All Lewis entries for Kilmocomoge


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


BANTRY, a sea-port, market and post-town, in the parish of KILMACOMOGUE, barony of BANTRY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 47- miles (W. S. W.) from Cork, and 173- (S. W.) from Dublin; containing 4275 inhabitants. This place, called anciently Kilgoban, derived that name from St. Goban, its original founder or patron, and its present appellation, Bantry, from Beant-Mac-Farriola, a descendant of the O'Donovans and Mahonys, chieftains of the western portion of this country. During the insurrection of the Earl of Desmond, in 1581, Lord Barry and Goran Mac Swiney attacked the garrison of this place, but were repulsed with the loss of many of their men. In 1689, a French fleet entered the bay, and being pursued by the English fleet under Admiral Herbert, bore down upon the latter in a line of 28 ships of war and 5 fire-ships, when a brisk action ensued, in which the English stood to sea in order to gain some advantage by manoeuvring, and which terminated by the French Admirals returning into the bay. In 1691, a Dutch ship was captured in the bay by the native Irish in the interest of Jas. II, but was retaken by Col. Becher, with the loss, on the part of the Irish, of 36 men drowned and as many taken prisoners. In March of the same year, Sir David Collier with 300 men advanced to this place, where he encamped, and defeated a party of the Irish forces, of whom 70 were killed and 15 made prisoners: in the following May, some smaller skirmishes took place here; and in June, Col. Townsend, with his forces, killed 100 of the rapparees or insurgent marauders, and brought away a quantity of plunder. In 1697, a body of troops in the service of Win. Ill, arrived from Flanders, and landed in the harbour; and in 1796, a French fleet with 15,000 men intended for the invasion of Ireland appeared in the hay; but being dispersed by a storm, in which one-fourth of their ships were lost, returned without attempting to make a descent upon the coast. In 1800, while the main body of the Channel fleet was at rendezvous here, the crew of his Majesty's ship Tremeraire mutinied; but by the spirited firmness of the captain, the late Admiral Eyles, 20 of the ringleaders were seized, taken to Portsmouth and tried, and thirteen of them were executed at Spithead.

