All Lewis entries for Creagh


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


CREAGH, a parish, in the Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER ; containing, with the greater part of the post-town of Skibbereen, 5914 inhabitants. It is situated on the southern coast, and comprises 6897 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4849 per annum, of which about 80 are woodland. The surface is very uneven, rising into mountains of considerable elevation, and of the schistus formation, extending over about one-third of the parish ; they are mostly rocky and bare, but in some places afford excellent pasturage. There are few fields where the rock does not appear, but there is scarcely an acre which does not afford some pasture or tillage, which is carried even to the top of the hills. There are about 20 acres of bog. The land under cultivation yields tolerable crops, mostly produced by spade labour. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Ilen, along the banks of which the land is very good and in many places richly planted. The whole of the corn exported from Skibbereen is shipped at an excellent quay at Oldcourt, on this river, to which vessels of 200 tons' burden can come up at high water, being conveyed thither in small four-oared boats. A manor court is held every three weeks, for the recovery of debts under 40s. ; and here are the ruins of an ancient castle, now converted into corn-stores. Near the southern boundary of the parish, which opens upon the Atlantic, is Lough Hyne, a curious and extensive gulph, penetrating nearly two miles inland, and the passage from the sea being very narrow, and between craggy cliffs, the water rushes through it with great violence on the ebb and flow of every tide. The best oysters and several kinds of sea fish are found in it ; and in its centre is a small island, containing the ruins of Cloghan castle, one of the castles of the O'Driscolls. The surrounding scenery is very beautiful, the mountain sides being clothed with young and thriving plantations. A new road has lately been formed, and other improvements are in progress. Good slate is obtained in many places. The principal seats in the parish are Creagh House, the residence of Sir W.W. Becher, Bart. ; Killeena, of the Rev. John Wright ; the glebe-house, of the Rev. H. B. Macartney ; Lough Hyne Cottage, of D. McCarty, Esq. ; Inane, of H. Marmion, Esq. ; Glenview, of S. Lewis, Esq. ; Green Park, of John Gallwey, Esq. ; and there are some large and substantial farm-houses.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ross, and in the patronage of the Bishop : the tithes amount to £500, and there is a glebe of 15 acres. The church is a small neat edifice, with a square tower ornamented with pinnacles : it was erected by aid of a gift of £600, and a loan of £400, in 1810, from the late Board of First Fruits. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union of Skibbereen. The parochial school was built on the glebe in 1834 ; it is in connection with the Cork Diocesan Association, but is principally supported by the rector ; and there is a national school in Skibbereen. In these about 150 boys and 60 girls are taught ; and there is also a private school of about 50 children. The ruins of the old church adjoin the present edifice ; on the glebe is a holy well.


RINGA-ROGA, or DUNNEGAL ISLAND, in the parish of CREAGH, Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (W.) from Skibbereen, on the southern coast ; containing 786 inhabitants. This island is situated in the harbour of Baltimore, and is connected with the mainland, about midway between Skibbereen and Baltimore, by an excellent causeway and bridge constructed across the channel by the proprietor, Sir W. W. Becher, Bart. It extends, nearly north and south, three miles in length by about one in breadth, comprising 986 acres of land, generally rocky, bare, and comparatively unproductive, particularly on the south side of the island ; the soil towards the centre is tolerably good, but the arable land generally consists of small patches among the rocks, cultivated by spade labour, and manured by sea-weed, which, as well as the produce of the soil, is always conveyed on horseback. The inhabitants are entirely supplied with fuel from the mainland, there being none of any kind on the island.


