : the income arises from a fixed
siipcml of £50 per annum, payable by the patron, and an augmentation of £26 per annum from Primate
Boulter’s fund. The church, situated at Pointz-Pass, and built in 1788, is a neat edifice in the early English
style. The glebe-house, about half a mile from the church, is a handsome residence, erected at the same
period ; the glebe comprises 31 acres of good land. In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish is in the district of Ballymore ; the chapel is a small building, at Pointz-Pass. There are two places of worship for Presbyterians, situated respectively at Tanniokee, and Carrickbrack or Tyrone’s Ditches. The remains of a
church built by Sir Toby Pointz in 1684, and under the chancel of which he lies interred, are situated in the
midst of a wood, and have a very interesting appearance a tablet is still preserved, with an inscription to
his memory.

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