The History of the Queen’s County: Bordwell

Extract\’s from \’The History of the Queen\’s county\’
Parish of Bordwell

At the present time, the parish of Bordwell – or, as sometimes written, Boardwell – is situated, in part, in the barony of Clandonagh, but chiefly in that of Clarmallagh.

The land within this parish is generally of a good description. There is a small tract of bog, and limestone abounds. The road from Durrow to Donaghmore, and that from Mountrath to Rathdowney, intersect each other in the interior. Towards the south-east lies Lough Grantstown, near which is the handsome mansion called Grantstown House, within a fine demesne, and ornamental grounds. This is the seat of the Earl of Ossory.

A church in ruins is on the townland of Bordwell Big, as distinguished from Bordwell Little. The remains are to be seen there, within an ancient graveyard. This is now enclosed; but while the upper portion of the old church is greatly levelled, its dimensions may be traced, and its plan is still recognisable. In 1657, it is reported, that Bordwell – in Upper Ossory- was worth £16 per annum in 1640 ; and that it had 80 acres and 148 perches of glebe. The Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, was then patron. In 1831, the population was 869. In 1834, the Protestant inhabitants numbered only 49, while the Roman Catholics were 842. In 1837, this parish was a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, the Protestant Bishop being the patron, and the tithes amounting to £137 10s. As applotted under the Tithe Act, it was held to contain 2,549 statute acres. (Lewis, vol. I., p. 216). There was neither glebe house nor glebe at that time. At Grantstown and Kilbredy are the ruins of old castles. There is a roomy Roman Catholic Chapel to accommodate the inhabitants of that district in the union of Aghavoe. In 1841, the population of Bordwell parish was 9,57, in 157 houses.