SKIBBEREEN, a market and post-town; partly in the parish of ABBEYSTROWRY, but chiefly in that of CREAGH, Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 42 miles (S. W.) from Cork, on the mail road to Bantry, and 167- (S. W.) from Dublin ; containing 4429 inhabitants. In 1691, an engagement took place in the vicinity between the forces of Jas. II. and Col. Becher, who commanded about 500 of the militia, when the former were put to flight, with the loss of 60 men and a large number of cattle. Three years afterwards, a party of 40 rapparees came into the town and plundered the custom-house, which belonged to the port of Baltimore, and killed two revenue officers. The town, from its situation in a wild, unenclosed part of the country, has frequently been the rendezvous of disaffected parties, but it has been much improved of late years, and is now a very flourishing place. It is situated on the southern bank of the river Ilen, and comprises seven streets ; that part which extends into the parish of Abbeystrowry is called Bridgetown, and consists of three streets, one of which has been recently formed. The number of houses in the whole town is 1014, many of which, in the eastern part and in the parish of Creagh, are large and well built : the approaches have been much improved by the formation of new lines of road at each extremity.

This place had formerly a very considerable trade, arising from the manufacture of woollen cloth, linen, checks, and handkerchiefs, which has altogether declined : it is, however, very advantageously situated for trade in an extensive and improving district ; the tide from the harbour of Baltimore flows up to the town, and the river is navigable for vessels of 200 tons burden to Oldcourt, two miles below Skibbereen. In the town are capacious storehouses for corn, and a considerable quantity of flour is also exported from the mills of Mr. J. Clark, on the bank of the Ilen, a quarter of a mile from the town. A porter brewery upon an extensive scale was established in 1809 ; it is the property of Daniel Mc Carthy, Esq., and is in full operation, many of the neighbouring towns being supplied from the establishment. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, the former for the Bridgetown portion, and the latter, which is the principal market, for Staplestown. Milk and fuel are also exposed daily in the market-place for sale. The supply of provisions is very abundant, particularly fish and poultry : pigs and sheep are also sold in great numbers. The market-place being small, and the market-house old and inconvenient, the articles brought for sale on the regular market-days are exposed in the public streets and in a place called the square. Fairs are held on May 14th, July 10th, Aug. 2nd, Oct. 12th, and Dec. 11th and 23rd ; and petty sessions on Wednesdays. The sessions-house and bridewell is a large and handsome building in the Grecian style, occupying an elevated site near the entrance to the town from Cork. There is also an infantry barrack ; and Skibbereen is the residence of the inspecting commander of the coast-guard sta-tions of the district, of which it is the head, comprising those of Milkeove, Glandore, Castle-Townsend, Barlogue, Baltimore, Long Island, Crookhaven, Dunmanus, and Whitehorse, and extending from Sheep Head to Rosscarbery.

The parochial church of Abbeystrowry is situated in Bridgetown ; it is a large edifice in the early English style, with a tower at the east end, erected in 1827, at an expense of £1200, towards which £900 was contributed by the late Board of First Fruits. The R. C. chapel, situated near the sessions-house, is a spacious and handsome edifice in the Grecian style, erected in 1826, at an expense of £3000 : the interior is fitted up with great taste, and the altar, which is ornamented with a painting of the Crucifixion, is very chaste : it was built under the direction of the late Dr. Collins, R. C. Bishop of Ross, who resided here, and is the principal chapel of the union, to which Skibbereen gives name. There is also a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, a small but neat edifice. Parochial schools for boys and girls were erected near the church, in 1825, by the vicar ; and an infants' school was built in 1835. There is also a Sunday school under the care of the Protestant clergyman. Near the R. C. chapel are large school-houses, built by the late Dr. Collins, which are supported by the National Board. A dispensary is maintained in the customary manner. There are numerous large and handsome houses near the town, the principal of which are noticed in the description of Abbeystrowry.


SPANISH, or GREEN ISLAND, in the parish of CREAGH, Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 6 miles (W.) from Skibbereen ; containing 12 inhabitants. It is situated in the mid-channel of the river Ilen, where it flows into the harbour of Baltimore ; and comprises 120 acres of land, some part of which is rocky, but the greater part is under cultivation, and produces tolerably good crops.

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