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
    Killeshin
  • County
    Laois
  • Parish
    Killeshin
  • Content
    KILLESHIN, A parish, in the barony of Slievemargue, Queen's county, and province of Leinster, containing with a part of the suburbs of Carlow called Graigue, 5152 inhabitants, It comprises 10,529 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £7765 per annum; and with the exception of about 40 acres of woodland and 200 of bog, consists of arable pastureland; the agriculture is good; and the mountains which rise 1000 feet above the river Barrow are cultivated to their summits. Sandstone and limestone are found here, and extensive collieries are worked by H. Fitzmarice Esq. They were formerly smelting furnaces which were discontinued for want of fuel. The principal seats are: Springhill: the residence of ???? Laforell Esq., Ardcleagh: of H. Fitzmaurice Esq., The living is a rectory and a vicarage, in the Diocese of Leighlin; the rectory is in the patronage of the Crown and the vicarage in that of the Bishop, but the ??? are held by one incumbant; the tithes amount to £461.10s.9 1/4d. The Church is modern and has an arched stone roof like St. Kieran's chapel at Glenda Lough's and those of St. Cormac at Cashel and St. Donolough near Dublin; the Ecclesiastical Comissioners have lately granted £131 for its repair. In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish is the head of a union or district comprising also the parish of Slatey, and has chapels at Graigue and Killeshin, the latter of which stands on an artificial mound and has octagon towers at the corners. About 270 children are educated in three public schools and about 150 in six private schools. Here there is a very strong chalybeate spring which was formerly in high repute. The ruins of the ancient parish church have an ornamented entrance, which is encircled with an illegible Inscription in ancient Irish Characters; and near it is the site of an ancient round tower, also the remarkable "Cut of Killeshin", which is a pass on the road from Carlow to the collieries, carried through a lofty hill for more than half a mile, and from 10 to ??? feet deep and 21 feet wide. Within the parish are some ruins which seem to be the foundations of the public buildings of an ancient town. At Old Derig was the residence of Dr. James Doyle, R.C. Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin where his letters signed J.K.L. were written.
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