Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Meath.
ContentARDCATH, a parish, in the barony of UPPER DULEEK, county of MEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 6 and 3/4 miles (S. by W.) from Drogheda, on the road from Dublin city to Drogheda; containing 1774 inhabitants.
About one-half is under an improved system of tillage, and the remainder is excellent pasture land; the principal corn crop is wheat. There are about 300 acres of bog, which is being gradually reclaimed and brought into cultivation. On the townland of Cloghan is a quarry of excellent slate, but it has not been worked for some years. The weaving of linen was formerly carried on to a considerable extent: about 200 looms are at present employed in weaving cotton for the Dublin and Drogheda manufacturers; and there are two oatmeal-mills, one worked by wind and the other by water. A fair is held on May 8th principally for cattle.
The parish is in the diocese of Meath; the rectory is impropriate in the Marquess of Drogheda, and the vicarage forms part of the union of Duleek. The tithes amount to £265, of which £195 is payable to the impropriator and £70 to the vicar.
In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a union or district which comprises also the parish of Clonalvy and part of Pierce-town, and contains two chapels, situated respectively at Ardcath and Clonalvy the former is a neat building, erected about 80 years since, and recently much enlarged; the additional part stands upon the glebe land, by permission of the vicar of Duleek.
A school at Cloghantown, of 48 boys and 16 girls, is aided by a donation of £5 per annum from the Rev. M. Langan, P.P. ; and there is an evening pay school at Yellowford. The Rev. John Leonard, late P.P., bequeathed the ground on which the residence of the R. C. clergy-man is built, and fifteen additional acres of land, to be vested in trustees for the use of all future pastors ; £10 per annum for the joint use of the three parishes of the R. C. union, and one ton of oatmeal to be distributed annually in the same district.
The ruins of the ancient church are extensive, but void of interesting details; the belfry remains, and a bell has been preserved in it from time immemorial, at the joint expense of the Protestant and R. C. inhabitants, and is used at funerals, and by the latter to assemble their congregations.