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. Wicklow.
ContentDONARD, a, parish, in the barony of LOWER TALBOTSTOWN, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 4.50 miles (E. by S.) from Dunlavin; containing, with the ancient chapelry of Dunbey, 1463 inhabitants, of which number, 717 are in the village.
According to Archdall, St. Silvester, who accompanied St. Palladium into Ireland about the year 430, presided over a church here, in which he was interred and his relics were honoured, until they were removed to the monastery of St. Baithen, or Innisboyne. During the disturbances of 1798, the village was burnt by the insurgents, the inhabitants having been driven to seek refuge in Dunlavin : the church was garrisoned by the yeomanry, on this occasion, which greatly injured it, and it has since become dilapidated. The parish is situated on the Little Slaney river, about a mile to the east of the main road from Dublin to Baltinglass and Tullow, and the road from Hollywood to Hacketstown runs through the village. The surrounding scenery is of a strikingly bold and romantic character. A market and two fairs were formerly held here by patent, but both have been discontinued, though a pleasure fair is yet held on the 15th of Aug. This a constabulary police station.
Donard House is the residence of Mrs. Heighington.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, episcopally united, about 30 years since, to the curacy of Crehelp and the ancient chapels of Dunbar, together forming the union of Donard, in the patronage of the Archbishop. The tithes amount to £220, and of the entire benefice, to £307. 3s. 7d. There is neither glebe-house nor glebe. The church is in the later style of architecture, with a square tower surmounted with pinnacles ; the interior is very neatly fitted up, and on the north side there is a handsome white marble tablet to the memory of Charles Fauscett, Esq., who died in 1834 : it was built on a new site in 1835, by aid of a grant of £850 by the late Board of First Fruits.
In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Dunlavin : there is a chapel in the village.
The parochial school is aided by an annual donation from the vicar ; and an infants' school for foundlings sent from the Foundling Hospital, Dublin, is supported by that institution. In these schools about 150 children are taught; and there is also a Sunday school.
The remains of the church over which St. Silvester presided are on the summit of the mountain called Slieve Gadoe, or the Church-mountain, more than 2000 feet above the level of the sea, being the highest of the group that separates the Kings river from the Glen of Imail ; it is the resort of numerous pilgrims, who are attracted by the supposed sanctity of a well close by the wails, the water of which, notwithstanding its great height, continues without any sensible increase or decrease throughout the year. Near the village is a, moated rath, or Danish fort, and on the townland of Kilcough is another.