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ARDOYNE - ALABAMA. A Rushlight DVD Production now available Price £5, with Free Delivery. Tel 90626631 or e-mail email@example.com.
12th July 2012
L to R. Molly Barrett, Joe Graham and the Late Jimmy Barrett
A Place Called Ardoyne By Joe Graham
Ardoyne today is seen as merely a small nationalist enclave in North Belfast but few realize that the name Ardoyne goes back to pre-Plantation days and this land of the O’Neill’s is seeped in rich history, culture and folklore
I am always amused when ‘historians’ say “Ardoyne” came about by the fact that a mill owner, Michael Andrews, created Ardoyne by giving that name to the house he built near “Edeiideriy and then when he built his Damask factory and houses for his workers nearby then the area became the origin of “Ardoyne”. . ..as though he gave birth to the name for the area .. while, in fact, the original Ardoyne which included, part of the modern known area’s such as Woodvale, and Ballysillan, Edenderry, Abbeydale, all of Glenbryn, Wheatfield, Twaddell, and Glenard, Upper Crumlin Road, were all part of the ancient townland of Ardoyne, as is recorded on maps and “Title Deeds”, copies of which are in “Rushlight Archives”, these go back as far as the early 1500’s, long, long many a year before the planter families of Andrews, Ewart, Beck, Johnson and Carlisle, etc, ever came to Ireland. That St Patrick roamed through this area and that he formed “The White Church” in the ancient Parish of Shankill (Old church) which included all of the townland of Ardoyne seems to be overlooked by many, that secret Masses would have been held during the Penal Days in the many glens that surrounded this region along what was then called “Beann Ruadraighe” “Rory’s Mountain” and later “Divis Mountain”, from the “Priest’s Mountain” at “Alt na Collin”(The little Glen) in the south to “Aitmackee” (the glen of the McGee’s) in the north above Ligoniel.
The ancient townland of Ardoyne joined “Attagarran” (The Horse’s Glen), where now stands “Ligoniel” and “Wolf Hill”, where the last wolf in Ireland is said to have been killed, above them we bad “Aitmaconoghey” which in later years was anglicised to “Crows Glen” and marked as such on the more recently published maps, even that name is sadly disappearing and even sadder, gone for ever is “Slaughtermore”, or more accurately, “Sleacht an Fir Mbor”, which translated gave us the spot, above Ligoniel, where lies “The Giant’s Grave”...who could today show you the spot let alone reveal the ancient Irish l which brings m to wonder just what is the agenda of some of these ‘historians’.?...could they possibly be attempting to re-write history.. do they not research their subject, or do they think they can have us believe there was nothing in this region of Ireland before the plantation of Ulster.?, as my old friend Cathal O’Byrne said of Ritchie the Belfast boat builder, who is “famed” as the first local boat builder, “ships were being built in this northern region of Ireland long before this Ayrshire planter came to our shores”..
HOLY CROSS CHURCH
Holy Cross, Ardoyne. — In the month of July, 1868, a small number of the Passionist Fathers, with the Very Rev. Father Ignatius Paoli, now Bishop of Bucharest, Bulgaria, as superior, settled at Ardoyne. They occupied a temporary house, and at once commenced the erection of a temporary church, which they hoped soon to replace with a more magnificent structure. The temporary church, which in most parts of the country would be considered superb, was opened on the lOth of January, 1869, by High Mass, at which the Most Bev. Dr. Dorrian assisted pontifically, and the Very Rev. Father Alphonsus O'Neill preached. In a short time schools were also erected, and the Passionist Fathers undertook the spiritual care of the suburb of Belfast lying around Holy Cross and Ligoniel, in which they have also a little church. On the 16th. of July, 1877, Dr. Dorrian laid the foundation-stone of Holy Cross Monastery — the permanent building. In the foundation-stone a piece of parchment was placed, bearing the following incription : —
" Die W° Julii Anno Reparatce Salutis MDCCCLXXVII,
Sanctissimo Domino Pio Papa feliciter Ecclesiam Gubernante,
Victoria in Hibernia Regnante, Bernardo A . S. Joseph Proiposito
Generali Cgns. Passionls, Eugenio A.S. Antonio Prmp.
