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
    Kells
  • County
    Antrim
  • Parish
    Kells
  • Content
    KELLS, a parish, in the barony of LOWER ANTRIM, county of ANTRIM, and province of ULSTER, 5.50 miles (N.) from Antrim town on the road from Ballymena to Randalstown; the population is included in the return for the parish of Connor into which this place (which in the civil divisions is not recognized as a parish) is generally considered to have merged.

    In the early part of the ninth century, a cell existed here on the site of which a priory was erected, some time before the arrival of the English, by O'Brien Carrog, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin; and it existed till 1442, when it was surrendered, with all its possessions. The village has a neat appearance ; it is a constabulary police station, and has a penny-post to Antrim. Fairs are held on Jan. 10th, March 1st, June 10th, and Sept. 12th.

    The parish is in the diocese of Connor, and is wholly impropriate in the Earl of Mountcashel, who allows the incumbent of the adjoining parish of Connor £3 per annum for discharging the clerical duties.
  • Place
    Kells
  • County
    Kilkenny
  • Parish
    Kells
  • Content
    KELLS, a parish, in the barony of KELLS, county of KILKENNY, and province of LEINSTER, 6.25 miles (S. by W.) from Kilkenny city, on the road from that place to Carrick-on-suir ; containing 1658 inhabitants, of which number, 482 are in the village.

    This place, which was formerly of considerable importance, was built by Geoffry FitzRobert, one of Earl Strongbow's followers, for his English companions : he also founded a priory in 1183, which he felled with monks from Bodmin, in Cornwall ; and his sons William and John gave charters to the inhabitants, constituting the place a free borough. The town afterwards passed into the De Birmingham family, and was burnt by William De Birmingham in 1252, during a dispute with the St. Aubans. Edward Bruce occupied it for a short time in 1316, and in 1327 it was again burnt by the De Birminghams. In the early part of the 14th century, the barony was granted to the Poers, and the town was fortified by Sir Eustace le Poer. Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, was slain near this place, in 1398, by the O'Byrnes, whom he bad pursued from their own country near Dublin. The priory, with some of its possessions, was granted at the dissolution to the Earl of Ormonde. The prior was a lord of parliament, and the priory of Tullelash, in the county of Cork, was under his authority. Several towers and part of the walls remain, and there is a large moat, said to have belonged to a college.

    The village, which contains about 70 houses, is a constabulary police station, and has a penny post to Thomastown. A fair is held in it on July 13th. The parish comprises 4384 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act ; there are three large four-mills, worked by water.

    The principal seats are Church View, the residence of T. Izod, Esq., and the glebe-house, of the Rev. C. Darby.

    The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, united by act of council, in 1678, to the rectories and vicarages of Earlstown, Ballytobin, and Mallardstown, and the rectories of Kilree, Stamcarty, and Annamult, and in the alternate patronage of the Bishop and the Marquess of Ormonde, in the latter of whom the rectory is impropriate. The tithes amount to £297. 15s. 9.75d., of which, £198. 10s. 6.50d., is payable to the impropriator, and £99. 5s. 3.25d., to the vicar ; and the gross tithes of the benefice amount to £807. 7s. 10d. The church is an ancient plain structure. The glebe-house is a handsome building ; the glebe lands, in various parts of the union, comprise 54a. 2r. 24p.

    In. the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Callan, but chiefly in that of Danesfort, and has a plain chapel.

    In the parochial school, which is supported by the incumbent, about 20 children are educated, and about 200 in two private schools; there is also a Sunday school.