Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Westmeath

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. Westmeath.

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    CLONFAD, or CLONFADFORAN, a parish, in the barony of FARTULLAGH, county of WESTMEATH, and provence of LEINSTER; containing, with part of the post-town of Tyrrell's-pass, 1369 inhabitants.

    This parish is situated on the road from Mullingar to Tyrrel's Pass, and is intersected in the southern part by the mail coach road from Dublin to Athlone. It comprises 3264 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which about one-fifth is land of the best, three-fifths of middling, and the remainder of very inferior, quality. The land is principally in pasture ; the soil is light, and the substratum generally limestone, of which there are quarries at Calverstown ; and at Gnewbaron Hill, part of which is in this parish, is a fine quarry of grey limestone, which bears a high polish and is manufactured into handsome mantel-pieces : lime is the principal manure.

    The gentlemen's seats are Calverstown, the residence of J. Hornridge, Esq. ; Guilford, of F. Usher, Esq. ; Templeoran, of Mrs. Johnson ; Newcastle, of C. Coffey, Esq. ; and Dalystown, of C. Pilkington, Esq.

    The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to £156. 18s. 5.50d. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £400 and a loan of £300 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1810 : the glebe comprises 20 acres. The church is a handsome edifice in the later English style, with a tower surmounted by a well-proportioned spire, and is situated at Tyrrell's-pass ; the late Board of First Fruits lent £250, in 1828, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £147 towards its repair.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Fartallagh or Rochford-Bridge; the chapel is a plain edifice, situated at Meedeen. The parochial school-house was built at an expense of £400, of which £240 was given by the Countess of Belvedere, £112 from the lord-lieutenant's fund, and £48 by the rector, who allows the master an annual donation ; in this school about 70 boys and 70 girls are instructed ; and there is a pay school at Meedeen, in which are about 20 boys and 10 girls. There are some remains of an old church in the village of Clonfad ; and at Newcastle are the ruins of an old fortification, said to have belonged to the Tyrrells.