BALLYSAX, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALLYSAX, a parish, partly in the barony of WEST OPHALY, but chiefly in that of EAST OPHALY, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 2 ¾ miles (S.W. by W.) from Kilcullen-Bridge; containing 996 inhabitants. This parish is situated within a mile of the great southern road from Dublin to Cork, and comprises 4995 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £2817 per annum. The greater portion is under tillage, and the remainder, with the exception of a large tract of bog and waste, is meadow and pasture; the soil is fertile, and the system of agriculture improved. Adjoining the parish is the celebrated race-course called the Curragh; and within its limits is Ballysax House, the elegant seat of G. O'Kelly, Esq. On the Curragh are also Cobourg Lodge, the residence of J. Maher, Esq.; Brownstone House, of G. Knox, Esq.; Ballyfair House, occupied during the races by His Excellency the Lord-Lieutenant; Lark Lodge, of W. Disney, Esq.; Maddens-town House, of W. Kelly, Esq.; Turf Lodge, of R. Hunter, Esq.; Jockey Hall, of G. Watts, Esq.; Athgar-von Lodge, of the Hon. F. Ponsonby; and Maddens-town, of Terence Kelly, Esq. A fair is held at the French Furze on July 26th.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Kildare, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £186. The church, a neat edifice, with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, was erected by aid of a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1826; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £249 for its repair. There is a glebe-house, with a glebe comprising 19a. 2r. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Sancroft. A school is supported by local subscription, aided by an endowment bequeathed by the late Rev. William Tew; and there is also a school in connection with the National Board. In these about 60 boys and 40 girls are instructed; and there is a pay school, in which are 20 boys and 20 girls. The Rev. W. Tew also bequeathed £50 in the 3 ½ per cent, for the benefit of the poor.

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