Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.

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    DUNLECKNEY, a parish, in the barony of IDRONE EAST, county of CARLOW, and province of LEINSTER, on the road from Carlow(town)to Burris; containing, with the post town of Bagenalstown, 4217 inhabitants.

    This place, which is situated on the river Barrow, was anciently the seat of the Kavanaghs, Kings of Leinster; and in 1300 a preceptory of Knights Templars was founded here, which continued only till 1308, when it was suppressed. It was also the residence of the Bagenal family from the 16th to the 18th century, and is at present the property of Walter Newton, Esq. In 1545, a battle took place at Ballynakill, near Garry hill, in this parish, beteen the Kavanaghs of the latter place and those of Polmonty, in which, after 100 on each side were slain, the former were victorious and secured possession of the territory which was the object of their contention.

    The parish comprises 7751 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; the land is good and the system of agriculture in an improved state. Limestone abounds and is quarried for agricultural purposes, and there are quarries of fine granite, which is used for building: the Barrow is navigable to Waterford.

    The principal seats are Dunleckney, that of W. Newton, Esq.; Bagenalstown House, of Miss Newton; Garry Hill House, of Viscount Duncannon ; the Lodge, of Mrs. Weld; Rathwade House, of B. B. Norton, Esq.; Lodge Mills, of S. Crosthwaite, Esq.; and Clonburrin, of W. B. Cooke, Esq.

    The manufacture of starch is carried on, and there is an extensive malting concern in the parish belonging to Mr Crosthwaite; fairs and petty sessions are held at Bagenalstown.

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Leighlin, united in 1795 to that of Agha, and in the patronage of A. Weldon, Esq., who is impropriator of the rectory. The tithes amount to £830.15.4 1/2 , of which £553.16.11, is payable to the impropriator, and £276. 18.5 1/2 ) the vicar; and the vicarial tithes of the union, to £415.7. 8 1/4 .

    The glebe-house is a neat residence; the glebe comprises 10 acres. The church is a small edifice, and has been recently repaired.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a union or district called Bagenalstown, comprising also part of the parishes of Agha, Fenagh, and Slyguff. The chapel, a handsome edifice lately erected at an expense of £2000, is situated at Bagenalstown; and there are chapels also at Newtown and Ballinkillen, and places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists and Walkerites.

    The parochial school-house, a neat building in the Grecian style, is in Bagenalstown, where also is a handsome court-house in the same style, lately erected at the expense of Philip Bagenal, Esq., in which quarter sessions are held at the usual periods. Besides the parochial school, there are two private schools in the town.

    The side walls and gables of the old parish church are still remaining in the churchyard; the interior was lighted by narrow lancet-shaped windows. At Ballymoon are the ruins of the castle of the preceptory of the Knights Templars; the walls, which are 8 feet in thickness and 30 in height, enclose a square of 130 feet, flanked by four square towers, and having a gateway entrance on the west side.