CAPPOQUIN, a post-town

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CAPPOQUIN, a post-town, in the parish of LISMORE, barony of COSHMORE, county of WATERFORD, and province of MUNSTER, 30 ¾ miles (W. S. W.) from Waterford, and 106 ½ (S. W. by S.) from Dublin; containing 2289 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity, and had anciently a castle supposed to have been erected by the Fitzgerald family, but at what period is unknown. In the war of 1641, this castle was garrisoned by the Earl of Cork; and in 1642. Lord Broghill, on his return from the relief of Knockmoane with about 60 horse and 140 foot, defeated a party of the insurgents who were strongly posted in its vicinity, and, with the loss of only one man of his party, killed 200 of them and two of their captains. In July, 1643, General Purcell, having assembled his army at this place to besiege Lismore, ravaged the surrounding country; and, in 1645, the castle was taken by Lord Castlehaven after an obstinate defence.

The Earl of Cork built a bridge over the river at this place, and in the 17th and 18th of Charles II., an act was passed for building a new bridge. The town is pleasantly situated on the northern bank of the river Blackwater, in the angle from which it takes its course southerly to Youghal, and on the mail coach road from Waterford, through Youghal, to Cork. The navigation is continued by a canal to Lismore, and several new roads have been formed on the best levels diverging from the town, opening an improved communication with the adjoining counties. A road has also been constructed along the western bank of the river to Youghal; and it is intended to take down the present bridge, which is a light structure of wood, and replace it with a substantial building of stone. The surrounding country is finely diversified, and abounds with highly picturesque scenery.

Near the town is the seat of Sir R. Keane, Bart., a handsome mansion of hewn stone, situated in a richly improved, and well planted demesne, commanding a fine view of Dromana and the river Blackwater. Fairs are held in the town on March 17th, May 31st, July 5th, Sept. 20th, and Oct. 29th. A constabulary police force has been stationed here, and petty sessions are held once a fortnight. The church, which is a chapel of ease to the church of Lismore, from which it is 2 ½ miles distant, is a neat edifice with a spire; and near it is a R. C. chapel. There is a school under the Cork Society for supporting Schools in Munster, for which a neat school-house of stone has been erected, at an expense of £250; and a dispensary is supported.

At Mount Melleray, near the town, is the abbey of St. Bernard la Trappe, recently erected in the midst of a large mountainous tract, previously a barren wild, granted for that purpose to the society on very liberal terms by Sir R. Keane, Bart. The monastery encloses a quadrangular area, on three sides of which are ranges of building, 162 feet in length, 30 feet broad, and 32 feet high, containing a dormitory, kitchen, chapter-room, sacristy, and other apartments; and on the fourth side is the church of the monastery, 185 feet in length, 30 feet wide in the nave, 52 feet in the transept, and 50 feet high, with a tower surmounted by a spire of wood sheeted with copper painted to imitate stone, 140 feet high from the ground.

Great improvements have been made in the land; 120 acres of the mountain have been reclaimed, and fencing, draining, and the making of roads have been extensively carried on; about eight acres have been enclosed for a kitchen garden, producing excellent vegetables; and more than 30, 000 trees have been planted, most of which are flourishing. The monks have opened a school for the poor of the neighbourhood, and intend also to establish an agricultural school.

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