All entries for Kilcommon (Erris)



Kilcommon (Erris)

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

ANNAGH

ANNAGH, an island, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 23 miles (S. by E.) from Belmullet; containing 6 inhabitants. This island is situated in the bay of Tulloghane, on the western coast, and near the entrance of the sound of Achill; it is separated from the mainland of Ballycroy by a narrow sound to which it gives name, and is the property of Sir Richard O'Donnell, Bart., from whom it is rented by the inhabitants of the village of Claggan-Caferky. The greater portion of the land is mountainous, but affords very good pasture; and there is a salmon and herring fishery, which, if properly managed, might be rendered very lucrative.

BALLYCROY

BALLYCROY, a district, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 16 miles (S. E. E.) from Belmullet; containing 2925 inhabitants. This place is situated on Blacksod bay, and is deeply indented by the bay of Tulloghane, which, stretching far into the land, receives the waters of the river Owenmore. It consists of a large tract of bog, enclosed by an extensive range of mountains on the south and east, but exposed to the western storms, by which the crops, chiefly potatoes, are frequently destroyed, and the cultivators, who depend chiefly on the produce of their land, are reduced to a state of famine. Fish is abundant in the bay, but the inhabitants derive little benefit from this circumstance, being too poor to provide themselves with nets, lines, and boats to carry on the fishing with any profit. This is one of the three R. C. districts into which the parish is divided: the chapel at Cross Hill is an old thatched house appropriated to that purpose, the scanty means of the inhabitants being insufficient for the erection of a better.- See KILCOMMON.

BANGOR

BANGOR, a village, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 10 miles (E. S. E.) from Belmullet: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated on the road from Castlebar to Belmullet, and contains two comfortable inns. Fairs are held on the 20th of Jan., Feb., March, and April, May 10th, June 11th, July 20th, Aug. 11th, Sept. 8th, Oct. 16th, Nov. 16th, and Dec. 11th; and here is a station of the constabulary police. The parochial U. C. chapel of East Kilcommon is situated in the village. In the immediate vicinity is the shooting-lodge of W. Bingham, Esq.: the surrounding country is mountainous, and grouse is abundant during the season. Near the village is the lake of Carramore, celebrated for its salmon and trout: it communicates with the bay of Tulloghane by the rivers Manning and Owenmore.-Sec KlLCOMMON.

BELMULLET

BELMULLET a small sea-port, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of Connaught, 32? miles (W. by N.) from Ballina: the population is returned with the parish. This place is beautifully and advantageously situated on an isthmus to which it gives name, on the western coast, and which separates the bay of Blacksod from that of Broadhaven. It is a rapidly improving town: the surrounding district, about 20 years since, was scarcely accessible; but since that period, by the construction of several lines of road by Messrs. Nimmo, Knight, and Bald, the engineers, and more especially those from the county town of Castlebar and Ballina, the whole barony has been thrown open, and a great improvement has taken place in the agriculture of the district and the-commerce of the port. In 1822 the land in the barony produced only about 80 tons of oats and barley; but in 1834 and 1835, the annual produce was 1800 tons. This great improvement has resulted from the reclaiming of the adjacent lands, and from Belmullet having become a very considerable mart, where the neighbouring farmers can readily find immediate purchasers for all their produce. The town owes its origin to the establishment of the headquarters of the commander of the coast-guard here, in 1822. It is uniformly built, and contains 117 houses; it has a penny post to Ballina, and its general appearance, as seen from Blacksod bay, is pleasing and prepossessing. A new line of road has been constructed along the coast from Ballycastle to Belmullet and thence to Westport, a distance of 57 miles, forming a most interesting drive. The trade consists chiefly in the export of grain, especially of oats and barley; and several spacious warehouses have been built for the deposit of corn. A commodious quay was constructed in 1826, at an expense of #700, of which sum, #300 was given by the late Fishery Board, and #300 by Mr. Carter. The harbour is capable of very great improvement, and by cutting through the narrow part of the isthmus, a canal might be made, at an estimated expense of #2000, which would enable vessels of 150 tons' burden to pass from Broadhaven into Blacksod bay, and in all winds at full tide into the Atlantic ocean, without being detained for months, as is now frequently the case. Fairs are held on the 15th of every month, except when it falls on Sunday, in which case the fair is held on the following Monday. Here is a chief constabulary police station; and the coast-guard district comprises the stations of Belmullet, Dugurth, Duhooma, Ballycovy, Blacksod, Ballyglass, and Renown Tower, and is under the superintendence of Capt. Nugent, resident inspecting commander, and a county magistrate. Petty sessions are held every Saturday: the court-house was built in 1833, at an expense of #200, by Mr. Ivers. There is also a dispensary. In the vicinity are several gentlemen's seats, noticed in Kilcommon and Kilmore-Erris, which see.

