BALLYCLOUGH, or LAVAN, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYCLOUGH, or LAVAN, a parish, partly in the barony of DUHALLOW, but chiefly in that of ORRERY and KILMORE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 3 ½ miles (W. N. W.) from Mallow; containing 3853 inhabitants. In March, 1691, a body of native forces in the interest of James II. posted themselves at this place and began to throw up entrenchments; but on the approach of Major Culliford from Cork, with a detachment of 400 men, they were compelled to abandon their works. The village is situated on a gentle eminence at the opening of a vale, through which flows the river Finnow, formed by a collection of various springs, in its course to the Blackwater. Adjoining are the extensive boulting-mills of Messrs. Haines and Smith, driven by the Finnow, and generally giving employment to 25 persons. Fairs are held on Easter Monday, June 21st, Aug. 5th, and Sept. 19th, chiefly for cattle and pigs. A constabulary police force is stationed here. The new line of road from Mallow to Kanturk and Newmarket, runs through the parish, which comprises 9641 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £7905 per annum: the lands are chiefly arable, and there is neither mountain nor bog. Limestone abounds, and forms the substratum of the eminence on which the village is situated; and on the estate of Colonel Longfield are indications of culm, but it has not yet been worked.

The principal seat is Longueville, the noble mansion of Colonel Longfield, representative of the late Viscount Longueville, who derived his title from this place: the house, consisting of a centre and two spacious wings, is beautifully situated on the northern bank of the Blackwater, in the midst of some very rich and varied scenery. Near the village is Blossomfort, the neat residence of J. Smith, Esq.; and in the parish are Waterloo, the residence of H. Longfield, Esq.; Summerville, of J. N. Wrixon, Esq.; Kilpatrick, of W. J. McCormick, Esq., M.D.; and Ballythomas, of R. Bullen, Esq.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, with that of Drumdowney episcopally united, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in Colonel Longfield. The tithes amount to £781. 10., of which £381. 10. is payable to the impropriator, and £400 to the vicar, and the tithes of the whole benefice amount to £430. The church, a neat edifice with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, was erected in 1830, partly by subscription, towards which the late Lord Lisle contributed £100 and Lord Arden and Colonel Longfield £50 each, partly by a loan of £730 from the late Board of First Fruits, and partly by the sale of the pews. The glebe-house, a handsome and commodious residence, was built by the Rev. John Chester, the present incumbent: the old glebe, comprising only half an acre, has been enlarged by the addition of 13a. 3r. 13p., plantation measure, in reduction of the rent of which, at six per cent, a fine of £200 was paid by the late Board of First Fruits.

In the R. C. divisions this is one of the four parishes that constitute the union or district of Kilbrin, also called Ballyclough; the chapel, a thatched building in the village, is about to be converted into a school, and a new chapel erected. A school of about 20 boys and 40 girls is supported by subscription; a Sunday school of 10 boys and 20 girls is supported by the vicar, and there are four pay schools, in which are about 180 boys and 116 girls. A bequest of £4 per ann. late currency, from Nicholas Lysaght, Esq., is regularly paid by Lord Lisle and distributed among the poor. A lofty square tower in excellent preservation, and inhabited by the steward of R. E. P. Coote, Esq., formed part of Ballyclough Castle, built by a branch of the family of Barry, called Mac Roberts or Mac Robert-Barry: it is situated in a well-planted demesne, which has been laid out with a view to building, and was completely repaired about 30 years since, and a range of substantial out-offices has been subsequently added.

Mount North, a fine old mansion of the Lysaght family, has been deserted for many years, and is now in a very dilapidated state. Near the high road was an obelisk, erected on four arches by the first Lord Lisle, which was destroyed by lightning in the winter of 1834, and the stones were thrown to a great distance. Near the village is a strong chalybeate spring, partly overflowed by a brook; and at Kilpatrick is another. At Kilgubbin is a planted Danish rath, which has been from time immemorial used as a cemetery for still-born children; the numerous graves of diminutive length, with proportionably small tombstones, have a very interesting appearance. The churchyard is the burial-place of the family of Lysaght, of Mount North, ennobled in the person of John, created Baron Lisle, of Mount North, Sept. 18th, 1758, and also of the Longfields of Longueville.

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