The town is situated at the northern extremity of the bay to which it gives name, in a small valley encircled by lofty mountains, which attracting the clouds in their passage over the Atlantic, involve it iii almost continual rains. It consists of two parallel streets leading towards the bay, on opposite sides of the river, over which are two bridges, and a cross street, affording communication between them : the streets are indifferently paved, and not lighted; the inhabitants are supplied with water from numerous springs. The approaches, with the exception of the new mail coach road along the margin of the bay, are steep and incommodious, and are lined with cabins of very inferior description. Little improvement has been made in the town, except by the erection of some very extensive stores by Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Corkery, merchants of the place, and the enlargement of the principal hotel, which now affords ample accommodation to the numerous tourists who, during the summer season, frequent this place on their way to Glengariff and the lakes. A new and important line of road is in progress from Kenmare to Bantry, through Glengariff; it will afford a view of some of the most beautiful scenery in this part of the kingdom, embracing Glengariff and Bantry bay, of which latter it will command an extensive prospect, and is a continuation of the new line from Killarney to Kenmare. New roads have been opened from this town to Skibbereen, which will be highly advantageous to the neighbourhood, and other roads from Glengariff to Cork are also in contemplation. Nearly adjoining the town is Sea Court,the seat of the Earl of Bantry, situated on a gentle eminence commanding a magnificent view of the noble harbour and bay, with the lofty mountains on the opposite shore: the mansion is a spacious square edifice, containing a fine collection of paintings and some pieces of armour brought from the east by Viscount Bearhaven; and immediately in front of it is the undulating and fertile island of Whiddy, formerly deer park, but now convened into valuable farms, the picturesque appearance of which is heightened by the ruins of an ancient castle, built by the O'Sullivans in the reign of Hen. VI.; the eminence behind the house is finely planted, and the demesne, including an extensive deer park, is tastefully laid out, and forms an interesting feature in the landscape. The trade of the port was formerly very considerable, and the town had attained a high degree of commercial importance. Previously to the withdrawing of the protecting duties, the manufacture of coarse linen and cotton began to thrive here and afforded employment to several hundred persons; these linens, here called "Vitries," were striped pieces chiefly used for bagging; and the sales frequently exceeded £4000 per annum. Butter, pork, and beef were formerly shipped from the port in great quantities, and, about the year 1775, several cargoes of butter were sent annually to Portugal. The only manufacture at present is that of flour, of which the Bantry Mills, belonging to Messrs. Kingston and Co., are capable of producing 12,000 bags annually. A small porter brewery is carried on in the town by Mr. L. Young; and at Donemark are the brewery and mills of Mr. Michael Murphy. A considerable trade prevails in corn raised in the neighbouring parishes, and since 1815 has been rapidly increasing; in 1835, not less than 10,000 barrels of wheat and 3000 barrels of oats were shipped from this port to the English markets. A very lucrative pilchard fishery was for many years conducted, but has long been discontinued, that fish having left the shores. The present fishery is principally confined to hake, in which 24 hookers are engaged, each carrying 15 men; but mackarel, herrings, and sprats are also taken. The fish are cured in houses formerly called fish palaces, and of late the sales of the three last kinds have produced more than £2000 per annum; they find a ready market within a circuit of 50 miles. The shores of the bay abound with a calcareous deposit which forms a valuable manure, and which, about Glengariff and in other parts of the hay, is so thickly impregnated with coral as to be considered little inferior in strength to pure lime: a considerable number of men are employed in procuring it, and the quantity raised produces on the average more than £4000 per annum. In the year ending Jan. 5th, 1836, 31 vessels of the aggregate burden of 1010 tons, principally laden with corn, cleared outwards from this port, and 26 vessels of the aggregate burden of 814 tons entered inwards, of which, two were foreign ships laden with timber from America, and the remainder coasters with cargoes of salt, coal, earthenware, and iron. The bay is spacious, safe, and commodious for ships of any burden. The principal market is on Saturday, and is amply supplied with provisions of all kinds; and there is also a market for provisions daily. Fairs are held on March 19th, May 1st, June 9th, July 15th, Aug. 21st, Oct. 15th, and Dec. 1st. Here is a chief constabulary police station. Petty sessions are held on alternate Fridays; and the quarter sessions for the West Riding of the county are also held here in February. The court-house is a neat building ornamented with a cornice and pediment supported by two broad pilasters, between which is a handsome window; and behind it is the bridewell for the barony. The parish church, a neat edifice in the early English style, with a lofty tower, is situated on the bank of the river, at the western extremity of the town; and on an eminence at the eastern extremity is a large R. C. chapel, erected at an expense of £2500. There is also a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. There are two school-houses in the town, one erected by subscription, and the other by a bequest of £200 from the Rev. D. Crowley, late parish priest of Bantry; and a dispensary. Bantry gives the titles of Earl, Viscount, and Baron, in the Irish peerage, to the ancient family of White, of whom the present Earl was created Baron in 1797, Viscount in 1800, and Earl of Bantry and Viscount Bearhaven in 1816.


CHAPEL-ISLAND, an extra-parochial liberty, in the barony of BANTRY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 2 miles (N. W.) from Bantry ; containing 5 inhabitants. This island, which is situated in the bay of Bantry, derived its name from a chapel founded on it, of which there are no vestiges except the burial-ground. It comprises about 24 statute acres of extremely fertile land, which is in a high state of cultivation, and as part of the Bandon estate, in which parish it is locally included, is the property of the Duke of Devonshire. There is only one house on the island, which is occupied by the farmer who manages the land. Though nearly adjoining Hog and Horse islands, which also belong to the duke, it is more than 30 miles from any other portion of the Bandon estate.


