Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.

  • Place
    Borris, Borris Idrone
  • County
    Carlow
  • Parish
    Borris, Borris Idrone
  • Content
    BORRIS, or BORRIS-IDRONE, a village, in the parish of CLONAGOOSE, barony IDRONE EAST, county of CARLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (S. E) from Goresbridge; containing 671 inhabitants.

    This place is situated near the river Barrow, on the road from Carlow to Ross: it has a patent for a market on Friday, which is not held, and a penny post to Goresbridge.

    Borris House, the noble seat of the late T. Kavanagh,Esq is situated in all extensive and richly wooded demesne, and commands fine views terminated on the south-east by the imposing range of the Blackstairs mountains. This mansion, which externally exhibits the appearance of an English baronial residence of the 16th century, while every advantage of convenience and splendour is secured within, has been for ages the chief residence of the posterity of Donald Kavanagh, natural son of Mac Murrough, last King of Leinster, whose name and authority he subsequently assumed.

    In 1642, being garrisoned by the parliamentarians, it was besieged by the Irish, and with difficulty the garrison was relieved and reinforced by Sir C. Coote. In the disturbances of 1798 it sustained two attacks; first, on May 24th, when the insurgents were repulsed by Capt. Kavanagh's yeomanry corps, with the loss of 50 killed and wounded; and afterwards on June 12th, from a detachment sent against it from Vinegar Hill, on which occasion it was defended with great bravery by a party of the Donegal militia, who compelled the assailants, after burning the out-offices and destroying some houses in Borris, to retire with considerable loss. At Kilcamney, in the vicinity, an action was also fought, in which the insurgents were routed with the loss of their stores by the king's forces under Sir C. Asgill.

    Petty sessions are held here every alternate Thursday, and road sessions occasionally: the court-house was lately erected by Mr. Kavanagh. This is a chief constabulary police station ; and there is a small barrack for the accommodation of about 30 men, Fairs for cattle, sheep, pigs, &c., are held on Jan. 1st, Feb, 5th,May 1st, July 2nd, Aug. 15th, Oct. 4th, and Nov, 14th, and four more fairs have been lately obtained; that in July is a considerable fair for wool. Attached to Borris House is a very handsome private chapel, erected by the late Mr. Kavanagh, and open to the inhabitants.

    In the R. C. divisions this place is the head of a union or district comprising parts of the parishes of Clonagoose, Ullard (county of Kilkenny), St. Mullins, and Ballyellin, and the whole of that of Kiltennel : the parochial chapel is a handsome edifice, lately built at an expense of £2000.

    There is a school, in which 150 boys and 90 girls are taught: the school-house is a commodious building, erected and fitted up by local contributions amounting to £274.5 shillings and 6 pence, and a grant or £97. 5shillings and 6 pence from the National Board.

    A dispensary is maintained in the customary manner; an there is an institution called the Borris Benevolent Society, established about eight years, to which the payment of one shilling monthly entitles each member in case or sickness, to a weekly allowance of 5 shillings for the first three months, and or 2 shillings 6 pence afterwards so long as he shall continue sick.

    At Borris House is preserved the "Figeen," a curious ornament of silver and tin found on the demesne ; and an ancient horn and a casket, called the Liath-Mersicith, esteemed among the most valuable curiosities in the museum or Trinity College Dublin, are relics which formerly belonged to the Kavanaghs.
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