Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Waterford

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. Waterford.

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    CLONEGAM, a parish, in the barony of UPPER-THIRD, county of WATERFORD, and province of MUNSTER, 4.50 miles (S. E. by S.) from Carrick-on-Suir ; containing 2220 inhabitants.

    This parish, which is situated near the river Suir, comprises 4800 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and is chiefly demesne land attached to Curraghmore, the splendid seat of the Marquess of Waterford. The ancient castle of Curraghmore, which now forms part of the present mansion was attacked by Cromwell in his retreat from Waterford in 1649, and surrendered on honourable terms. Curraghmore is situated about two miles south of the river Suir, and in the vale of the Clodagh, a small stream to descends from the mountains; and is approached between two extensive ranges of offices connected by the ancient castle front, on the parapet of which is a large figure of a stag, the crest of the Beresford family. The ancient castle has been in the lower part converted into a magnificent hall, and in the upper into a stated and superb apartment, called the castle room. In the rear of it is the more modern and spacious mansion erected by the great-grandfather of the present marqess, commanding a rich and extensive view, in the foreground of which, at the extremity of the town, is large artificial lake ; and in the distance, the stupendous and rugged mountains of Moanewollagh. The private pleasure grounds between the house and the river Clodagh are extensive and beautifully laid out ; and a broad gravel walk leading from them is continued along the bank of the river, to which the gardens extend. The demesne, which comprises 4000 acres, is richly ornamented with stately timber in such profusion, as in some parts to form woods of very great extent and luxuries growth. This magnificent seat is pre-eminently distinguished for the natural grandeur of its scenes diversified with lofty hills, rich vales, and dense woods combining every variety of rural beauty with feature of romantic and picturesque character. The other seats are Rocketts Castle, the residence of the Rev. J. T. Medlycott ; Mayfield, of J. Malcomson, Esq. ; Milford, of A. Labertouche, Esq. ; and Mount Bolton, of J. Bolton, Esq.

    The river Clodagh, which separate the parish from those of Kilmeadon and Guilcagh, is navigable for boats of any size for three miles from its junction with the river Suir, and at a short distance from Curraghmore forms a considerable picturesque water fall and salmon leap.

    The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Lismore episcopally united, in 1801, to that of Newtown-Lennan, together forming the union of Clonegam, in the patronage of the Crown : the tithes of the parish amount to £300 and the entire tithes of the benefice to £741. 9s. 5d. There is neither glebe-house nor glebe The church, situated on the side of a hill, was rebuilt by the grandfather of the present marquess, in 1794 : it is an elegant small edifice ; the windows are of stained glass, and the west window is particularly fine representing in its various compartments some of the most interesting subjects of sacred history. The church yard is the burial-place of this noble family; and on the summit of the hill above the church is a round tower, erected by the grandfather of the present marquess, in memory of his eldest son, who was killed a the age of thirteen : it was intended to raise it to the height of 120 feet, but it was left unfinished at an elevation of 70 feet. Near the tower lies the great west window of the old cathedral of Waterford which it was intended to incorporate in an artificial ecclesiastic ruin, to form a characteristic group with the round tower.

    In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part the union or district of Carrick-on-Suir.

    At the gate house of Curraghmore is a handsome modern building, erected by the Marchioness of Waterford as a school for the children of the neighbouring peasantry and supported by the Marquess ; there is a school established and partly supported by Messrs. Malcomson, in which there are 60 boys and 20 girls ; and there are two private schools, in which are about 90 boys and 30 girls. On an eminence commanding. a fine view of the Earl of Besorough's improvements, on the opposite side of the river Suir, is an erect stone of large dimensions concerning which many strange traditions are prevalent in the neighbourhood ; and about 40 yards distant are three subterranean apartments, which were discovered in 1810.