Perhaps the best that can be said of Michael Andrews is that he was the founder of the “Village of Ardoyne”, which was situated in the ancient townland of Ardoyne, but I have to say, ” ..cloth was being woven in this area which was known as Ardoyne centuries before Michael Andrews arrived”.
Michael Andrews And The Village Of Ardoyne.
In 1815 the young Presbyterian, Michael Andrews, a son of the wealthy mill owner Andrew family who owned mills in County Antrim and Down moved his little Damask business from Little York Street in Belfast to the country side overlooking Belfast town from the north. It was here he built his large house and named it “Ardoyne”, he built his new “Royal Damask Factory” and taking a leaf from the book of the wealthy landowners in Ireland, he then built thirty little houses for his employee’s, “tied cottages” the rural lush peasants would have referred to them, he also built a gate lodge for his land overseer, “Ardoyne Cottage”, before long his business flourished as did the new community, it soon took on the status of a village, complete with a school house, public house and prayer meeting house, many were impressed ;o much so that in 1830, the “Northern Whig”, published the following poem, entitled ...“Ardoyne Village”
“Now broadly beams the evening sun On villas white, and woodlands green;
And happily where the eye may run, Beneath the bright and blue serene,
Wher art delights and nature charms, In Eden’s calm and cultured vale,
And plenty smiles, and beauty warms, The rising village let us hail.
Fair i the village of Ardoyne ! And happy the inmates there,
Where health and labour sweetly join, To banish poverty and care,
Sweet village, where I’ve often been, Prosperity and peace be thine;
And hallowed ever be the scene, Where many an hour of bliss was mine”
Michael Andrews was an exception to the rule when one looks at the track record of many of Belfast’s Linen Barons for he was much loved by those in his employment and many acts of kindness have been recorded to his credit. Michael Andrews was the second son of a father who spent much of his later life iii an insane institution, young Michael was reared by his grand father, Thomas Andrews, a founder of the “Isaac Andrews” now famous Belfast grain mill firm which still exists at Divis Street to this day.
In marriage Michael was very unfortunate, his first wife died whilst she was very young, his first two children died in infancy and his fourth wife had the extra burden of rearing the children from his previous three marriages. Michael Andrews was a founder of the “Belfast Savings Bank” and President of the “Irish Harp Society”, an organisation which Wolfe Tone hand a hand in forming some years earlier.. Two of Michael Andrews cousins had been interned in the 1798 Rebellion, his wife and family had been very active during the Great Hunger years, ’mid 1800’s, in providing aid to the starving poor in the West and South of Ireland, he was also a founder of the Belfast Liberal paper, “The Northern Whig”. At his Ardoyne Village Michael was known to be personally helpful in setting up his workers in their homes as is recorded as was his manager, Edward McCormick, who is also mentioned as having helped house the Cross And Passion Priests when they came to the area in 1867. By this time Michael was quite an old and ill man and indeed died three years later, aged 87, and was buried at Clifton Street cemetery. “The Belfast Newsletter” , which were political opponents of Andrews paid a glowing tribute to him to at the time of his death...,., it wrote...
“ but while progressing manufacture, and enjoying in no slight degree the reward of well directed enterprise, he did not forget that the people connected with him had other claims on his consideration besides those that are thought to end with the payment of wages, and regular employment. He felt that his duties then extended still further and he consequently took the utmost interest in their moral and social welfare. He loved to see them in clean comfortable dwellings where there was an abundance of light and air as we/I as the material requirements of healthy existence. Michael Andrew found Ardoyne a very small village; he has left it with many of the characteristics and most of the appliances of a town.. And maybe that the best monument that could be raised to his memory is to be found in the numerous abodes of contented industry which now rear their heads in the neighbourhood of that factory over which the eyes that are dosed had so long delighted to wonder.”
