CAHIRCONLISH, a post-town and parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CAHIRCONLISH, a post-town and parish (formerly incorporated), in the barony of CLANWILLIAM, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 7 miles (E. S. E.) from Limerick, and 116 (S. W. by W.) from Dublin; containing 3964 inhabitants, of which number, 703 are in. the town. It is situated one mile west of the new line of road from Limerick to Clonmel, and was formerly a walled town, containing four castles and an extensive and celebrated college, every vestige of which has long since disappeared, and its site is only known from a field still retaining the name of the College Field. The town was formerly incorporated, as appears by a grant made in the 32nd of Edward III., and dated Nov. 9th, 1358, conferring "murage for 20 years" on "the Provost, Bailiff, and Commonalty of the town of Catherkenlyshe" On Aug. 7th, 1690, William III. encamped here on his march to the siege of Limerick, as did also General de Ginkell in the following year. The town contains about 120 houses, of which several are large and well built, but in a dilapidated state: it is a constabulary police station, and fairs are held on May 16th, Aug. 20th, Oct. 17th, and Dec. 5th.

The parish contains 4777 statute acres: the soil is variable, but in general very productive; about one-third is under tillage; the remainder is meadow, pasture, or demesne, with about 120 acres of bog, which is here valuable. Near the town stands Cahirconlish House, a handsome modern residence, erected near the site of the old family mansion, by the proprietor, Major William Wilson; it is surrounded by fine plantations and ornamental grounds. The old mansion, which stood on a rock, was one of the castles above noticed, and, though previously exhibiting no extraordinary marks of decay, suddenly split from top to bottom, one half falling into a heap of ruins, and the other left standing; the gateway, on which are the arms of the Wilson family, yet remains. Not far distant are Baskill, the residence of B. Friend, Esq., and the glebe-house, of the Rev. M. Moore.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Emly, united in 1791, by act of council, to the vicarage of Luddenbeg and the rectory and vicarage of Carrigparson, together forming the union of Cahirconlish, in the patronage of the Archbishop of Cashel: the rectory is appropriate to the vicars choral of the cathedral of Christ-Church, Dublin. The tithes amount to £581. 11. 1., of which £369. 4. 7. is payable to the vicars choral, and the remainder to the vicar; the gross tithes payable to the incumbent amount to £362. 1. 65. The church is a spacious edifice, in the early English style, with a lofty square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire of hewn stone. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100, in 1796, from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe, which is attached to the glebe-house, is tastefully planted and contains 14 ½ statute acres; besides this there are two other glebes, one of 5 statute acres, opposite the entrance to Cahirconlish House, and the other in the townland of Grenane, of 2 acres.

In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising the parishes of Cahirconlish, Isert-Lawrence, Carrigparson, and Ballybrood, and part of Dromkeen, and containing two chapels, one at Kilmurry in Cahirconlish, and the other at Isert-Lawrence. The male and female parochial schools afford instruction to about 90 boys and 90 girls; the school-house is a large and handsome building, erected by the Wilson family, who also contribute liberally towards the support of the schools. There is also a school at Inch-St. Lawrence. Near the glebe-house, about a mile from the town, is the castle of Carrigifariogla, now called Carrigoreely, or "O'Farrell's rock", built by the Bourkes, but last occupied by the O'Dalys. There are also near the town the scattered fragments of what appears to have been an outer wall of an old fortress, called Croc-a-Ysenachuis-leann, or "the old Hill of the Castle;" and on the banks of the Mulchair are the ruins of Castle Brittas, built by the Bourkes, Lords of Brittas.

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