Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentKILFARBOY, a parish, in the barony of IBRICKANN, county of CLARE, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Ennistymon, on the western coast ; containing, with the post-town of Miltown-Malbay, 6389 inhabitants.
It was anciently called Kilfobrick, from the monastery of that name, founded in 741, of which Cormac, who died in 837, is said to have been bishop, but of which no traces now remain. In the reign of Elizabeth, part of the Spanish Armada was wrecked on this coast, at a place which has since been called "Spanish Point."
The parish comprises 11,637 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, a considerable portion of which consists of mountain pasture and bog ; sea-weed, which abounds, is in general use for manure, but the state of agriculture is rather backward. Mount Callan, which forms a conspicuous land-mark, is chiefly in this parish : in one of its hollows is Loughnamina, noted for its fine trout. Indications of coal and ironstone appear in several places; slate is found at Freagh ; and at Bellard, near Miltown, stone of superior quality is quarried for building. At Freagh is a station of the coast-guard, having also a detachment at Liscannor.
The gentlemen's seats are Miltown House, the residence of T. H. Morony, Esq. ; Merville Lodge, of J. Carroll, Esq. ; Seaview, of F. G. Morony, Esq. ; Westpark, of J. Morony, Esq. ; and Spanish Point, of J. Costello, Esq., M. D. : and there are several neat lodges in the vicinity of Miltown-Malbay for the accommodation of the numerous visitors who frequent that fashionable watering-place during the summer.
The parish is in the diocese of Killaloe : the rectory forms part of the union of Kildysart ; and the vicarage was episcopally united, in 1801, to that of Kilmihill or Kilmichael, together constituting the union of Kilfarboy, in the gift of the Bishop. The tithes amount to £553. 16s. 11d., of which £315 is payable to the rector and the remainder to the vicar ; those of the vicarial union amount to £312. 13s. 10d. The church, at Miltown, is a small plain edifice with a square tower, built in 1802, towards which £500 was granted by the late Board of First Fruits : it is about to be repaired, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners having lately granted £104 for that purpose. The glebe-house was erected in 1813, for which a gift of £337 and a loan of £79 were granted by the late Board : the glebe comprises about eight acres.
In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Miltown, which also comprises the parish of Kilmurry-Ibrickane, and contains two chapels, situated respectively at Miltown and Mullogh : the former is about to be rebuilt on a larger scale.
There are two public schools, one of which is partly supported by the parishioners, and the other by the R. C. clergyman, and in which about 140 children are educated ; there are also five private schools, in which are about 230 children.
On the shores of this parish are several springs of a chalybeate nature, but not much used for medicinal purposes. At Freagh are the ruins of the castle of that name, and there are several ancient raths or forts. At the side of Loughnamina, on Mount Callan, a very large and remarkable sepulchral stone of great antiquity was discovered, about 1784 ; it bears an inscription, in the ancient Ogham character, having the peculiarity of being read in five different ways, to the memory of the chief Conan, whose death is alluded to in one of the legends of the 8th century (ascribed to Ossian), as having taken place the year before the battle of Gabhra, which was fought in 296. From the hard texture of the stone the inscription, when discovered, was perfectly legible. On the south side of the mountain is a large cromlech, or druidical altar, nearly perfect, supposed to have been dedicated to the sun, and popularly called Darby and Grane's Bed; and near it are two smaller ones, and the remains of a stone rath, in which part of a covered way is still visible.