KILMACOMOGUE, a parish, partly in the Western Division of the barony of EAST CARBERY, and partly in the Eastern Division of that of WEST CARBERY, but chiefly in the barony of BANTRY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER ; containing, with the post-town of Bantry and the island of Whiddy, 14,483 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated at the extremity of Bantry bay, comprises 56,910 statute acres, of which 5841 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £13,977 per annum. Very great improvements have been made in agriculture since 1815, and a large portion of land has been brought into profitable cultivation. The principal manure is the calcareous deposit found in abundance on the shores of the bay, which in some places is so mixed with coral sand as to be quite as effective as pure lime in fertilising the soil. There are, however, still more than 20,000 acres of waste land, the greater portion of which is mountainous, in some places quite barren, and in others affording good pasturage for young cattle, of which vast herds are reared ; and there are about 15,000 acres of bog and marshy ground, much of which is capable of being reclaimed. The surrounding scenery is strikingly varied, and in some parts characterised by features of majestic grandeur and romantic beauty. Glengariff, which is partly in this parish, and within 10 miles of Bantry, is much resorted to for the singular variety and indescribable beauty of its scenery. It is situated on the picturesque bay to which it gives name, at the north-eastern extremity of Bantry bay ; and derives its name, signifying the "rough glen," from its wild and rugged aspect in the midst of rocks, cliffs, and mountains thrown together in the greatest confusion, and finely contrasted with the richness of luxuriant woods and verdant meadows, shaded with thriving plantations intermixed with evergreens and flowering shrubs. The bay of Bantry, from many points of view, has the appearance of a fine lake studded with numerous rocky islets fringed with evergreens ; of these, the island of Whiddy is the largest, and is crowned with a small fort mounting five pieces of cannon, erected by Government after the attempt of the French in 1796. Along the north-western shore rises the Sugar Loaf Inountain, supported by the smaller mountains called the Ghoal, the sides of which, dark and deeply indented, are in fine contrast with the bright and smooth surface of the bay ; and their summits, frequently concealed by flying clouds and quickly emerging into the sun's rays, present an ever changing scene. Far behind there is a precipitous cliff, which for many generations has been the resort of eagles, and concerning which the peasantry have many interesting traditions, in connection with the O'Sullivans, the ancient chieftains or princes of Bere. The mountains are of the schistose formation, based on argillaceous grit; in a small rock in Reendonagan bay, limestone is found mixed with the grit, which can be only partially calcined, and is therefore of little use ; the schistose rocks merge into clay-slate, and slate of a tolerably good colour is found in several parts. Four rivers intersect the parish in their course to the bay ; namely, the Maulagh, or Moyalla, which, on its entrance into the bay, forms a beautiful fall of 30 feet at Dunamarc ; the Auvane, which rises in the pass of Caminea, and falls into the bay at Ballylicky ; the Coomola, which forms the small creek of that name, and the Drumgariff, which forms the north-western boundary of the parish and barony. There are several small lakes, but none deserving of particular notice. Glengariff Castle, the seat of Capt. White, is a spacious and elegant mansion, situated under the shelter of a mountain which gradually declines towards the water's edge, and is covered from the base to the summit with valuable young timber ; the approach to the house is through a noble avenue more than a mile in length, affording in many of its openings a fine view of the bay and the opposite mountains. At the extremity of the bay is seen the Glengariff Hotel, originally a poor cabin, which has been converted into a very commodious house, and forms a picturesque feature in the landscape. From this point the woods of Glengariff, the property of the Earl of Bantry, wind for seven miles through the glen towards the west ; the trees are chiefly oak and birch, with a large proportion of arbutus springing up luxuriantly from the crevices of almost every rock ; and the woods are annually thinned to the amount of about £1000. Upon a small verdant islet in the bay is Bantry Lodge, a handsome building in the cottage style, surrounded by a fine plantation of ash, and now the constant residence of the Earl of Bantry ; it is situated in the bosom of the glen, enclosed by lofty mountains and rugged cliffs: a road leading from the house directly to the hotel has been recently made by his lordship, for the accommodation of visiters. The other principal seats in the parish are Sea-Court, belonging to the Earl of Bantry ; Carriganass, the residence of W. O'Sullivan, Esq. ; Inchiclough, of R. White, Esq. ; Ballyliskey, of S. Hutchins, Esq. ; Gurtenroe, of J. S. Lawler, Esq. ; Drumbree Cottage, of J. White, Esq. ; Newtown, of M. Murphy, Esq. ; Ardnagashil, of A. Hutchins, Esq. ; Reendonegan, of D. O'Sullivan, Esq. ; and Mount-View, of the Rev. T. Barry. A constabulary police force is stationed in the parish.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Donoughmore and Lord Riversdale. The tithes amount to £1 186. 15., of which £561. 15. is payable to the impropriators, and £625 to the vicar. The glebe-house, for which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £1500, is a handsome residence, built on a glebe of 32- acres purchased by the Board, subject to a rent of £4. 4. per acre ; the old glebe comprises nearly four acres, and there is also a glebe of seven acres in the parish of Durrus belonging to the vicar. The church, which was completed in 1828 by aid of a loan of £1384. 12. 3. from the late Board, and to the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £107, is a neat structure, in the early English style, with a tower of three stages, which, from the varied colour of the stone, has a singular appearance ; it is situated in the town of Bantry. Divine service is also performed in the school-house at Glengariff, and in houses situated respectively at Ballylicky and Capenalooe, licensed by the bishop. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church ; the chapel, a spacious and handsome building, on an eminence in the rear of the town, was erected by subscription, and there are chapels at Calkil and Comola. About 580 children are taught in five public schools, of which a male and female school at Glengariff is supported by Capt. White and his lady. There are also nine private schools, in which are about 420 children, and a Sunday school.

