BALLYMONEY, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYMONEY, a parish, in the Eastern Division of the barony of EAST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 10 miles (W. by S.) from Bandon; containing 3802 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the river Bandon, and skirted on the north by the mail coach road from Bandon to Dunmanway, comprises 7056 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act and valued at £4017 per annum. The land is of good quality; about two-thirds of the parish are under cultivation, and the remainder is chiefly mountain and bog. The old heavy wooden plough is generally in use, and, except on the lands of the resident gentry, agriculture as a system is unknown. The opening of a new line of road through the parish to Clonakilty, whence sea manure is obtained in abundance, has afforded the means of bringing much poor land into cultivation. Great quantities of fuel are raised from the bogs, which supply turf and bog wood for the neighbourhood to the south. Near Ballyneen is Phale House, the residence of E. H. Good, Esq.: a mile to the west is Kilcascan, the seat of W. J. O'Neill Daunt, Esq., a handsome castellated mansion embosomed in young and thriving plantations; and at Ballincarrig is the neat residence of J. Heazle, Esq. A domestic manufacture of coarse linen is carried on for home consumption. At Ballincarrig are Rockcastle mills, the property of Mr. Heazle, capable of grinding 5000 bags of wheat annually, and affording constant employment to 20 persons; and at Ballyneen a few persons are engaged in weaving cotton cord, but the principal pursuit is agriculture. Ballyneen is a constabulary police station, and petty sessions are held there every alternate Monday.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £785. The church is an old but a very neat edifice. The glebe-house, pleasantly situated in the centre of some extensive improvements, was built by aid of a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1789: the glebe comprises 43 acres. In the R. C. divisions, one-half of the parish is included in the union or district of Dunmanway, and the other half in that of Kinneigh or Enniskean: the chapel at Ballincarrig, belonging to the former, is a small neat edifice recently erected. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Ballyneen. The parochial male and female school is aided by annual donations from the rector and his lady; and another school is supported by the rector. These schools afford instruction to about 60 boys and 40 girls; and there are also three hedge schools, in which are about 150 children, and a Sunday school.

There are some remains of Ballincarrig castle, originally built to command a very important pass in the valley; it is a lofty square pile of building, 96 feet high, the walls of which are 6 feet in thickness; a spiral stone staircase, still in tolerable preservation, leads to the battlements; the platform and one of the gables are entire, but the roof has been long destroyed. The upper apartment is lighted by circular arched windows in the Norman style, with mouldings enriched with curious devices, and various scriptural emblems, among which is Our Saviour on the cross between the two thieves, and on two sides of the room are seats: there are also the initials R.M.—C.C., and the date 1585, above which is an angel with expanded wings. This inscription is supposed to commemorate the founder, Randal McCarty, and his wife Catherine Collins. Below this apartment is a lofty vaulted hall, which, from the brackets and small windows still remaining, is supposed to have been originally divided into three different stories. At a short distance to the south-east is a circular keep or watch tower; to the south is a lake; and to the north is a bog of considerable extent terminated by a low ridge of rugged rocks. Though the date of the castle is supposed to be 1585, the original tower is evidently of much greater antiquity, and probably of the 12th or 13th century. Near the castle have been found several silver coins.

« Ballymoney, Antrim | Index | Ballymoran »