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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    DRUMRANEY, or DRUMRATH, a parish, in the barony of KILKENNY WEST, county of WESTMEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 2.25 miles (W.) from Ballymore, on the road from Athlone to Mullingar ; containing 8494 inhabitants.

    A monastery was founded here in 588, in honour of St. Enan, which was burnt by the Ostmen in 946, and by Brian Mcainneide, in 995. The parish comprises 7290 statute acres, of which about 405 are bog, 3645 arable, and 3240 pasture; agriculture has much improved within the last few years. Limestone abounds, and lead ore is supposed to exist.

    The gentlemen's seats are Dodington House, the residence of R. Jones, Esq.; Walterstown, of George Gray, Esq. ; and Lissenode, of J. Russell, Esq.

    In the hamlet of Walterstown is a constabulary police station;

    The parish is in the diocese of Meath ; the rectory and vicarage form part of the union of Ballyloughloe, the incumbent of which presents to the perpetual curacy of Drumraney. The tithes amount to £290. 15s. 4.50d., payable to the incumbent of the union : the income of the perpetual curate is £100 per annum, of which £60 is paid by the incumbent, and £40 out of Primate Boulter's Augmentation fund. Two townlands, called High and Low Baskin, pay tithes to the parish of Castlelost ; they are impropriate in Lord Kilmaine, and extend over about 100 acres. The glebe-house was erected in 1814, by aid of a gift of £450, and a loan of £50 from the late Board of First Fruits ; the glebe comprises 32 acres. The church, a neat building in good repair, was built in 1811, by aid of a gift of £500 from the same Board.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church : there is a chapel at Drumraney.

    About 100 children are taught in the three public schools in the parish, of which one was built by E. K. Digby, Esq.; and there are three private schools, in which are about 120 children..

    There are several raths ; also remains of old forts and towers at High Baskin, Donomona, and near Dorrington ; and at Killininny, Ballyloughdough, Ardnagard, and Walterstown, are remains of castles, formerly belonging to the Dillons, whose burial-place was anciently at Drumraney. Here is a holy well, dedicated to St. Enan ; his festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Sept. l8th.