All Lewis entries for Killaconenagh


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


BERE, or BEAR ISLAND. This island forms part of the parish of KILACONENAGH, in the barony of BERE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER: it is situated on the north side of the bay of Bantry, 21 miles (W. by. S.) from Bantry, and contains 1898 inhabitants. It comprises 2849 acres, of which about one-fourth is under tillage, and the remainder consists of mountain, bog, and pasture land, and is the property of R. H. Eyre, Esq. The inhabitants are principally occupied in fishing and agriculture, but the system of husbandry is rude and unimproved. A pier has been built at Lawrence Cove, which is very useful to the fishery, affording protection to 16 hookers of 12 tons and 90 yawls of 3 or 4 tons each, belonging to the island, and employing about 1000 persons exclusively in the fishery. The southern shore is bold and rocky, but on the north the land slopes gently to the water's edge: there is a small lake on the south side. The whole island is of the clay-slate formation, and excellent stone for flagging is obtained in some of the quarries copper ore has 'been found in several places, but no attempt has yet been made to search for mines. The chief communication is by boats from Castletown, and there are also boats from the Bank and other places on the mainland. After the arrival of the French fleet in the hay, in 1796, Government erected five Martello towers,a signal tower, a large and commodious barrack for two officers and 150 men, a quay, storehouses, and other public works, all of which are now in a neglected condition; the barrack has been taken down, and the rest of the works are under the care of a resident lieutenant. In the H, C. divisions this island forms part of the union of Castletown, in the diocese of Kerry : the chapel is a low thatched building of mean appearance, occupying the site of an ancient church. A school for boys and girls was established in 1825. Divine service is regularly performed in the school-house by the vicar. The sites of three churches are indicated by the burial-grounds, which are still used for interment. There are the remains of a Danish fort or rath on the island. Between the island and the mainland is Bere haven, capacious and well sheltered, and affording good anchorage in water sufficiently deep for the largest ships in the navy: it has two entrances, one at the west and the other at the east end of the island, both rendered somewhat dangerous by rocks. Bere-haven gives the inferior title of Viscount to the Earl of Bantry.


CASTLETOWN, or CASTLETOWN-BEARHAVEN, a post-town, in the parish of KILACONENAGH, barony of BERE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 31 miles (W.) from Bantry, and 202 (S. W.) from Dublin ; containing 1468 inhabitants. This town takes its name from an ancient castle that stood here, and is celebrated as being the place where the only part of Gen. Hoche's army that landed was made prisoners, in 1796. It is situated on an inner bay, on the northern side of the harbour of Bearhaven, and comprises one long street of newly built houses, running along the margin of the bay of Castletown, opposite the north-western point of Bear island. The town has grown up since the discovery of the Allihais copper mines, in 1812, as, prior to that time, it consisted of only a few fishermen's cabins, but now it contains more than 300 houses, with several large shops, and is rapidly increasing. It is the only town in the barony, and there is none nearer than Bantry, which is 31 Irish miles distant. It is encircled by lofty mountains, except towards the south-east, where, on the opposite side of the bay, rise the lofty hills of Bear island, crowned by signal and martello towers. The trade consists principally in supplying the miners in Kilcateerin. Fairs are held on Jan. 1st, Easter-Tuesday, May 12th, and Sept. 4th, principally for the sale of cattle, pigs, sheep, and pedlery. A constabulary police force has been stationed here, for which there is an excellent barrack. It is also the residence of the district inspecting commander of the coast-guard, whose district includes Garnish, Colaris, and Castletown. Petty sessions are held irregularly, and a manorial court once a month, for the recovery of debts under 40s. A bridewell with separate cells has been recently erected for the temporary confinement of prisoners. The little bay of Castletown is advantageously situated, and vessels of 400 tons' burden may anchor in safety : it opens by a deep channel into the northern branch of Bantry or Bearhaven bay. The pier affords great protection to the fisheries, and is much used for trading purposes ; the timber, iron, and other articles for the supply of the neighbourhood being landed here ; but the roads connected with it are still in a bad state. Belonging to this port are four decked boats of 20 tons burden each, 12 hookers of 12 tons, and 51 yawls of 4 tons, which furnish employment to about 400 fishermen. A little westward from the town is the church of Kilaconenagh ; and there is a large cruciform Roman Catholic chapel, built in the year 1822, at an expense of £1000. The male and female parochial schools, built in 1825, are supported by the Cork Diocesan Association and the vicar : there is also a large national school recently built, and a dispensary. There are some remains of Dhermod's castle, and the residence of the inspector of the coast-guard occupies part of its site. Many silver coins have been found at Ross McOwen, including one of Cromwell's ; and near Mill cove is a very beautiful cascade.