CORRICK

CORRICK, or CORRIG-BRIDGE, a village, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 16 miles (E.) from Belmullet : the population is returned with the parish. This village is situated on the road from Crossmolina and Castlebar to Belmullet, and on the river Corrig or Owenmore, over which is a bridge of four arches, from which it takes its name ; it is a constabulary police station.

INNISBIGLE

INNISBIGLE, or INISHEGIL, an island, in the parish of KILCOMMON, barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated at the entrance of the bay of Ballan, and contiguous to the island of Achill, on the western coast; and comprises 800 acres of bog and mountain, the property of Sir Richard A. O'Donel, Bart.

KILCOMMON

KILCOMMON, a parish, in the barony of ERRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT; containing, with the sea-port and post-town of Belmullet, 13,667 inhabitants. This very extensive parish, which includes the harbour of Broadhaven, comprises 211,906 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at #8674 per annum; 8519 acres are waste, and 1844 are water. The surface is mountainous, with extensive tracts of bog; between the mountains are deep valleys, which are productive; but towards the sea the lands are very bleak and exposed to the western blasts, by which the crops are frequently destroyed. The mountain soils might be easily reclaimed by the use of a silicious marly gravel, which is found in various parts of the parish, but agriculture is in a very backward state; spade husbandry is generally prevalent. Limestone abounds in the eastern portion of the parish, and there are some quarries of good flagstone, which is used for building; iron ore of good quality is found in abundance, and some mines were opened and a furnace for smelting the ore was erected by Sir Arthur Shean, but from the great expense of procuring fuel, the works were discontinued. The scenery is wild and romantic, abounding with features of rugged grandeur; the mountains, of which that called Shenachabine, or John Cabine, is 927 feet above the level of the sea, and abounds with grouse and other game, form a vast amphitheatre from north-west to south-east ; and nearly in the centre of the parish is Lough Curramore, 8 miles in circumference, and abounding with salmon and trout. The principal seats are Tarmoncarra Glebe, the residence of the Rev. W. P. Dawson; Enver, of J. Gibbons, Esq.; Rossport House, of S. Bourns, Esq.; Cross Cottage, of D. O'Donnelly, Esq.; Rimoe, of Lieut. A. Henry, R. N.; Bangor Lodge, of Lieut. Bingham; Pallatomas, of J. O'Donnell, Esq. ; Pickle Point, of - Cashe, Esq.; and Croy Lodge, of Con O'Donnell. Esq. Monthly fairs are held at Belmuhlet (which see), and fairs are held at Bangor on the 20th of Jan., Feb., March, April, and July, the 11th of June, August, and Dec., 10th of May, 8th of Sept., and 16th of Oct. and Nov., for cattle, sheep, pigs, and yarn.

The principal rivers are the Owenmore, which enters the parish near the bridge of Carrick, and falls into the bay of Tulloghane at Goolamore, and on which is a valuable salmon fishery, the property of Major Cormack; the Munshine, which issues from Lough Curramore, and falls into the Owenmore; the Glenamory, which falls into the harbour of Broadhaven, and is also celebrated for its salmon; and the river Greyhound, so called from the rapidity of its current. The shore is extremely bold, rising in perpendicular cliffs of great height, perforated in some parts with immense caverns, one of which is 700 feet high at the entrance. The harbour of Broadhaven is separated from Blacksod bay by an isthmus connecting the peninsula of the Mullet with the main land, and is 6? miles long from the entrance, which is ? of a mile wide, to the town of Belmullet. It affords good anchorage, of sufficient depth for any vessels; but there is room only for two large or four small ships to ride in shelter from northerly winds, at half-cable length to the eastward and westward; the anchorage is between two spots of sand, one stretching from Ringtail Head on the west, and the other from Rinishummuck on the east side. To the north-east of the harbour is Binwy Head, 900 feet in height; off which are the Stags of Broadhaven, remarkably high rocks visible at a great distance, and serving to distinguish this part of the coast, which to Killala bay is clear of rocks and shoals, the shore being mostly steep cliffs indented with small fishing coves. To the north of the entrance to Broadhaven bay, off Binwy Head, is Kid island. It is in contemplation to cut through the isthmus separating the harbour from Blacksod bay, which is only 200 yards in width, and to connect these harbours, which are defended from the Atlantic by the breakwater of the Mullet, 15 miles in length, opening entrances both from the north and south, and affording full security to vessels sailing in and out of the harbour; thus rendering them as safe and commanding as any on the western coast of Ireland.

