Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Mayo

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. Mayo.

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    BURRISHOOLE, a parish in the barony of BURRISHOOLE, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, containing, with the market and post town of Newport-Pratt, 11,761 inhabitants.

    This place from a bull of Pope Innocent VIII, dated February 9th 1486, appears to have been distinguished as the seat of a monastery for friars of the Dominican order, founded by Richard de Bourke, Lord Mac William Oughter, head of the Turlough family, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The monastery was granted to Nicholas Weston, who assigned it to Theobald, Viscount Costello-Gallen; there are still some remains.

    The parish is situated on the north-east shore of Clew Bay and on the high road from Castlebar to Achill island : it comprises 12,550 statute acres as applotted under the tithe act. The lands are chiefly under tillage; and many of the islands in Clew Bay, which are within the parish, afford good pasturage for sheep. There is a large tract of mountain and bog, about two-thirds of which are reclaimable. Salt works were formerly carried on here. The principal inhabited islands are Mynishmore, Inish-na-Crusha, Inish-Cougha, Inishurken, Inishtubride and Inishturk. There are two large lakes in the parish called Lough Feagh and Lough Furnace; and on the narrow neck of land between these are the ruins of an old smelting furnace; there is also another at the old abbey. The river of Burrishoole, on which is an excellent salmon fishery, has its source in these lakes.

    The principal seats are Newport House, that of Sir R. Annesley O'Donell, Bart.; Newfield of J. McLoughlin, Esq.; Seamount, of Connell O'Donnell, Esq.; Tymore of J. T.S. Stuart, Esq.; Newfort, of J. Hilles, Esq.; and Abbeyville, of J. McDonnell, Esq.

    The living is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Tuam, and in the patronage of the Archbishop; the tithes amount to £350. The church is a neat plain edifice, for the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £338 9s. 3d. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £400 and a loan of £360, in 1819, from the late Board of First Fruits: the glebe comprises 51a. 3r. 26p.

    The R.C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and contains two chapels, one at Newport-Pratt and the other at Newfield, both good slated buildings.

    There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists, open each alternate Wednesday and Friday; and a Presbyterian Minister attends occasionally and performs divine service in the parish school-house.

    There are 12 public schools in the parish; that at Trienbeg is aided by an annual donation from the Marquess of Sligo, and a school house at Newport-Pratt was erected at the expense of the Rev. Jas. Hughes, P.P. In these schools are about 1300 children; and in a hedge school at Carrig-a-neady are about 20 children.

    There are the remains of a castle, formerly belonging to the O'Malley family; also several druidical caves, many of which contain large rooms arched over with flags.

    A patron is held here on St. Dominick's Day, the 4th of August.