All Lewis entries for Clonfert


More information on Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
Accompanying Lewis map for Cork


CLONFERT, a parish, in the barony of DUHALLOW, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER ; containing, with the post-towns of Kanturk and Newmarket, 14,145 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called "Trinity Christ Church Newmarket," is situated on the rivers Allua and Dallun, which meet at Kanturk, in their course to the Blackwater ; and on the road from Cork, through the Bogra mountains, to Abbeyfeale, in the county of Limerick, and Listowel, in the county of Kerry. It extends 16 Irish miles from north-west to south-east, and contains 64,871 acres, valued for the county cess at £19,677 per annum, About half the parish consists of bog and mountain ; the other half of arable and pasture land of inferior quality. There are extensive beds of culm, some of which, near Newmarket, have been but are not now worked, This district has been much benefited by the road from Cork to Abbeyfeale, which was constructed soon after the distress in 1822 ; and much further benefit would be produced by connecting that road with the new Government road from Roskeen bridge, through King-William's-Town, to Castle Island, by a short road of about five Irish miles, passing the valuable but hitherto isolated, limestone quarry at Tour. This parish comprehends the extensive manor of Newmarket, and portions of those of Kanturk and Castle Mac Auliffe ; the remainder of the latter manor is in Kilmeen, and of Kanturk, in Kilmeen and Kilbrin.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is impropriate in Col. Longfield, of Longueville : the tithes amount to £1163. 1. 6., of which half is paid to the impropriator and half to the vicar. A glebe-house was erected in 1811, near Newmarket, aided by a loan of £1125 from the late Board of First Fruits, but, having become dilapidated, has been taken down : the glebe comprises 9 statute acres, one having been lately annexed to the old burial-ground of Clonfert, by permission of the bishop. The parish church, in the town of Newmarket, is a handsome edifice, in the later style of English architecture, built in 1826, at an expense of £2200, of which £2000 was a loan from the late Board of First Fruits ; it has a square tower, embattled and pinnacled, and surmounted by a lofty spire, the whole formed of hewn limestone, The church at Kanturk, which is annexed to the perpetual cure of that place, is a neat building, with a square tower, embattled and pinnacled. In the R. C. divisions this parish contains two parochial districts, Kanturk and Newmarket, which see. Besides the schools at those places, the Irish Society has four circulating schools in the parish ; and there are several private schools. Of Mac Auliffe's castle, which was situated near Newmarket, and was a chief seat of the sept of that name, only the foundation exists ; but of the castle of Carrigacashel, near Priory, the ruins still remain. There was formerly a castle on the Mount, near Mr. Aldworth's lodge, in Newmarket, and another at Curragh, which also belonged to the Mac Auhiffes ; both have been demolished, and on the site of the latter is a handsome modern house, the residence of Neptune Blood, Esq. In Mr. Aldworth's demesne many trinkets and military implements have been found. Here are some chalybeate springs.


