Newtownards, County Down

Parish and Town (Newtownards Civil Parish)

[Map]: Map showing the location of County Down in Ireland
[Map]: Map showing the location of Newtownards in County Down, Ireland

Description of Newtownards:

NEWTOWN-ARDES, a parish and post-town and market-town (incorporated), formerly a parliamentary borough, partly in the barony of LOWER-CASTLEREAGH, but chiefly in that of ARDES, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (E.) from Belfast, and 88 (N. E.) from Dublin, on the mail coach road from Donaghadee to Belfast; containing, in 1837, 11,000 inhabitants, of which number, 6000 are in the town. The town is beautifully situated a little beyond the northern extremity of Lough Strangford, which, previously to the reclamation of about 100 acres, now under tillage, formed its boundary on that side; and is surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills. It consists of one spacious square, with several wide streets and others of inferior character, and contains at present about 1300 houses, many of which are handsomely built. Great improvements have been made under the auspices of the Marquess of Londonderry; a new line of road has been constructed to Belfast, avoiding the hills of Scrabo; and new roads also to Cumber and to Grey abbey, crossing the grounds reclaimed from the Lough: two neat bridges have been built over the river, and various other improvements are contemplated.

The first attempt to establish a public brewery, and also a public distillery, was made in this town in 1769; but both failed, and, in 1819, John Johnston, Esq., purchased the premises and rebuilt the brewery on an extensive scale; more than 7000 barrels of beer are brewed annually, and adjoining are large malting premises for the supply of the brewery and for sale, in which the malt is made from barley grown in the neighbourhood. The weaving of damask is carried on to a small extent; about 600 looms are employed in weaving muslin, and 20 in weaving coarse linen for domestic use. More than 1000 females are constantly employed in embroidering muslin for the Glasgow merchants, who send the fabrics hither for that purpose. The town-hall, for the transaction of the corporation business, is a handsome structure in the Grecian Doric style, erected in 1770 by the first Marquess of Londonderry: it is surmounted by a cupola, containing a clock, beneath which is the entrance into an area leading through the centre, on one side of which is the flesh market and on the other a weighhouse and other requisite offices and stores; above is an elegant suite of assembly-rooms, and other apartments, in which the members of the Down hunt hold meetings. A handsome stone cross of octagonal form, decorated with canopied niches, was built by the corporation in the centre of the town, to replace the ancient cross destroyed by the insurgents in 1641.

The parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 14,803 statute acres; the land is of good quality, and the system of agriculture highly improved; there is no waste land, but about 700 acres of valuable bog, from which the neighbourhood is supplied with fuel. There are two quarries of excellent freestone the mountain of Scrabo, equal in appearance and superior in durability to that of Portland, besides five others of inferior quality; large quantities are raised for the supply of the neighbouring districts, and several cargoes have been shipped to America. Some extensive lead mines are held under lease from the Marquess of Londonderry by a company in the Isle of Man; the ore is very rich, but the mines are very indifferently worked;the water being imperfectly carried off by a level, the lessees have sunk a new shaft and erected a steam engine to raise the ore and to drain the mine; the ore is shipped at Bangor and sent to Flint, where it is smelted. Under Scrabo are three thin veins of coal, which show themselves in the Lough; but they are at a great depth beneath the surface, and no attempt to work them has yet been made.

The church, a handsome cruciform edifice, was built in 1817. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Dundonald, Bangor, and Donaghadee; the chapel is a small plain building. There is a place of worship for a Presbyterian congregation in connection, with the Presbytery of Antrim, and two for those in connection with the Synod of Ulster, one of which, recently erected in Regent-street, has a handsome hewn stone front of the Doric order; there is also a place of worship for Seceders, another for Covenanters, and two for Methodists. The cemetery of the abbey of Moville is now used for a parochial burialground; and near the old church, now the court-house, are the ruins of a private chapel, built by Sir Robt. Colville. In that church were interred the remains of the Earls and others of the family of Mount-Alexander, of several of the Colville family, of the first Marquess of Londonderry, and of his father.

Extracts from The Samuel Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837 (transcribed by Mel Lockie).

Newtownards town straddles the boundary of Corporation North and Corporation South townlands.


