The town of Lurgan is located
five miles from the town of Portadown on the Belfast Road, anciently
the land was held by the McCann's as a sept of the O'Neill's, after
the Flight of the Earls in 1607 the land was seized by the crown.
In 1609 William Brownlow was given 2,500 acres which included the
parish, Brownlow brought planters to the town and began to develop
During the 1641 rebellion Sir
Phelim O'Neill destroyed Lurgan, little happened until Charles II
came to the throne. In the 1690 Brownlow declared for the Williamite
cause and the town was once again destroyed.
After the Battle of the Boyne,
King William III. granted a patent for fairs and markets, and the
industry of the people in the land made these valuable.
The linen industry was to boost
Lurgan's fortunes, when Queen Anne was on the throne William Waring,
M.P., introduced the manufacture of diaper (nappies) Lurgan also
became famous for the manufacture of handkerchiefs and embroidery.
A factory in the Avenue Road once made optical lenses.
Lurgan's prosperity was based
almost entirely on the linen industry as indeed the nearby towns
of Warringstown, Donaghcloney
and Gilford also had linen factories.
(These three village's
are in Co Down.) Gilford's mill was large and
derived its power from the river Bann.
You may have heard it said
of someone in a bad mood 'they have a face like a Lurgan spade',
this refers to the exceptionally long spade that was used to cut
turf in the locality.
Lurgan is also known for its
connections with greyhound racing. Between 1868 1871 Master McGrath
a dog owned locally won the Waterloo Cup for coursing greyhounds
on three occasions.
The dog is remembered in a stain
glass window in the local parish church, in the town's coat of arms
and there is a statue Brownlow house, the home of the dogs owner.