KANTURK, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of KILBRIN, but chiefly in that of CLONFERT, barony of DUHALLOW, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 27- miles (N. W.) from Cork, on the Bogra road to Abbeyfeale, and 13l- miles (S.W.) from Dublin, containing 1349 inhabitants. This place formerly belonged to the McCarthys, kings of Desmond. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Mac Donogh Carthy commenced the erection of a splendid and extensive mansion in the castellated style, about a mile south of the town (now called Kanturk Castle), but it having been represented to the government as a regular fortress, its progress was stayed, and it has never been completed. These possessions were subsequently mortgaged by Dermod Mac Owen Carthy to Sir Philip Perceval, by whom they were held as security in 1641, when the proprietor was in actual rebellion; and in 1666 the Court of Claims decided that, as Sir Philip had advanced more than the value of the estate, his grandson, Sir Philip Perceval, was legally entitled, and he accordingly passed patent for the same in 1667. Kanturk Castle, although not actually within the parish in which the town is situated, is deserving of some notice from its name, and also from its connection with the founder of Kanturk. It is situated in the vicinity of the mountains and the river Blackwater, and occupies the four sides of a quadrangle, 120 feet in length by 80 feet in breadth, being three stories high, and flanked at each angle by a square tower of four stories, having three windows in each story in the central portion; the quoins, mouldings, beltings, and other ornamental parts are of hewn stone. The battlements, if ever carried up, have fallen down; and the additional story mentioned by Smith, in his history of Cork, is only apparent on one side, where it forms the under-ground or cellar-floor. The town is pleasantly situated at the confluence of the rivers Allua and Dallua, which here flow through a fine open valley in the midst of gently rising hills, and the vicinity is studded with comfortable farm-houses and young plantations. Each river is crossed by a good stone bridge; that over the Allua consisting of six, and that on the Dallua of five, segmental arches. It is irregularly built, consisting of several short streets chiefly diverging from the centre; and in 1831 contained 238 houses, many of which have been lately rebuilt, and a new street has been formed between the two rivers, terminating towards the north by a commodious hotel surrounded by a thriving plantation. These and other improvements have been effected under the auspices of the Earl of Egmont, the proprietor of the greater part of the town, which is considered extremely healthy as a place of residence, and is well supplied with water. A news-room is supported by subscription. Public cars from Tralee and Abbeyfeale to Cork pass through the town, and a car goes direct thence to Cork. The market is on Saturday, and is abundantly supplied with all kinds of provisions, and from Christmas to Easter with corn, pigs, and sheep; and fairs for cattle and general farming stock are held on March 17th, May 4th, July 4th, Sept. 29th, Nov. 3rd, and Dec. 11th. A small brewery has been lately established in the town; and in the immediate vicinity, on the river Dallua, are the extensive boulting-mills of Dr. Barry, a portion of the produce of which, and of another on a smaller scale near the Castle, is sent to Cork, where it is shipped for England: the former of these mills is capable of manufacturing 12,000 bags of flour annually, and has proved of great advantage to the neighbouring farmers, by affording them a ready market for their corn, which previously they were under the necessity of sending to Cork. Quarter sessions for the East Riding are held here in June; petty sessions are held every Saturday; and a court for the manor of Kanturk is held by the seneschal, once in three weeks, in which debts not exceeding 40s. late currency are recoverable. The sessions-house and bridewell are substantial and commodious buildings: the former has a handsome front of hewn stone, consisting of a pediment supported by broad pilasters, with a Venetian window between them; the latter is on a large scale, consisting of several wards, and having separate day-rooms and yards adapted for the proper classification of the male and female prisoners. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town.

The district of Kanturk was formed out of the parish of Clonfert, and is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Cloyne, and in the gift of the Bishop: the curate's stipend is £150, payable in equal portions by the impropriator, the rector, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The glebe-house, in the vicinity, was erected in 1815, the Board of First Fruits having granted a gift of £450 and a loan of £50: attached to it is a glebe of 10 acres. The church is a small neat structure, with a square embattled tower surmounted by pinnacles, built in 1789, for which the same Board gave £200. In the R. C. divisions the town is the head of a district, which comprises about one-third of the parish of Clonfert and the small ecclesiastical parish of Kilcorcoran. The chapel is a remarkably neat cruciform building, erected on a site given by the Earl of Egmont; the chapel-yard, which is tastefully planted, and forms an agreeable promenade for the inhabitants, is entered by a handsome gateway formed of pillars of hewn stone, surmounted by richly crocketed pinnacles, the work of a native artist, who also executed a beautiful font for the chapel. At Coolavota is a chapel for the rural district. The parochial school is under the superintendence of the Protestant clergyman, and a large building for a public school has been lately erected on a site given by the Earl of Egmont: there are also several private schools in the town and its vicinity; the total number of children educated is about 250. At Curragh was formerly a castle that belonged to the Mc Carthys, on the site of which the modern mansion of Neptune Blood, Esq., has been erected. Near it is a strong chalybeate spring. Kanturk Castle, which is actually within the border of the adjoining parish of Kilmeen, consists of a parallelogram, 120 feet in length by 80 in breadth, with a large square tower at each angle: though never completed, it is carried to a considerable height, and from its massive appearance has a grand and imposing effect. The celebrated lawyer, Barry Yelverton, afterwards Lord Avonmore, was born at Kanturk.