The 1821 - 1851 census returns for Ireland were almost all destroyed in a fire, whereas the 1861 - 1891 census returns were destroyed by the government. However, full details from the 1901 & 1911 Census returns are available (and fully-searchable free-of-charge) on-line on the National Archives of Ireland website.

Townlands, Villages, & Towns of Newtownards Parish

This is a list of the settlements listed in the GENUKI Gazetteer as being within Newtownards Civil Parish, with links to the relevent GENUKI Town/Village page where available. Many places straddle parish boundaries, in which case they may be listed under each parish.

Ballyalicock Townland
Ballyalton Townland
BALLYBARNES Village and Townland
Ballyblack Townland
BALLYCULLEN Village and Townland
Ballyhaft Townland
Ballyharry Townland
Ballyhenny Townland
Ballymagreehan Townland
Ballymoney Townland
Ballyreagh Townland
Ballyrogan Townland
Ballyskeagh High Townland
Ballyskeagh Lower Townland
Ballywatticock Townland
Bootown Townland
Commons of Newtonards Townland
Corporation North Townland
Corporation South Townland
Craigogantlet Townland
Cronstown Townland
Crossnamuckley Townland
Cunningburn Townland
Drumawhy Townland
Drumhirk Townland
Greengraves Townland
Gregstown Townland
KILLARN Village and Townland
Loughriscouse Townland
Milecross Townland
Movilla Townland
NEWTOWNARDS Parish and Town
Scrabo Townland
Tullynagardy Townland
Whitespots Townland

Show ALL nearby places in the GENUKI Gazetteer (irrespective of parish) marked on a Google map OR displayed as a list.

Churches & Cemeteries:

The following places of worship and burial are listed in the GENUKI Church & Cemetery Database.

Ballyblack: Methodist
Ballyblack: Presbyterian
Milecross: Roman Catholic
Milecross: Society of Friends (Quaker)
Newtownards: Baptist
Newtownards: Cemetery
Newtownards: Church of Ireland, St Mark
Newtownards: Church of Ireland
Newtownards: Church of Ireland
Newtownards: Congregationalist
Newtownards: Evangelical
Newtownards: Gospel Mission
Newtownards: Methodist (New Connexion), Zion
Newtownards: Methodist (Wesleyan)
Newtownards: Pentecostal
Newtownards: Pentecostal, Elim
Newtownards: Plymouth Brethren
Newtownards: Presbyterian, 2nd Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian, 4th Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian, 4th Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian, Stean Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian, Strean Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian, 2nd Presbyterian
Newtownards: Presbyterian (Free), Grace
Newtownards: Presbyterian (Non-subscribing)
Newtownards: Presbyterian (Reformed)
Newtownards: Presbyterian (Reformed)
Newtownards: Presbyterian (Unitarian)
Newtownards: Roman Catholic, St Patrick
Newtownards: Roman Catholic, St Patrick
Newtownards: Salvation Army
Newtownards: Salvation Army

Use these links to view all NEARBY churches & cemeteries listed in the GENUKI Church Database (irrespective of the Parish), AS A LIST or MARKED ON A MAP.

Surnames interests for Newtownards

If you have ancestors who lived in Newtownards and you have your family history on a website, then we'd be happy to list their surnames here with a link back to your web site. Please note, we won't publish email links, as that would inevitably result in you eventually getting spam emails.

Strays from Newtownards in Ships' Passenger Lists

We do not have any information to give you as yet. If you can contribute any of the missing information, then please use the 'contribute information' link at the bottom of this page to get in-touch.


This place is located near to Lat/Lon 54.593276/-5.696118, which you can view on this selection of on-line maps:

Detailed 19th century Ordnance Survey maps for the whole of County Down (at 6 inches to the mile), are available to view at the British Library in London (Reader Ticket needed) and on-line via the OSI Website.

Links to Geotagged Photographs:


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this page: Mel Lockie. If you can tell us any of the information currently missing from this page, then we'd love to hear from you. You can get in-touch by using the 'contribute information' link at the bottom of this page.

GENUKI provides historical & geographical information about places and churches in the British Isles, as an aid to those researching local history or their family history; BUT has NO connection with those places or to those living there today. ALAS WE DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU CAN SEE ON THESE WEB PAGES!