Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Sligo

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. Sligo.

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    KILFREE, a parish, in the half-barony of COOLAVIN, county of SLIGO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 6 miles (W.) from Boyle (Co. Roscommon), on the road from that place to Ballina (county Mayo); containing 5103 inhabitants.

    The soil is good, the land principally in tillage, and there is abundance of turf and limestone. It is a constabulary police station, and a manorial court is held occasionally.

    The principal seats are Kilfree, the residence of E. Costello, Esq.; Mount Irwin, of W. T. Sherlock, Esq.; and Red Hill of A. Baker, Esq.

    It is a vicarage in the diocese of Achonry, forming part of the union of Killaraght; the rectory is impropriate in Viscount Lorton, and the tithes amount to £287 0s. 8d., which is equally divided between the impropriator and the vicar. The church is a plain building, with a square tower, erected in 1826, for which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £600.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions it is the head of a union or district called Gurteen, which comprises this parish and Killaraght, and has a large chapel in Gurteen built in 1829 and one in Killaraght.

    About 50 children are educated in a public and 260 in eight private schools.

    A friary was erected at Knockmore in the 14th century by O'Gara, of which the doorways and windows are in good preservation, and it is still a favourite burial place. Here are also the ruins of Gara castle, the residence of that O'Gara who had the Psalter of Ballymote written, and whose descendant Col. O'Gara left Ireland after the Battle of Aughrim, having forfeited his possessions, and entered the Austrian service.