Those other “abodes of contented industry which now rear their heads in the neighbourhood ” referred to by the “Newsletter where the other mills which sprang up in the area, Like William Ewart 1845 and the “Rosebank Mill” and “Brookfield” which both came into the area in 1850, meanwhile a printing Mill soon joined at Lodge Lane, off the “Lodge Road” which part of the Oldpark Road was then known by. Then John Beck leased the new Philip Johnson and John Carlisle purpose built “Edenderry Mill” in 1863. Carlisle and Johnson also were involved in the building of Brookfield Street, where they owned 52 houses. Carlisle’s family had lived at “Beheld House” which later gave its name to Enfield Street...Beck also had a street (now gone) named after him. William Steen Mitchell who owned the big “Brookfield Mill” also owned 64 in the then new Crumlin street, which at that time had a school house, he also owned 32 houses in “Brookfield Row” (Long Gone) and in Brookfield Street. Over the “Brickyard” at the “MarrowBone”, John Savage owned the “Prospect Mill” and 42 “Half Houses” in a little street called “Savages Row”, which later became part of the newer Ardilea Street. John later committed suicide by slashing his own throat when apparently suffering depression, for years the locals reported seeing his ghostly figure roaming, wailing and moaning, around the “Brickyard”, ...which by the way was the actual site of the old brickyard at which most of the bricks were made for the building of the mills, houses, etc.
A “Half House” was a small two storey building where a family lived upstairs and another downstairs, they were commonly called “Scotch flails’, and in the early 1800 there many hundreds of such dwellings in Belfast, I noticed lately some historian suggested that the name had a military link , married quarters for a Scottish Regiment, totally incorrect, they were just cheap, nasty dwellings where more people were crammed into for bigger profits, forcr to the Divis Flats Complex, the last surviving ‘Scotch Halls” in Belfast were at Lcpper Street, New Lodge, and Boomer Street, Falls, and they were there right into the early 1970’s, believe it or not.!
They were modelled on the infamous Glasgow “Tenements” system of building .hence “Scotch halls”.
So I suggest that the rosy picture painted by “The Newsletter” of the early working class homes of Ardoyne to pat it mildly was “imaginative” for one must remember these linen Barons lived in 20 roomed mansions sited on acres and acres of gardens and as for their charity, research the 1870’s Mill workers strikes when so many workers were turned out of their tied cottages to roam the streets like vagabonds,, and heaven help them if they tried to poach a bit of game from the Linen Barons estates to feed their children . On the death of Michael Andrews in 1870 his son Corbett Andrews took over the running of the factory and showed great promise bet at the age of 25 he suddenly died in 1875, his younger brother, George, then took control and carried on the business for quite a few years, but was perhaps rather late in recognising that the days of the old hand loom were coming to an end and the new power loom was required. So in 1899 the entire business, including the factory was sold to “John Shaw Brown & Sons”, and Michael Corbett, son of the late Thomas Corbett became a director of the new company.
The factory continued until 1923 but in 1935 , the factory and the village were demolished for the new Glenard housing estate, coincidently the “Forum” cinema, and now the “Crumlin Star Social Club’ sits roughly where once stood Michael Andrews “Ardoyne House”
The original Ardoyne Chapel, of church as they call them in these politically correct days, was build on the ground now covered by the lawn and roundabout as you drive into the grounds. The first chapel was 9Oft long and 23ft wide from the Altar Rails to the front door (what happened to the Altar Rails?) The statue on the present circular lawn represents where the altar of the original chapel stood. The old chapel was built in 1869 and officially opened on Sunday 10th January 1869, remember, the first Passionate Fathers arrived in the area only two years earlier!, the local press were full of praise for the hard working priests and their new beautiful church, the old chapel stood for 30 years and it was demolished in 1907, Father Ignatius was the driving force behind that original chapel, at the first service a collection of £660 was raised, a huge amount then, to open the chapel Rev. Dr. Dorrian attended and Fr. Eugene was the celebrant.
The Funeral Of Sean McCaughey
Above; The building of the James Saunders Club Elmfield Street.
Ardoyne At Bodenstown
Many Ardoyne Archives and DVD footage available
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