Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Galway

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Galway.

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    KILMACDUAGH, a parish, and the seat of a diocese, in the barony of KILTARTAN county of GALWAY, and province of CONNAUGHT, at the junction of the roads from Ennis to Galway city and Ballinasloe ; containing, with part of the post-town of Gort, 3770 inhabitants.

    The parish comprises 6015 statute acres, of which about 600 are waste and exhausted bog, and the remainder in a tolerable state of cultivation ; from the exhausted state of the bogs, fuel is scarce.

    The living is a vicarage, episcopally united from time immemorial to the vicarage of Kilbeaconty and the rectory of Kiltarton, together constituting the union and corps of the deanery of Kilmacduagh, in the patronage of the Crown ; the rectory is appropriate to the treasurership and precentorship of the cathedral church of St. Colman. The tithes amount to £222. 6s. 2d., of which £70 is payable to the treasurer, £60 to the precentor, and £92. 6s. 2d., to the dean; the gross annual value of the deanery, including tithes and glebe, is £452. 13s. 10.50d. The church, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £1400, in 1814, is handsome modern edifice in Gort. The same Board in 1812. contributed a gift of £300 and a loan of £500 towards the erection of the deanery-house: the glebe of the union comprises 4.50 acres.

    The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and has two chapels, one at Gort, a large slated building, and one of smaller dimensions at Taernevin, which is a plain thatched building.

    There are four private schools, in which are about 220 children. Some remains of the monastery built on the site of the ancient abbey founded by St. Colman yet exist to the north-west of the cathedral, and are situated on a neck of land between two loughs : they consist chiefly of the church, which, though small, appears to have been of very elegant design ; to the south of the church is the sacristy, and adjoining it is an arched room in which probably were deposited the valuable effects belonging to the establishment, and to the south of these are the chapel an refectory. To the north, about two feet from the church, is an old wall, which, according to tradition, belonged to a place for penance ; and near it is a holy well, with a circular enclosure. Near the site of the church is an ancient round tower, which declines about 17 feet from the perpendicular.

    In a lake in the parish called Lough Deehan, the waters having sunk very low in the year 1784 or 1785, a house was discovered in the at the bottom, formed of oak timber of great thickness, the sides and roof of which were formed of wattle-work of the same substance; it appeared as if intended to float, and the timber of which it was constructed was perfectly sound.