All Lewis entries for Holmpatrick


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


HOLMPATRICK, a parish, in the barony of BALROTHERY, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 3- miles (S. E.) from Balbriggan; containing, with the town of Skerries, 3109 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the eastern coast, derives its name from the island of Innis Patrick, about a mile from the shore, on which a monastery was founded by Sitric Mac Murchard towards the close of the 9th century. Moel Finian, Prince of the Bregii, became a monk in this establishment, of which he was made abbot; and in 1148 a great synod was held here by Gelasius, Archbishop of Armagh, assisted by Malachy O'Morgair, apostolic legate. Between the years 1213 and 1228 the establishment was removed from the island to the mainland, and a building erected on the coast at a short distance from the town of Skerries, where it continued to flourish till the dissolution, after which the site and possessions were granted by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam. The mountain portions of the parish present an interesting variety of transition rocks, chiefly of green-stone (in some parts much mixed with calcareous matter), fine grauwacke, clay-slate, grauwacke slate, calcareous tufa, and limestone. The limestone rocks near Lough Shinny are worn into singular form by the action of the sea, which has broken the surface into bold undulations. Two small rocky islands, Colt and Shenex, form a group with Tunis Patrick; and beyond these is the islet of Rockabill, or Cow and Calf. Innis Patrick consists of fine grauwacke alternating with grauwacke-slate and clay-slate, with thin layers of limestone from half an inch to several feet in width, uniformly dipping southward; and on its western side is a horizontal section of the same material. The islands of Colt and Shenex are of similar composition, but Rockabill is of granite. At Milverton is a quarry of very fine building stone, frequently imbedded with fossils, which, when polished, is equal to marble and is often used for mantel-pieces. On Shenex and Red islands are martello towers, and at Skerries is a coast-guard station. There are nearly fifty wherries, of from 30 to 50 tons' burden each, belonging to Skerries: they are engaged in the fishery, and have the benefit of a commodious harbour and pier, where coal brigs from the English side of the channel can unload, with an excellent roadstead and anchorage, where large vessels frequently take shelter in unfavourable weather. The manufacture of worked muslins is carried on in this town extensively, and gives employment to a great number of females. Milverton, the seat of G. Woods, Esq., is beautifully situated in a richly wooded demesne of 180 acres, commanding a fine view of the sea, with the town of Skerries in the foreground; within the demesne are the cemetery and some of the foundation of the church of St. Mavee, with a well dedicated to that saint. The only other seat is

Hacketstown, the property of J. H. Hamilton, Esq., proprietor of the parish, and now the residence of his agent. There are two windmills and a water-mill for grinding corn; and fairs are held at Skerries on April 28th, and Aug. 10th, for cattle and pigs. The living is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Dublin, and in the patronage of J. H. Hamilton, Esq., in whom the rectory is impropriate, and who has endowed the curacy with £60 per ann., which is augmented with £40 per ann. from Primate Boulter's fund. The church is a neat edifice, adjoining the town. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Skerries; there are chapels in the town and at Milverton. A schoolhouse was built in 1834, at the expense of J. H. Hamilton, Esq. ; and in the same year another was erected by a grant from the Commissioners of Education. There are some remains of a church on Innis Patrick, dedicated to St. Patrick.


SKERRIES, a sea-port and fishing town, in the parish of HOLMPATRICK, barony of BALROTHERY, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 3? miles (S. E.) from Balbriggan ; containing 2556 inhabitants. The town is situated on the eastern coast, and was the place at which Sir Henry Sydney landed, in 1575, when sent by Queen Elizabeth as Lord-Deputy of Ireland : it contains 528 houses, chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the fishery ; and in the neighbourhood are several handsome villas. Previously to the withdrawing of the fishery bounties, the trade of this place was very considerable ; at present only 46 boats of 40 tons, and carrying 7 men each, are employed in the fishery. Off the coast are the islands called the Skerries, within which is a broad beach of sand, dry at low water, extending from Shenex island, the most southern, to Red island, the most northern, and connected with the mainland by a causeway which, with a small pier on the north side, forms the harbour of Skerries. This harbour is the best on this part of the coast, having a good roadstead which is safe in southerly winds ; the channel between Red island and Colt island is only fit for boats ; but within St. Patrick's isle are from 3 to 4 fathoms of water. Tambour-work is carried on to a very considerable extent, affording employment to more than 700 persons. Fairs for cattle and pigs are held on April 28th and Aug. 10th, a constabulary police force is stationed in the town, and it is also a coast-guard station, being one of the nine that constitute the district of Swords, The parish church, a neat edifice, to which an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles was added, in 1819, by Hans Hamilton, Esq., adjoins the town ; and there is also a R. C. chapel, erected in 1823, a spacious and handsome edifice. There are circulating libraries in connection with both. The parochial school-house, with apartments for the master and mistress, was erected at the expense of J. H. Hamilton, Esq., and is near the church, and the national schools are situated in the town, in which there is also a dispensary. On the Red island and on that of Shenex are martello towers ; and on St. Patrick's isle are some remains of an ancient church.

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