AGHABOE, or AUGHAVOE, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

AGHABOE, or AUGHAVOE, a parish, in the barony of UPPER OSSORY, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, on the road from Dublin to Roscrea; containing, with the post-town of Burros-in-Ossory, 6196 inhabitants. This place, originally called Achadh-Bho, and signifying in the Irish language "the field of an ox," derived that name from the fertility of its soil and the luxuriance of its pastures. It was celebrated at a very early period as the residence of St. Canice, who, in the 6th century, founded a monastery here for the cultivation of literature and religious discipline; and so great was his reputation for learning and sanctity, that a town was soon formed around it for the reception of his numerous disciples. The town soon afterwards became the seat of a diocese, comprehending the district of Ossory, and the church of the monastery was made the cathedral of the see of Aghaboe. This see continued, under a succession of bishops, to retain its episcopal distinction till near the close of the 12th century, when Felix O'Dullany, the last bishop, was compelled, by the submission of Donchad, Prince of Ossory, to Henry II., to remove the seat of his diocese to Kilkenny.

The parish comprises 17,311 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The rich and extensive vale in which it is seated lies between the mountains of Cullahill, on the south-east, and the Slieve Bloom range on the north-west, which separates the Queen's from the King's county. The soil is generally fertile, and in a tract of about 40 acres behind the church, said to have been the site of the ancient town, and afterwards of the abbey gardens, it is remarkably rich: the system of agriculture is improving, and there is a considerable tract of bog, but not sufficient to provide fuel for the use of the inhabitants. The substratum is limestone, of which there are several quarries; at Knockaruadh is found a brown slate; and at Carrig and Carrigeen are some rocks of granite.

The gentlemen's seats are Ballybrophy, the residence of T. White, Esq.; Old Park, of — Roe, Esq.; Middlemount, of Capt. Moss; Carrick, of — Pilkington, Esq.; and Cuffsborough, of J. Palmer, Esq. Fairs are held at Burros eight times in the year; and petty sessions are held every alternate week there and at Cuffsborough. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Rev. Thomas Carr; the rectory constitutes part of the corps of the deanery of St. Canice, Kilkenny, in the patronage of the Crown. The tithes amount to £789. 4. 7 ½., of which £526. 3. 1. is payable to the dean, and the remainder to the vicar. The parish church appears to be the chancel of the old cathedral, the west end having an arch of red grit-stone, now filled up with masonry; and there are foundations of walls, clearly indicating a continuance of the building towards the west; it was enlarged, or partly rebuilt, about 1818, for which purpose the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £500. Divine service is also performed in the courthouse of Burros. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100 and a loan of £1350 from the same Board, in 1820; there are two glebes in the parish, comprising together 185 acres, which belong to the vicarage.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, which comprises also the parishes of Killermagh and Boardwell, and parts of those of Kildellig and Coolkerry, and contains four chapels, three of which are at Knockrea, Ballincolla, and Burros-in-Ossory, in this parish. There are two schools, in which are about 80 boys and 50 girls, and of which one at Cuffsborough is principally supported by Jas. Grattan, Esq.; and there also eight private schools, in which are about 230 boys and 160 girls; and a Sunday school. At the distance of a few yards from the parish church are the remains of the Dominican abbey church; and at Lismore are the remains of an ancient oratory of stone, supposed to have been attached to a residence of the Fitzpatricks; adjoining it is an old burying-ground. To the north of the church is a large artificial mount, surrounded by a fosse and encircled with a wall near the summit; and at some distance from it is an ancient fortification, called the "rath of Lara," or the "moat of Monacoghlan." At Gurtneleahie is an ancient square castle; and at Ballygihin are the remains of an ancient fortress, of which there were formerly many others in the parish.— See BURROS-IN-OSSORY.

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