Historic Tour

Ballinamallard

Historical Society

 


 WALKING TOUR OF THE VILLAGE

Walking History of Ballinamallard

 

Start at Archdale Hall, walk along Baragh Road to Crozier’s lane, then back through Archdale Hall grounds & car park to Rascals, Enniskillen Road then travelling along Main St to Trillick Road before returning to Archdale Hall.

 

  1. Police Station – bombed by the IRA in 1985.  In addition to the station, the Archdale Hall was so seriously damaged it had to be rebuilt two years later.

 

  1. Co-operative Creamery (now Masonic Hall) was opened on 1900 and a string of horses and carts would have queued up to leave off their cans of milk. They got 3d per gallon at that time which was recorded on a card. Farmers also had the opportunity to pick up some skimmed milk which they could use to make bread or feed their stock. They also made butter here which was packaged up in large boxes and transported to the station for delivery all over the country.

 

  1. The ‘bara’ mound was often thought to be a natural mound or ancient burial site but in fact it was the remains of initial excavations for the railway line. When they started to dig for foundations for a bridge in this area they found ground conditions to be exceedingly bad so they had to resort to the other side of the village. The line of the railway included the two bridges on the Trillick Road where it crossed both the river and the road.

 

  1. Castle Murray was on the far side of the river. It was a Plantation castle built by the Ffolliotts and by all accounts was a splendid building similar to Tully Castle, but had become a ruin by the 19th Century

 

  1. The ‘Gun Hole’ It is claimed that cannons from Castle Murray were thrown into this deep part of the river to avoid their capture by the rebels during the 1641 Rebellion.

 

  1. Route of Enniskillen ‘100’ motor cycle race which had a lap of 6¼ miles from Mossfield Straight to Sidaire and back via Main Street.  It was first run in 1929 as a 90 mile handicap but in 1931 it was increased to 100 mile race which in continued until 1952. It attracted some of the best riders in the country at the time including Rex McCandless and Geoff Duke.

 

  1. Magheracross National School was opened in 1898 as the parish school but closed in 1965 with the opening of the new Primary School by Lord Brookeborough on 1 June 1965.

 

  1. Fisher Engineering – Crozier’s Mill

In 1912 The Ballinamallard Electric Light and Power Company was formed by three prominent men from the village – TJ Crozier, Tom Craig and William Campbell. They were responsible for setting up an electricity generating plan to supply the village - 10 years before Enniskillen got a supply. 15 years later they planned to upgrade the plant with a massive 3’6” diameter turbine but unfortunately they could not get sufficient head of water to drive it. The turbine was too big to get back out again so they simply left it there and concreted over it. Today it remains somewhere underneath the floors of the Fisher complex.

 

  1. Armstrong’s Butchers Shop

In the property currently occupied by ‘Past & Present’ we had Armstrong’s Grocers and general provisions. There was a ring in the floor where William Armstrong tied cattle for slaughter.

 

  1. Soldiers of the Cross Hall

This was built in 1927 by the Primitive Wesleyan grouping who were part of the Maguiresbridge and Brookeborough Circuit at the time. As it had no bell the faithful were called to worship by sounding a hunting horn.

 

  1. Mill Race from the parapet wall you can still see the route of the mill race which supplied the mill with water to power the equipment. Initially this was the corn mill built by Ffolliot when he built the castle. All the tenants were supposed to grind their corn there and pay a small fee to the landlord for the pleasure of so doing.

 

  1. The Bridge Before the present bridge was built after WWII we used to have an old humpback stone bridge. Even that was a big improvement on the ford which gave the village its name ‘ford mouth of the curses.’

 

  1. Johnstons Upholstery – Tommy Fisher bought this site in 1950 for £50 to build his first engineering business. From there he moved to Walter Campbell’s site and finally to the present site.

 

  1. Railway Bridge over the Coa Road. This was removed by the council in the 1960’s to enable the realignment of the road

 

  1. Railway Station (Rascals) The Londonderry – Enniskillen Line railway was opened in 1854. In September of that year a special excursion train from Enniskillen carrying 800 Apprentice Boys was derailed about Gargadis coming home from Derry.

 

  1. Crocknacrieve & Brookeville

The original house was built about the same time as Jamestown – c 1740 although the main block was added about 1817.

 

  1. Magheracross Parish Church

The original pre-Plantation church was out at Magheracross but as a village was starting to develop here in Ballinamallard this was where the new church was built in 1784. Only the tower of that structure remains with the remainder replaced and enlarged in 1845. The Rev Whyte who was responsible for the new church did not survive to see its completion but died in 1783. He was buried in Rossorry but after the new graveyard here was consecrated he was exhumed and re-interred here.

 

  1. Campbell’s bakery (now Centra) had formerly been a bakery making bread that made its way far and wide. It was delivered up to the Railway station where it was transported to all paths of the country.

 

  1. Irish Constabulary Barracks In the 1860’s this house (known as Victoria House) was rented from Mrs Barbara Beatty by the RIC. Some years ago when the McKenzie family were stripping the wallpaper off a room they discovered an old patrol book belonging to the RIC which is now in the Enniskillen County Museum.

 

  1. Crozier’s shop TJ Crozier had a store that provided everything “from a needle to an anchor” – hardware, drapery, footwear, meal, coffins; you name it – they sold it. Willie Elliott started work in 1924 and stayed there for 16 years until the outbreak of the Second World War.

 

  1. The Commons – This was the location of the market where livestock changed hands. Until the 1930’s there was a row of thatched cottages on the Irvinestown Road opposite the Commons known as Duckpool Row.

 

  1. Aiken’s forge Bob Aiken, (Robert & Billy’s father) operated a forge on the Commons shoeing horses and repairing ploughs.

 

  1. Methodist Church This fine building was started in 1902 – EM Archdale (later Stormont’s first Minister of Agriculture) laid the foundation stone. The site was donated by William Campbell and the builder was William Cowan. It was intended that a spire would be incorporated but unfortunately funds did not permit. The foundations proved to be much more of a problem than first thought – extending to over 20 feet. The total cost came to £2250, but when the church was opened in 1904 it was all paid.

 

  1. Methodist School. The old school was renovated in the 1980’s to form the present church hall. The Methodist school was fondly remembered by all who attended it and for the many teachers who taught here. Amongst those was George Coalter who became principal in 1899 and remained in that position until just before the WWII. The headmaster’s residence stood at right angles to the school.

 

  1. Craig’s Mill.  This was recorded in 1834 as being owned by Armstrongs and used for grinding and milling. This had been a scutch mill in the late 1800’s but it was only when taken over by the Craigs that it was used to generate electricity.

 

  1. The Holm This was the play park of the village used for sports days and sporting events.

 

  1. Swimming Pool. In 1935 a committee was set up to develop a swimming pool and this was soon put in place with all the work carried out by local people – free of charge. The pool was 100’ long by 40’ wide with depths varying between 3’ to 9’. The cost of the project was £100.

 

  1. Trillick Road Railway Bridge. This fine structure is largely hidden from view by over growth but hopefully when the walkway from the skip site is complete they will clear some of the bushes that block its view.

 

  1. The Fish Farm. This was built up by Major Gibbons of Kilskeery in 1972 to raise fish commercially. This was done very successfully with fish being sold all over the country, in spite the odd ‘fish kill.’

 

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