BALLYMODAN, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYMODAN, a parish, partly in the Eastern Division of the barony of EAST CARBERY, but chiefly in that of KINNALMEAKY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with the greater part of the borough of Bandon, 9969 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the river Bandon, and comprises 7408 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4670 per annum. The land in general is tolerably good, and the system of agriculture has been . greatly improved by the encouragement and example of the Bernard family and the resident gentry of the neighbourhood. The surrounding scenery is richly diversified and embellished with several gentlemen's seats, among which the principal is Castle Bernard, formerly Castle Mahon, the elegant seat of the Earl of Bandon. It is a stately mansion, erected in 1806 near the site of the former castle, which originally belonged to the O'Mahony family and was subsequently the residence of Judge Bernard, by whom it was greatly improved in 1715.

The park, which is on the south bank of the river and about a rnile from Bandon, extends into the parish of Kilbrogan, and is justly celebrated for the beauty and variety of its scenery and the extent and rich luxuriance of its woods. At no great distance from the present house is the ancient fortress of the family of O'Mahony, of whom the last chieftain of that sept, Connogher O'Mahony, proprietor of the seigniory of Kinnalmeaky, fell fighting in the rebellion of the Earl of Desmond, whose cause he had embraced; it forms a striking and an interesting feature in the widely extended and highly beautiful demesne. The other seats are the Farm, a handsome house in the Elizabethan style, the residence of the Hon W. S. Bernard; Mayfield, of T. Poole, Esq.; Hare Hill, of J. Beamish, Esq.; Mount Prospect, of Mrs. Bradshaw; Overton, of Colonel Clerke; Richmount, of J. Sealy, Esq.; and Clancoole, of Mrs. Gillman. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the Duke of Devonshire. The tithes amount to £800, payable in moieties to the impropriator and the vicar.

The church, a plain neat edifice, situated in the town of Bandon, was erected at the expense of the first Earl of Cork, in 1618, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £441 for its repair. The glebe contains 9 ¼ acres, but there is no glebe-house. In the R. C. divisions the parish is united with that of Kilbrogan and part of Desertserges, forming the union or district of Bandon. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Munster, of the second class, and there are also places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school is at Bandon; and a large and commodious school-house, with a residence for the master, has been erected by the Duke of Devonshire on Cavendish quay; another parochial school at Curravarrahane is endowed with a house for the master and two acres of land by the vicar, by whom also it is supported. There are also several other schools in Bandon, which see. Of the ancient church, situated to the east of the town, only the cemetery remains.

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