The whole line of coast is characterised by features of striking magnificence : the cliff scenery between Balderig, to which is a branch leading from the new road from Killala to Erris, and Kilgalligan Head is unrivalled for grandeur and beauty, and the intersections and trap dykes between those places afford highly interesting geological specimens. In rowing along the shore, to the westward of Balderig, is Moista Sound, a remarkable passage, little more than a cable's length from one extremity to the other, and so narrow as to preclude the use of oars; it is bounded on both sides by perpendicular walls of rock, more than 500 feet high; and the space between them was most probably filled by a trap dyke, the decomposition of which, either from the perishable nature of the material, or from some chemical action, has perhaps formed this interesting chasm. Near Port Twiling, a coast-guard station, eight miles from Balderig, and affording good shelter for boats, is the Natural Arch, 30 feet high, which may be rowed through at half-tide in moderate weather with perfect safety; a key-stone of trap, 12 feet high, extends from the centre of the arch nearly to the summit of the cliff, where it is continued along a hollow, indicating a subsidence of the dyke at some former period, a recurrence of which may probably produce another sound similar to that of Moista; at the eastern extremity of the archway is a perpendicular cliff,618 feet high. About 1? miles from the archway is a headland, remarkable for its beauty and the fanciful contortions of its strata; and about a mile farther to the west is the mouth of Port-a-Clay, an inte-resting small haven, where is a coast-guard station, with good shelter for boats. Near this is the entrance to a cavern called the Parlour, situated at the northern extremity of the lofty promontory of Doonrinalla : the entrance is through an archway, 30 feet high, and wide enough to allow a boat to be rowed into it; the main branch runs in a direct line, and gradually contracts in width and height, terminating in a fissure 10 or 12 feet high, and probably communicating with another cavern, called the Kitchen, on the south-west side. To the eastward of the Parlour are immense masses of detached rock lying on an inclined plane. Binwy, or "the Yellow Mountain," rises perpendicularly on its north-west side to the height of 900 feet, and commands from its summit a most extensive and truly magnificent prospect. To the south-West are the deeply indented shores of the Mullet, the bays of Blacksod and Broadhaven, with the towering Achill in the distance; to the east are the Stags and the ironbound range of coast between Binwy and Ben More, the Wedge, and Downpatrick Head, with the Sligo shore and the mountains of Donegal and Arranmore in the distance; to the north is the ocean, and to the south mountains rising above each other in majestic grandeur. Near Binwy is Renval, and near that are the ruins of an ancient strong hold, of which only the gateway is remaining. At Ross Ferry, or Ross Port, on the south side of Gutta mountain, are huge hills of sand, now covering a tract which, 50 years since, was as fertile as any in the barony. Between Renval and Ross Ferry a gradual subsidence of the land, or an elevation of the level of the sea, appears to have taken place; rocks appear in two places projecting above the surface of the strand, and a ridge of bog rises through the shingle to a level with high-water mark.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Killala, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is, appropriate to the precentorship of the cathedral of Killala. The tithes amount to #340, one-half payable to the precentor, and one-half to the vicar. There is no church, but divine service is regularly performed in the court-house at Belmullet, and occasionally in private houses in different parts of the parish. There is no glebe-house ; the glebe comprises 35? acres In the R. C. divisions the parish forms the three districts of Ballycroy, in which is an old thatched building at Cross Hill, used as a chapel ; Kilcommon West, in which is a chapel built in 1832, at an expense of #300, by subscription ; and Kilcommon East, of which the chapel is at Bangor. There are 14 schools, all of which are private, and the total number of children educated is 450. At Kiltairn, on the banks of the Owenmore, are the remains of an ancient abbey, and also of the old parish church ; at Kilgalligan, are the ruins of a monastery; and at Doona, the remains of a castle belonging to the celebrated Grace O'Malley, known by the name of Gran-Uile. Near Pallatomas is an ancient burial-ground. The parish is rich in minerals, among which are found the Greenland pot stone, the rutil, kyanite, white limestone, feldspar, rock crystal, garnet, micaceous quartz, and other varieties. In the townland of Enver there is a druidical altar, consisting of three upright stones supporting a large flagstone. In January, 1835, a labourer discovered several gold coins in a field on that townland ; and great numbers of shillings of the reigns of the Edwards and Hen. VIII. are frequently dug up in various parts. The Rev. W. Maxwell wrote the greater portion of his works at Croy Lodge, the neighbourhood of which was the scene of his "Wild Sports of the West."-See BELMULLET.


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