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
  • County
  • Parish
    Coolbanagher & Rosenallis
  • Content
    Mountmellick, a market and post town, partly in the parish of Coolbanagher, barony of Portnehinch, but chiefly in that of Rosenallis, barony of Tinnehinch, Queen's county(Laois/Leix), and province of Leinster, 5 miles (N.W.) from Maryborough (Portlaoise), and 40 (W.S.W.) from Dublin, on the road from Portarlington to Clonaslee; containing 4,577 inhabitants. This town, which is nearly encircled by the small river Owenas or Onas, was anciently called Moun-cha-Meelick, signifying the "green island". It consists of one principle with some smaller streets, and in 1831 contained 700 houses, many of which are very neat and some elegant buildings; from the extent of its trade and manufactures it ranks as the chief town in the county. The weaving of cotton is carried on very extensively, and affords employment to about 2000 persons in the town and neighbourhood; the manufacture of woollen stuffs and coarse woollen cloths also is conducted on a very extensive scale by the Mssrs. Milner & Sons who have lately erected very spacious buildings adjoining the town for spinning and weaving, in which nearly the same number of persons are employed. In 1834 Mssrs. J and D. Roberts from Anglesea, established an iron and brass foundry here, on an extensive scale, for the manufacture of steam and locomotive engines and machinery in general, in which about 40 persons are employed. There are also an extensive manufactory of bits and stirrups, a tan yard, three breweries, a flour mill, two soap manufactories, a distillery making about 120,000 gallons of whiskey annually, and some long established potteries for tiles and coarser kinds of earthenware. A branch of the Grand Canal, which has been brought to the town from Monasterevan(Co. Kildare) has greatly promoted its trade in corn, butter and general merchandise is rapidly increasing. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday; fair days for cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs are held on Feb 1st, March 17th, May 1st, 2nd, Thursday after trinity Sunday, July 20th, 26th, Sept 29th, Nov 1st. and Dec 11th. A chief constabulary force is stationed in the town, and there are subordinate stations at Clonaslee, Kilcabin and Rosenallis. By a recent Act of parliament, quarterly sessions are held here in April and October; and sessions are held by rotation weekly at Mount Melick, Ballymachugh and Ballyjamesduff. A new courthouse is about to be erected in progress from the Church square to Irishtown. A branch of the Bank of Ireland was opened here. Here is a chapel of ease to the parish of Rosenallis, a handsome edifice, lately repaired by a grant of £110 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In the Roman Catholic Divisions this place is the head of the union or district of Mount Mellick and Castlebrack, comprising parts of the parish of Rosenallis, Castlebrack and Coolbanagher, and containing the chapels at Mount Mellick and Castlebrack, the former is a spacious structure. There are also in the town places for worship for the Society of Friends and the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. A parochial school of the Leinster Society of Friends was established here in 1788; there are also a school in connection with the church, a national school and a dispensary and a Temperance Society has been formed. There is a chalybeate spring at Derryguile.