The parish is for the greater part in a mountainous district. There is a large portion of it (between the mountains of Bartonny or Sliabh an Iarainn and Cuilcagh) which is even in the lowest, more or less affected as to climate, by the elevation of the adjacent mountains. The tillage ground is sometimes very high, where town-lands have been much subdivided. The corn on the Sliabh an Iarainn side of the mountains seldom ripens properly but in a bad season, the opposite mountains (Glangevlin - Cuilcagh) are not cultivated so high, although better situated as to aspect - the Shannon is the boundary of the parish, to the west near which the glen being wide, the climate is much better, than in any other part of this neighbourhood. It is getting bad from this up to Bellavalley Gap where lands are cultivated 1100 feet high and much exposed to the south and west winds. Beyond this gap towards Bawnboy and Swanlinbar there is another tract of mountain there in which spots are cultivated very high and with having a better aspect than the Glangevlin mountains is much inferior in point of quality and value.
There is another part of this parish between Swanlinbar and Ballyconnell to the east of the road the climate of which is inferior in consequence of the elevation of mountains between this and Ballyconnell. The lands are not cultivated as high as on the sides of other mountains in the neighbourhood.
There is another portion of this parish between Burren on the south and Brackley on the north and towards Swanlinbar, and from Bawnboy to Bonebrook and Cartronnagilta, the climate of which is good enough, the county opening widely to the south, and elevation moderate, which renders it a desirable portion of this parish for agricultural purposes. There are also large tracts of bottom along several lakes and rivulets which being at every flood inundated for several days, sometimes weeks, produces a quantity of coarse meadow. In some places where drainage has been effected, the quality of the herbage is much improved; in other low tracts immediately at the brink of lakes, the surface is so long covered with water, that they produce a sour description of grass, and is much more profitable as pasturage than meadow grass.
The roads in this section of the parish are good enough. There is a good road going from Bawnboy to Swanlinbar from there to Enniskillen and from Bawnboy to Ballyconnell and from there to Belturbet, also from Bawnboy to Ballinamore with several crossroads branching in different routes, all of which are very good. There is another good road leading from Bawnboy to meet the road from Ballinamore to Swanlinbar, by Pedara Vohers, at Corlough. There is another road branching from this at Pedara Vohers, to Bawnboy by Brackley which as far as Brackley being very hilly is a very bad road for the carriage of agricultural produce, towards the west; from the same point, (Pedara Vohers) this road continues through Bellavalley Gap into Glangevlin which is the only entrance into the Glen in this direction and much a worse road than any other in these parts being both hilly and indifferent. This road continues through the Glen by Legnagrow, Derrylahan onto the Blacklion and then meets the New Line from Sligo to Enniskillen. The roads in the southern district of the parish are good enough. There is one from the County Bridge to Bawnboy, another from Ballymagauran to Ballyconnell by Kilnavart; beyond Killycluggin towards Ballyconnell this road is hilly; there is another road branching off this to Killeshandra by Bellaheady Bridge which is very good. Those who are in the habit of bringing corn to the market go by Bellaheady Bridge, Ardlougher and to Belturbet having an excellent road this way, and only increases the distance very little. To the south of this road leading from Ballymagauran to Ballyconnell there are several town-lands badly circumstanced for want of roads; from Derryragh and Corran towards Burren they have only an inferior by-way branching off the public road at Corran and terminating at Coologe Lough. There is a good road leading from the 'Sign of the Swan' branching off the road from Ballyconnell to Killeshandra at this point, which almost touches the boundary of Burren. Consequently the few town-lands on the northside of Coologe Lough and the Ballyconnell river are worse circumstanced as to roads than Burren (Toberlyan, Coologe, Derrycassan). Burren is situated within five miles of Killeshandra and within about seven miles of Belturbet.
From Glangevlin, their agricultural produce is principally sent to Enniskillen a distance of about sixteen miles, from Gub or Upper Garvalt; from this town-land towards the gap of Bellavally they go by Swanlinbar and below this point towards the Shannon they go by the Blacklion - to go by Swanlinbar from this point to Enniskillen is nineteen miles. They send their corn to Belturbet from the New Mill at Drumcannon Bridge and from thence to Burren - the southern extremity of the parish. Their butter they send to Enniskillen, it being a better market for this commodity. They send some corn to Ballinamore from several town-lands in the neighbourhood of Drumreilly, but only when they require to make up money in a short period and have grain of a bad quality, for they can get such grain sold in Ballinamore better than in other market towns in the country when oats are sold at 10d per stone there. An inferior quality is often sold at 4d per stone, this they can sell in Sligo at a better-advanced price than for good grain - I mean the Ballinamore purchasers.
From the neighbourhood of Bawnboy and a circle of two miles towards the North and West from this point almost all their agricultural produce is sent to Belturbet; this is a better market than any other town in the neighbourhood for grain, in consequence of a Distillery being there, where they consume a considerable quantity of grain. Purchasers for other distilleries come there also on Market days to buy grain.
They send their butter from this neighbourhood, frequently to Newry; although the distance being great, about 62 miles, they are paid more than the expense of transport compared with other markets in the neighbourhood. Belturbet is about ten miles from Bawnboy, and the river from it to the Ulster Canal is navigable.
There is a corn mill at Bawnboy which cannot be considered much better than what is commonly called a country mill, working little more than the corn sent by the country people. There is another mill in Ballyconnell, where they dress a large quantity of meal every year. This encourages a kind of grain market in Ballyconnell.
From National Archives, Dublin.