BALLYADAMS, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYADAMS, a parish, partly in the barony of STRADBALLY, but chiefly in that of BALLYADAMS, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 3 ½ miles (S. W.) from Athy; containing, with the parish of Baltintubber, 2165 inhabitants. This parish, which gives name to the barony within which it is chiefly included, and is also called Kilmakedy, is situated on the road from Carlow to Maryborough; and comprises 6811 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which about 30 are woodland, 260 bog, and the remainder good arable land. The state of agriculture is improving; limestone is quarried for building and burning; there are some quarries of good flag-stone, and coal is found in the parish. Ballyadams Castle is the seat of Capt. Butler; Gracefield, of Mrs. Kavanagh; and Popefield, of Capt. Pope. To the north of the old castle is Southville, formerly a residence of the late Richard Grace, of Boley, Esq.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Leighlin, with the rectory and vicarage of Bal-lintubber united from time immemorial; the patronage is disputed, and in the mean time the Bishop presents. The tithes of the united parishes amount to £553. 16. 11. The church of the union is at Ballintubber; the old parish church is a ruin situated on an eminence, and containing a monument with the recumbent effigies of Sir Robert Bowen, of Ballyadams Castle, and his lady, and one to the memory of the late Major-General Sir Edward Butler. There is neither glebe nor glebe-house.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district which comprises also the parishes of Ballintubber, Tullowmoy, Kilclonbrook, Rathaspeck, and Tecolme, and contains three chapels, one of which is in this parish. There is a school of about 80 boys and 50 girls. A school at Ballintubber was founded towards the close of the last century by Bowen Southwell, Esq., who endowed it with £20 per annum; and there are three pay schools. On a hill opposite to that on which are the remains of the church, are the ruins of the old castle of Ballyadams, which was besieged in 1641; they consist of embattled walls with projecting towers, and a lofty keep, and present a very interesting appearance. Near the castle are two very ancient wells sunk a few feet in the solid limestone rock, the water of which is supposed to have had medicinal properties imparted to it by St. Patrick. Cobler's Castle, bordering on the barony of Stradbally, was built on the summit of a lofty hill, to give employment to the neighbouring poor in a season of scarcity.

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