From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
CASTLETOWN-ARRA, a parish, in the barony of OWNEY and ARRA, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 8 miles (W. N. W.) from Nenagh; containing 4110 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Shannon, and on the road from Nenagh to Killaloe; it comprises 6697 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5110 per annum: about 720 acres are mountain, and the remainder is good arable and pasture land. At Garry-Kennedy are some very extensive slate quarries belonging to the Mining Company of Ireland, from which great quantities of slate are raised and shipped from a quay which has been constructed there, for which the steam navigation on the Shannon, and the canal, afford every facility. The scenery is strikingly diversified; it includes a large portion of Lough Derg, and the mountains of Clare and Galway. Castlelough, the seat of Anthony Parker, Esq., is finely situated in a richly cultivated demesne of 640 acres, embellished with timber of stately growth and with young and thriving plantations; the deer park is extensive and well stocked. The other seats within the parish are Lansdowne, the residence of Mrs. Parker, and those of G. Watson and—Kent, Esqrs., at Garry-Kennedy. A constabulary police force has been stationed here; and fairs, chiefly for cattle, sheep, and pigs, are held at Portroe on March 22nd, May 14th, July 23rd, and Nov. 11th.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Killaloe, episcopally united, in 1781, to the rectories and vicarages of Youghal-Arra and Burgess-Beg, forming the union of Castletown-Arra, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £304. 12.3 ¾., and of the whole benefice to £997. 16. 11 ¼. The church, an ancient structure of simple style, is pleasingly situated on the margin of Lough Derg. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £250 and a loan of £550 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1820. The glebe comprises 3 acres, and there are other glebe lands in the union, comprising together 4a. 3r., making in the whole 1a. 3r. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel is at Portroe. A parochial school, in which about 50 boys and 30 girls are instructed, is supported by the rector; and there is a pay school, in which are about 120 boys and 70 girls. The old castle from which this place derived its name was formerly the residence of the Parkers, but is now in ruins; the demesne skirts the Shannon for a considerable distance, commanding some beautiful and extensive views.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A touching story for the genuine booklover, written by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St John Featherstonehaugh.
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