NEWMARKET, a market-town, in the parish of CLONFERT, barony of DUHALLOW, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (N. W.) from Kanturk, on the road from Cork, by the Bogra mountains, to Abbeyfeale and Listowel ; containing 1437 inhabitants. This place was formerly called Ahatrasne, or " the place of the ford," from its situation near an ancient ford now superseded by a neat bridge at the entrance of the town. Its present name is obviously derived from the establishment of a market at this place, which was granted to the family of Aldworth by Jas. I., on the forfeiture of the estate by the Macauliffes, and confirmed in the reign of Chas. II. At Scarteen, a village, a little to the north of the town, about 1000 of the peasantry assembled in 1822, anticipating the evacuation of the town by the military, but were repulsed by Capt. Kippock and Lieut. Green, who, leaving 10 men to defend the barracks, marched with 30 to attack the assailants, whom they dispersed with the loss of about 20 that were killed in the conflict. The gentry of the surrounding district, upon this occasion, presented to each of those officers a handsome piece of plate, as a testimony to their intrepidity and an acknowledgment of their services.

The town is situated on a small stream which falls into the river Dallua a little below, and on the north side of a gentle eminence ; it consists principally of two streets intersecting each other at right angles, and contains about 246 houses, of which several are neatly built ; the inhabitants are well supplied with water, the air is salubrious, and the neighbourhood abounds with interesting scenery. Adjoining it is Newmarket House, the stately mansion of R. R. Aldworth, Esq., lord of the manor, handsomely built of hewn limestone, and situated in a demesne richly embellished with timber of luxuriant growth ; an avenue of ash trees is said to have been planted in the reign of Elizabeth, and there are some noble specimens of elm, beech, and sycamore. Near the town are also Mount Keeffe, the residence of M. O'Keeffe, Esq. ; Liscongill, of W. Allen, Esq. ; and the Priory, formerly the residence of John Philpot Curran, Esq., now in the occupation of E. Stannard, Esq. The market is on Thursday, and is chiefly for the sale of potatoes and turf ; it is thought that if the day were changed to Friday, which would afford the Cork butchers an opportunity of attending both this market and that of Kanturk, it would conduce greatly to its improvement. Fairs are held on June 8th, Sept. 8th, Oct. 10th, and Nov. 21st ; the last is the principal for cattle, sheep, and pigs. A daily post between this place and Kanturk is supported by private subscription ; a constabulary police force is stationed in the town ; petty sessions are held on alternate Thursdays ; and a court for the recovery of debts not exceeding 40s. is held here, every third Friday, for the manor of Newmarket, which extends over 32,000 statute acres in the parish of Clonfert, The parish church, a handsome structure of hewn limestone, with a lofty tower and spire, is situated in the town ; in which also is the R. C. chapel, a spacious edifice, erected on a site given by the late Richard Aldworth, Esq., who contributed £75 towards its erection, to which also the Earl of Cork, Lord Lisle, and John Duggan, Esq., liberally subscribed ; the altar, which is a copy of that of the ancient abbey of Quin, is much admired. A school in the town for boys is supported by Mr. Aldworth and the vicar ; a school for girls is supported by Mrs. Aldworth, and an infants' school by the vicar and his lady ; a school in connection with the R. C. chapel is supported by collections at the chapel, and there is also a Sunday school. Richard Aldworth, Esq., bequeathed £50 ; Michael Creagh, Esq., £100 ; W. Philpot, Esq., £40 ; the late Richard Aldworth, grandson of the former, £100 ; and St. Leger Aldworth, Esq., £100, for the poor of Newmarket, the interest of which sums is annually divided among them. St. Leger Aldworth, Esq., also bequeathed £1000, contingent on the death of three annuitants, to be appropriated, by the representative of the Aldworth family, to the establishment of some manufacture in the town. There are a fever hospital, containing four wards and 20 beds, and a dispensary. The celebrated John Philpot Curran was a native of this town ; during his residence at the Priory, it was the favourite resort of many distinguished literary and political characters, who used to meet there under the auspices of Lord Avonmore, also a native of this place ; they held their meetings annually in the grouse-shooting season, and from their conviviality at the Priory obtained the appellation of " Monks of the Screw." Major Swan, who assisted in arresting Lord Edward Fitzgerald, in 1798, was also a native of this town,

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