ABOUT THE VILLAGE

Cushendall lies close to where the river Dall flows into Cushendall Bay - the name derives from an Irish word meaning 'Foot of the Dall', another suggestion appears in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1830-38 which refers to Cushendall as being a corruption of the word Bunindalla or Bun-an-daaa  meaning 'the foot of the the two rivers'' - the river Dall forms from the union of  the Glenann and Glenballyemon rivers. Like many Ulster villages it is endowed with exceptional architecture, the summits of Lurigethan and Tievebulliagh overlook the village and adjacent glens which themselves are scattered with traces of  man's existence here since Neolithic times. The villages surge of development started in 1600's with the advent of water power and the migration of Scottish settlers. The Glens were taken by force from local chieftains by the Normans who held power here until the late 1300's, the Scottish MacDonnells through the marriage of Margery Bissett to John Mor MacDonnell (Lord of the Isles) gained possession of the Glens and expanded their power base along the north coast to Dunluce Castle. Their family burial sites are found in Bonamargie Friary at Ballycastle and nearby Layde Church. There are references of Cushendall being assigned to the son of Henry Knowles, the vice-chamberlain and treasurer to Elizabeth Ist but that this arrangement was thwarted by Sorley Boy MacDonnell. In the early 1700's the village was given or bought by the Hollow Sword Blade Company - this English company was formed in 1690 and gained several seized assets in Ireland as a result of  the victory by William III Prince of Orange over James II. The company began using a process of hollow grinding to make lighter and more easily handled swords - a process based on a German technique. To achieve this the company employed German swordsmiths in its production. The Hollow Sword Company itself failed but one of the swordsmith's went on to form the Mohll Sword Company which was eventually taken over by the Wilkinson Sword Company - as yet, I have found no references to swords being made in Cushendall. There are references to  Danish cavalry and infantry units being quartered at Solar, Glenarm, Templeoughter, Ardclinis and the Layde  in 1689.

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