Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Cork

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Cork.

  • Place
    Castletown
  • County
    Cork
  • Parish
    Kilaconenagh
  • Content
    CASTLETOWN, or CASTLETOWN-BEARHAVEN a post-town, in the parish of KILACONENAGH, barony of BERE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 31 miles (W.) from Bantry, and 202 (S. W.) from Dublin ; containing 1468 inhabitants.

    This town takes its name from an ancient castle that stood here, and is celebrated as being the place where the only part of Gen. Hoche's army that landed was made prisoners, in 1796. It is situated on an inner bay, on the northern side of the harbour of Bearhaven, and comprises one long street of newly built houses, running along the margin of the bay of Castletown, opposite the north-western point of Bear island. The town has grown up since the discovery of the Allihais copper mines, in 1812, as, prior to that time, it consisted of only a few fishermen's cabins but now it contains more than 300 houses, with several large shops, and is rapidly increasing.

    It is the only town in the barony, and there is none nearer than Bantry, which is 31 Irish miles distant. It is encircled by lofty mountains, except towards the south-east, where, on the opposite side of the bay rise the lofty hills of Bear island, crowned by signal and martello towers. The trade consists principally in supplying the miners in Kilcateerin. Fairs are held on Jan. 1st, Easter-Tuesday, May l2th, and Sept. 4th, principally for the sale of cattle, pigs, sheep, and pedlery.

    A constabulary police force has been stationed here, for which there is an excellent barrack. It is also the residence of the district inspecting commander of the coast-guard, whose district includes Garnish, Colaris, and Castletown.

    Petty sessions are held irregularly, and a manorial court once a month, for the recovery of debts under 40s. A bridewell with separate cells has been recently erected for the temporary confinement of prisoners. The little bay of Castletown is advantageously situated, and vessels of 400 tons' burden may anchor in safety: it opens by a deep channel into the northern branch of Bantry or Bearhaven bay. The pier affords great protection to the fisheries, and is much used for trading purposes; the timber, iron, and other articles for the supply of the neighbourhood being landed here; but the roads connected with it are still in a bad state. Belonging to this port are four decked boats of 20 tons' burden each, 12 hookers of 12 tons, and 51 yawls of 4 ton, which furnish employment to about 400 fishermen.

    A little westward from the town is the church of Kilaconenagh; and there is a large cruciform Roman Catholic chapel, built in the year 1822, at an expense of £1000.

    The male and female parochial schools, built in 1825 are supported by the Cork Diocesan Association and the vicar: there is also a large national school recently built, and a dispensary.

    There are some remains of Dhermod's castle, and the residence of the inspector of the coast-guard occupies part of its site. Many silver coins have been found at Ross M'Owen, including one of Cromwells; and near Mill cove is a very beautiful cascade.

    The harbour of Bearhaven is very large, well sheltered, and sufficiently deep for the largest ships, with a good bottom. There are two entrances; the western, which is the most direct and readiest for vessels arriving from the west or south; and the eastern, which is the safest for strangers. On this bay was situated the castle of Dunboy, which was surrendered to the Spaniards, on their invasion of Ireland in 1601 by its owner, Daniel O'Sullivan. Early in the following year, however, when it should have been given up to the English, in execution of the treaty of Kinsale, O'Sullivan, provoked at the capitulation of the Spaniards, and disdaining to acknowledge their right to divest him of his ancient property, took possession of the castle by surprise and seized the arms and ammunition the Spaniards had deposited there. In April, the English army marched against the O'Sullivans to Bantry, where they embarked, and on the 6th of June landed on the opposite side of the bay, in spite of attempts to oppose their descent. Dunboy was defended for O'Sullivan by a garrison of 143 chosen men, under the command of Richard M'Geoghegan, who made one of the most obstinate defences ever known in the kingdom; notwithstanding which the castle ultimately fell into the hands of the English, and was demolished.

    Bearhaven gives the title of Viscount to the ancient family of White, Earls of Bantry, which was ennobled for its zeal and activity against the French fleet, in 1796.
  • Place
    Castletown
  • County
    Limerick
  • Parish
    Castletown
  • Content
    CASTLETOWN, a parish, in the barony of COONAGH, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 7 1/4 miles (N, N.W.) from Tipperary town ; containing 1055 inhabitants.

    This place derives its name from an ancient castle built by one of the O'Hurleys towards the close of the 14th century, and of which there are still some very interesting ruins. The parish is situated on the road from Doon to Tipperary, on the confines of the county, and comprises 6896 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The soil is tolerably fertile and the land chiefly under tillage; there is an extensive tract of very valuable bog, which in some part lets at the high rate of 18sh per perch.

    It is a rectory, in the diocese of Cashel, and is appropriate to the mensal of the Archbishop the tithes amount to £67 2s 10d. There is neither church nor chapel.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions it is part of the union of Doon.

    A little to the south of the castle ruins are the remains of the old parish church, and not far distant are those of the small church of Templebuie.
  • Place
    Castletown
  • County
    Louth
  • Parish
    Castletown
  • Content
    CASTLETOWN, a parish, partly in the barony of LOWER DUNDALK, but chiefly in that of UPPER DUNDALK, county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, 1 mile (N, W.) from Dundalk ; containing 838 inhabitants.