The harbour of Bearhaven is very large, well sheltered, and sufficiently deep for the largest ships, with a good bottom. There are two entrances ; the western, which is the most direct and readiest for vessels arriving from the west or south ; and the eastern, which is the safest for strangers. On this bay was situated the castle of Dunboy, which was surrendered to the Spaniards, on their invasion of Ireland in 1601 by its owner, Daniel O'Sullivan. Early in the following year, however, when it should have been given up to the English, in execution of the treaty of Kinsale, O'Sullivan, provoked at the capitulation of the Spaniards, and disdaining to acknowledge their right to divest him of his ancient property, took possession of the castle by surprise and seized the arms and ammunition the Spaniards had deposited there. In April, the English army marched against the O'Sullivans to Bantry, where they embarked, and on the 6th of June landed on the opposite side of the bay, in spite of attempts to oppose their descent. Dunboy was defended for O'Sullivan by a garrison of 143 chosen men, under the command of Richard McGeoghegan, who made one of the most obstinate defences ever known in the kingdom ; notwithstanding which the castle ultimately fell into the hands of the English, and was demolished. Bearhaven gives the title of Viscount to the ancient family of White, Earls of Bantry, which was ennobled for its zeal and activity against the French fleet, in 1796.-See KILACONENAGH.


KILACONENAGH, a parish, in the barony of BERE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with the post-town of Castletown-Bearhaven, 7127 inhabitants. The parish comprises 12,389 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £3937 per annum. It is very uneven, being principally composed of mountains of slate, the highest of which is Miskush, which has an elevation of 1214 feet. A few of these mountains furnish herbage for cattle, but the greater part are barren. Some of the low lands are moderately well cultivated with the spade, and round Castletown the land is fertile, being chiefly manured with sea-weed and sand. The principal seats are Dunboy, the residence of J. L. Puxley, Esq.; Cameatringane, of J. O'Sullivan, Esq. ; Millcove, of P. O'Sullivan, Esq.; Broderick Cottage, of Major Broderick; and Seapoint, of R. O'Sullivan, Esq. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ross, episcopally united to the rectories and vicarages of Kilnamanagh and Kilcateerin, in 1795, which union is also called Bearhaven, and is in the patronage of the Bishop: the rectory is impropriate in Lord Riversdale. The tithes amount to £385, of which £200 is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar ; and the entire tithes of the benefice amount to £485. The church is a small neat edifice, with a low square tower, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £500. The glebe-house was erected by aid of a gift of £250 and a loan of £550 from the same Board, in 1821; the glebe comprises 42 acres. In the R. C. divisions this parish is in the diocese of Kerry, and, with Kilnamanagh, forms the union or district of Castletown, where there is a large chapel; there is also one on Bere Island. About 160 children are educated in a public school, and about 300 in four private schools; there is also a Sunday school, supported by the vicar. In Castletown are some ruins of Castle Dhermod, built by Dhermod McCarthy; and at Dunboy are some remains of Dunboy Castle, formerly belonging to the O'Sullivans: for the remarkable defence of which, see the article CASTLETOWN-BEARHAVEN.

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