Waringstown has a rich history and sporting heritage

Waringstown. INLM27-212.
Waringstown. INLM27-212.

Waringstown is a village lies within the parish of Donaghcloney, and in the barony of Iveagh Lower.

In the 2001 Census it had a population of 2,523 people. Over the years, the village has been bestowed numerous awards, including “Best Kept Small Town” for its floral displays and pleasant appearance.

The village is named after William Waring, who in 1658 bought the western part of the parish of Donaghcloney from Captain John Barrett.

In 1667 William Waring built a semi-fortified house in the townland of Magherana, around which sprang up the village of Waringstown.

Waring House, as it became known, is on the badge of the local Cricket Club. It is a three storey gentleman’s house and is the oldest unfortified mansion house in Ireland.

Margaret Parr, Holt Waring’s young widow, became the well-known Mrs Waring who, over the next fifty years, was to have such a strong and beneficial influence on the life of Waringstown.

She received the CBE and also served an MP and as a Justice of the Peace until her death in May 1968.

It is common knowledge in the village that on his way to the battle of The Boyne. General Marshal Schomberg (1615–1690), and a detachment of troops stayed in the house and their horses were watered at the Planters Tavern. There is an oak panelled and tapestried room in Waringstown House known as “The Duke’s Room”, which Schomberg occupied during his stay in the district.

A third storey facade was added in 1680, designed by architect Lyndsey Boyd.

The weaving village of Waringstown developed under the auspices of William Waring and his descendants. Waring’s son, Samuel, brought Flemish weavers to the village, building Huguenot style cottages for them, some of which survive today.

In the past, the village was renowned for its handloom damask weaving. The industrial focus was at the southern end of the town, where brewing, linen-weaving, and cambric and clothing manufacture were formerly carried out and where some substantial 18th century and 19th century industrial buildings still exist.

The village has, over the years, been associated with the sport of cricket, something that has been attributed to the area’s planters being predominantly from the north of England.

The local team, Waringstown Cricket Club, has achieved some success in the NCU Senior League, playing its home matches at “The Lawn”. The club was established in 1851, by a member of the Waring family, and its ground was also donated by the family.

The popularity of the sport in the village and its influence elsewhere has led to it being dubbed “The Home of Cricket in Ulster”.