Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentBRIGOWN, a parish, in the barony of CONDONS & CLONGIBBONS, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, on the road from Fermoy to Cahir (Co. Tipperary) containing with the market and post town of Mitchelstown, 9169 inhabitants.
It comprises 14,502 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £12,101 per annum; 104 acres are woodland, 2726 mountains and bog, 83 roads and waste, and the remainder good arable and pasture land, principally under tillage. The soil is mostly a heavy loam; and the system of agriculture is in a state of progressive improvement. Limestone abounds in the parish: on the lands of Kilshanna are some fine quarries, which are worked for various purposes; some of this stone is susceptible of a high polish, and several handsome mantle pieces have been made of it for Mitchelstown Castle, the spacious and superb castellated mansion of the Earl of Kingston, which adjoins Mitchelstown. A new line of road between Mitchelstown and Lismore was opened in 1835, at the expense of the county.
Ballinvillin, the property of the Earl of Kingston, and occassionaly the residence of his Lordship's agent, is pleasantly situated near the river Gradogue, commanding a fine view of the castle and demesne. The glebe-house, the residence of Rev. R. H. Graves, D.D., is a handsome and commodious mansion, situated on a gentle eminence near the town.
The living is a rectory in the diocese of Cloyne, constituting the corps of the prebend of Brigown in the cathedral of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £1000. The church was originally built in 1801 at the sole expense of the late Countess of Kingston; it fell down in the year following and was rebuilt by her ladyship in 1803; it again fell down in 1804, and was rebuilt in the following year. It was enlarged in 1830, by aid of a loan of £1300 from the late Board of First Fruits, and a gift of £500 from the Earl of Kingston towards the erection of the tower and spire, which are much admired for their beautiful proportions and elegant design. The glebe house was completed by a gift of £100 and a loan of £1000 in 1807, from the same Board, in addition to an outlay of £1300 by the then incumbent, chargeable on his successor. The original glebe comprised 9 Irish acres, to which 12 more were added, under a lease for ever from the late Countess of Kingston, at a rent of £4 4s. per acre.
In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, which is also called Mitchelstown, and comprises the parishes of Brigown and Marshaltown, and the hamlet of Ballinamona, in the parish of Kilbehenny. The chapel a spacious and handsome cruciform structure, is situated in the town; the first stone was laid by the Earl of Kingston, who contributed £500 towards the expense of its erection.
The parochial school occupies a site given by the noble family of King; and was built in 1827 by a grant from the lord-lieutenant's school fund. All children that apply for instruction are taught gratuitously without distinction of religion; the master and mistress are supported by annual donations of £25 from that family and £15 from the rector who also supplies coal and other requisites. A school kept in the old R.C. chapel is aided by a grant of £30 per annum from the National Board and collections at the chapel. In these are about 500 children; and there are also five pay schools, in which are about 190 children.
The late Robert Crone, Esq., bequeathed £15 per annum to be distributed by the rector among the poor of the parish.
On the lands of Kilshanna is a chalybeate spring, but not used for medicinal purposes.
The college chapel is the burial place of the Kingston family. The ruins of the old parish church are situated in the Mitchelstown demesne; and there are vestiges of a more ancient one near the glebe, said to have been founded by St. Finnahan. Here was also an ancient round tower, which is supposed to have fallen about the year 1720.
They were known as the Ascendancy, the dashing aristocratic elite that controlled Irish politics and society at the end of the eighteenth century - and at their pinnacle stood Caroline and Robert King, Lord and Lady Kingsborough of Mitchelstown Castle.