Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for VIRGINIA

VIRGINIA, a market and post-town, in the parish of LURGAN, county of CAVAN, and province of ULSTER, 14 ¾ miles (S. E.) from Cavan, and 40 ¼ (N. W.) from Dublin; containing 930 inhabitants. It was founded in pursuance of the plan for colonising Ulster in the reign of Jas. I., when 250 acres were allotted for the site of a town to be erected between Cavan and Kells, and called Virginia, which was to have been made a borough, but has never been incorporated. The patent was originally granted to Capt. Ridgway, but was assigned to Capt. Culme, who, in 1719, had a house and large bawn in a strong situation, and there were at that time in the town eight houses built of timber and occupied by English tenants and a minister, who kept a good school. Capt. Culme also held the lands of Lough Ramor, or the manor of Chichester, comprising 1000 acres. The town, which is pleasantly situated on Lough Ramor, consists of about 130 houses and, within the last few years, has been greatly improved by its noble proprietor, the Marquess of Headfort. The market is on Thursday, and fairs are held on Jan. 24th, March 7th, April 2nd, May 11th, July 9th, Aug. 22nd, Sept. 23rd, Nov. 21st, and Dec. 20th. Here is an extensive malting and brewing establishment, and a constabulary police station; petty sessions are held once a fortnight, and a manorial court monthly, for the recovery of debts under 40s. The parochial church, situated in the town, is a new and handsome structure in the Gothic style, with a fine spire surmounted by a gilt cross. A church was built here by a loan of £2000 from the late Board of First Fruits in 1818, but soon after its completion a storm blew down the steeple, which falling on the roof completely destroyed it; and on Christmas night, 1832, the church by which it was replaced was entirely consumed by an accidental fire.

Adjoining the town, and on the north side of the lake, is Virginia Park, a cottage residence of the Marquess of Headfort. The scenery of this park is extremely diversified, and its walks and drives very beautiful: the plantations are a highly ornamental feature in the landscape. Lough Ramor contains several small islands, which have recently been planted by his lordship, who has established an annual boat race on the lough and gives as a prize a cup of the value of 30 guineas. Many curiously shaped brazen pots, supposed to be Danish, were discovered in the lake a few years since, some of which are in the possession of the Marquess at Headfort House, near Kells.

(Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837); Transcription © Derek Rowlinson, 2005-10. Reproduced from LibraryIreland. We are deeply grateful to LibraryIreland for allowing us to use their transcription.)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a market and post-town"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Cavan IrlC
Place: Virginia

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.