ABBEYSTROWRY, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

ABBEYSTROWRY, a parish, in the Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with part of the market and post-town of Skibbereen, 5570 inhabitants. This parish is situated near the southern coast, on the road from Cork to Baltimore, and is intersected by the river Ilen. It contains 9362 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; and is said to derive its name from a religious house, the ruins of which are situated close to the northern bank of the Ilen, one mile west from Skibbereen, but of the origin of which no particulars are on record. About one-third is waste land or bog, the former consisting of rocky elevations which in some parts afford tolerable pasturage; the bog is only of small extent, and peat is becoming somewhat scarce. Generally the system of agriculture is not much improved: the heavy old wooden plough is still used. The substratum is entirely of the schistus formation: there are quarries of excellent slate at Derrygoole, but not much worked; and throughout the parish is found clay-slate for building and repairing the roads.

There are numerous large and handsome residences: the principal are Hollybrook, the seat of R. Becher, Esq.; Lakelands, of T. J. Hungerford, Esq.; Coronea, of Mrs. Marmion; Gortnamucalla, of H. Newman, Esq.; Carriganare, of Mrs. Evans; Laghartydawley, of A. McCarthy, Esq.; Mill House, of J. Clark, Esq.; Clover Hill, of J. Sweetnam, Esq.; Weston, of D. H. Clarke, Esq.; the glebe-house, the residence of the Rev. R. B. Townsend; Abbeyville, the seat of G. Brenham, Esq.; and Rossfort, of J. Ross, Esq.; The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ross, and in the patronage of J. S. Townsend, Esq., the impropriator of the rectory: the tithes amount to £647, of which £200 is payable to the impropriator, £20 to the vicar (under an appropriation grant of the late Earl of Shannon), and the remainder to the lessees of Col. Townsend.

The church, situated in the town of Skibbereen, is a large edifice, in the early English style of architecture, with a lofty square tower at the east end: it was built on a new site in 1827, at an expense of £1200, of which £900 was given by the late Board of First Fruits; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £180 for its repair. The glebe-house, near the town, was built in 1824, by aid of a gift of £450 and a loan of £50 from the same Board, on a glebe of fifteen acres purchased by the Board and subject to a rent of £13. 7. per annum. In the R. C. divisions this parish is united to those of Creagh and Tullagh, under the denomination of the union of Skibbereen: the chapel in that town is a spacious and handsome structure, in the Grecian style, with an elegant altar; there is also a chapel in the parish of Tullagh. The male and female parochial schools are situated near the church, and were built in 1825, at the expense of the vicar. An infants' school was built in 1835, and is supported by subscription; and there is a Sunday school for both sexes, under the superintendence of the vicar.— See SKIBBEREEN.

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