On the sea-shore, near the town, was a small monastery, founded in 1466 for Franciscan friars by Dermot O'Sullivan Bere, of which only the cemetery, still called the abbey, is remaining, and is used by the Roman Catholics as a burial-place. Within the demesne of Newtown, about half a mile to the north-west of Bantry are the remains of a fortification raised by Ireton during the parliamentary war ; it consists of a quadrilateral area, and was defended by angular bastions and surrounded by a fosse ; but the walls and towers have long been demolished, and the cannon was at the same time thrown into a very deep well ; the moat still remains entire. Not far from this spot is the beautiful cascade of Dunamarc ; and at another place, called Newtown, to the south of Bantry, is a very antique stone pillar in a burial-ground, with some rude sculpture of men in armour and other curious devices. Danish forts are numerously scattered over the parish ; and, in 1834, more than 3000 silver coins, chiefly pence, groats, and half groats of the reigns of the earlier Edwards and Henrys, and of Alexander, King of Scotland, were found. At Carriganass are the extensive ruins of the castle built by O'Sullivan Bere, and garrisoned by Daniel O'Sullivan against the forces of Elizabeth ; it surrendered, after the capture of Dunboy fort, to Sir George Carew, and at present consists of a lofty square tower on a precipitous rock rising from the banks of the river Ouvane, and some extensive outworks. On the same river, near its influx into the bay, are the ruined gables of the Castle of Rindisart, the stronghold of Sir Owen O'Sullivan, which was taken by Ireton in the parliamentary war, and by his orders demolished. Near Carriganass are the extensive and ivy-clad ruins of the old church of Kilmacomogue, and near the town are those of the old church of Bantry, from the floor of which rise some lofty poplars. There are several chalybeate springs, of which the most esteemed is near the old abbey of Bantry ; and near lake Capanabool is a cromlech surrounded by nine upright stones.-See BANTRY and WHIDDY ISLAND.


WHIDDY ISLAND, in the parish of KILMACOMOGUE, barony of BANTRY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 1? mile (W.) from Bantry ; containing 714 inhabitants. It is situated near the inner extremity of the bay of Bantry, and extends from N. E. to S. W. nearly three miles, having an average breadth of about one mile, and comprising 1218 statute acres of excellent land, chiefly under an improved system of cultivation, It is remarkable for the variety of its soil, which in some places consists of a rich loam, and in others of rock, sand, and stiff clay : on the north side are extensive rocks of a black shaly substance, soft and unctuous, and much resembling black lead : it is called Lapis Hibernicus, and was formerly given medicinally in cases of inward bruises, but is now chiefly used hy carpenters as black chalk. There are both a fresh and a salt water lake on the island. Three batteries, each consisting of a circular tower surrounded hy a deep fosse, and together mounting 18 guns, were built subsequently to the descent of the French fleet here in 1796 : there were barracks for seven officers and 188 non-commissioned officers and men of the engineer and atillery departments, but the whole are now entrusted to the care of one man. Along the eastern shore of the island are five small islets, between which and the mainland on the east is the best anchorage in the bay, in five or six fathoms, quite landlocked, and secure from all winds. On an eminence near the eastern point of the island are the ruins of a castle, built hy O'Sullivan Bear in the reign of Hen. VI. In the reign of Queen Eliza-beth it was in the possession of Sir George Carew, Lord-President of Munster, and it was ultimately destroyed hy Ireton during the civil war of the 17th century. There are also some vestiges of an ancient church, with a cemetery attached. The island forms part of the estate of the Earl of Bantry.

Irish Times subscribers | | John Grenham | | Sitemap | | Login | | Subscribe | | Contact | | FAQs | | What's new?| | Privacy policy

Copyright © John Grenham 2021