Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Laois

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. Laois.

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    CLONASLEE, an ecclesiastical district, in the barony of TINNEHINCH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 7 1/4 miles (W.N.W.) from Mountmellick, and 47 3/4 (W.S.W.) from Dublin city; containing 514 inhabitants, and in the village 79 houses. This place is situated on the river Barradois, over which is a good bridge, and has a penny post to Mountmellick. There is a boulting-mill in the parish, and fairs are held on May 3rd and Nov. 7th, and petty sessions weekly. Adjoining the village is the fine denesne of Brittas, the property of Gen. Dunne. The district was formerly part of the parish of Kilmanman, in the union of Rosenallis, from which it was separated some years since and erected into a district parish. It is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Kildare, and in the patronage of the Incumbent of Rosinallis. The church is a handsome edifice, with a well-proportioned spire, erected in 1814, under the direction and auspices of Gen. Dunne, aided by a gift of £800 and a loan of £300 from the late Board of First Fruits, and for the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £377 5s. 6d. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £450 and a loan of £50 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1830. In the Roman Catholic divisions it is the head of a union or district, comprising also parts of the parishes of Rery and Kilmanman; the chapel is a spacious building. There is a parochial school, and also a school in connection with the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity; the school-house, a large slated building, was erected at an expense of £300. At Clara Hill, about a mile from the village, are the ruins of an old castle, which was formerly the residence of a younger branch of the Dunne family; and near the east bank of the Barradois or Clodiagh river are the ruins of a castle, called Ballinakill, built in 1680 by Col. Dunne. To the south of this is Coolamona, once a place of considerable strength, forming an outpost of Tinnehinch, but now nearly demolished. In the neighbourhood are some raths, in one of which was found, in 1734, a rude kistvaen of unhewn flags, covered by a tumulus of earth and stones.