    This place is situated on the bay of Dundalk, and on the roads leading respectively to Castle-Blayney (county Monaghan) and Armagh, which branch off near the village. It derived its name and most probably its origin from the erection of an ancient castle, which in 1318 was assaulted and partly destroyed by Edward Bruce, and which, after sustaining great injury during the parliamentary war, was finally surrendered to Cromwell, The castle occupies an eminence about a mile from Dundalk : the remains, which are nearly in a perfect state, consist of a large quadrangular massive pile, defended at two of the angles by small projecting square towers, and at the two opposite angles by similar towers of larger dimensions, all rising above the high pointed roof of the main building, and crowned with battlements, forming an object of very imposing character. Tradition says that it was a residence of Fingal : it subsequently belonged to the lords Bellew, whom the Boyne family succeeded; and the present proprietor derives his title from a fee farm grant made by Mr. Sibthorpe, trustee to the late Lord Boyne. The buildings are at present occupied only as offices of the modern mansion adjoining, which is the residence of J. Eastwood, Esq., who intends immediately to convert the castle into a residence. Near the demesne is the residence of Jacob C. Murphy, Esq. The parish comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 2610 3/4 statute acres, of which 2047 3/4 are in Upper and 563 in Lower Dundalk.

    The system of agriculture, though better than it was, is still capable of great improvement; the gentlemen who cultivate their own lands have adopted the improved system, but many of the working farmers adhere to ancient mode. There are some good quarries at Greenfield, from which stone is raised for building and mending the roads. The mountain streams of Philipstown, Dungooley, and Forkhill, unite in this parish, a little before their influx into the sea, forming the river of Castletown, up which the tide flows nearly a mile, affording every facility of navigation.

    It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Armagh, and forms part of the union of Dundalk : the tithes amount to £200. 6s. 5 1/4d. In the churchyard are the ruins of an old chapel, which, from an inscription over the altar, appears to have been erected in 1631, by Sir Walter Bellew, Priest, in honour of St. John the Baptist.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions it is part of the union or district of Dundalk.

    A national school has been built in the churchyard, and an infants' school is supported under on the patronage of the rector, M., and Mrs. Eastwood, and Mr. Murphy.

    On the summit of the hill, on the brow of which the castle is situated, is a remarkable fort, forming a conspicuous object from the plains round Dundalk : in the centre is an extensive circular mount, having on the top a depressed surface, 460 feet in circumference, surrounded by an intrenchment with a high counterscarp on the outside. Adjoining this, on the east, is a quadrangular intrenchment, with a rampart, fosse, and counters carp ; and on the west is a semicircular intrenchment similarly formed, but of smaller dimensions. These fortifications occupy the entire summit of the hill, and are prominently conspicuous for many miles around. Various lines of circumvallation may be traced around the castle; and. on the plains below are the remains of a fort, little inferior to that on the summit of the hill, and the ruins of the old church or chapel, covered with ivy and presenting a picturesque object, in the cemetery, which is still used as a burial-ground.

    About a mile from the castle are the ruins of Balrichen castle, within half a mile of which are the remains of a singular fort, called Mount, or Moat Albani, situated near the small river Carrickasticken. The castle of Balrichen, or Balbriggan, which formerly belonged to one of the chiefs of the English pale, is situated on a gradual ascent between two winding rivers : it consisted of a lofty quadrangular tower, with a walled courtyard capable of containing a numerous retinue.

    Beyond this castle is the pleasant little promontory of Balrichen, between the rivers of Balrichen and Philipstown, which unite near this place. Various druidical remains are scattered over this promontory, the chief of which are a circle of five large upright stones on the summit of a hill, a cairn and several pillars, some detached, and some in groups. On an elevated piece of ground, called Carrickedmond, at no great distance from Balrichen, and near the Carrickasticken river, are numerous druidical relics, consisting of a temple of two concentric circles of large stones, with two smaller stones in the centre, two cairns, the foundations of a circular building, several small circles in which rude earthen kistvaens and human bones have been found, and detached upright stones, some of large size and probably monumental.
  • Place
    Castletown
  • County
    Laois
  • Parish
    Offerlane
  • Content
    CASTLETOWN, a village, in the parish of OFFERLANE, barony of UPPER OSSORY, QUEEN’S county, and province of LEINSTER, 1¾ miles (S. by W.) from Mountrath, containing 361 inhabitants. This place takes its name from an ancient castle, occupying a commanding situation on the bank of the river Nore, and which, in the early part of the 16th century, was garrisoned by Sir Oliver Norris, son-in-law of the Earl of Ormonde, with a view to curb the power of the Fitzpatricks, to whom it was afterwards relinquished, and of whom Barnaby Fitzpatrick was, in 1541, created Baron of Upper Ossory. The village is pleasantly situated on the river Nore, and on the road from Dublin to Limerick ; it contains 59 houses, many of which are good residences, and the whole has an appearance of neatness and respectability. Near it are some large flour and oatmeal mills, A fair is held on June 29th; and there were formerly fairs on May 2nd and Oct. 18th. A constabulary police force is stationed here, and petty sessions are held on alternate Saturdays. There is a R. C. chapel in the village.
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