From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
CROSSMOLINA, a market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of TYRAWLEY, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 6 ½ miles (W. by S.) from Ballina, and 131 ¼ (W. N. W.) from Dublin; containing 11,479 inhabitants, of which number, 1481 are in the town. It stands on the river Deel, over which is a large stone bridge, on the direct road to the barony of Erris from Castlebar, and consists of a good main street and two converging ones, containing 310 houses. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on May 23rd, Sept. 12th, Oct. 26th, and Dec. 17th; and at Rakestreet on Feb. 2nd, March 25th, Aug. 23rd, and Dec. 8th. Petty sessions are held weekly, and here are also revenue and constabulary police stations. The parish contains a portion of the stupendous mountain of Nephin, 2840 feet above the level of the sea, on the western extremity of Lough Conn, a grand sheet of water, extending 10 miles in length, and in some places 4 in breadth. It comprises about 24,300 statute acres, one-third of which is arable land; the remainder is bog and mountain, the greater part reclaimable, but little improvement has taken place in agriculture.
About a mile from the town, on the bank of the river Deel, are quarries of very fine stone; and limestone and freestone abound. There are several gentlemen's seats in the vicinity: the principal are Eniscoe, the residence of M. Pratt, Esq.; Gurtner Abbey, of G. Ormsby, Esq.; Abbeytown, of W. Orme, Esq.; Knockglass, of T. Paget, Esq.; Fortland, of Major Jackson; Glenmore, of W. Orme, Esq.; Greenwood Park, of Capt. J. Knox; Belleville, of W. Orme, Esq.; Millbrook, of W. Orme, sen., Esq; Netley Park, of H. Knox, Esq.; Castle Hill, of Major McCormick; Ballycorroon, of E. Orme, Esq.; Stone Hall, of T. Knox, Esq.; Fahy, of Ernest A. Knox, Esq.; Cottage, of W. Ormsby, Esq.; Rappa Castle, of Annesley Gore Knox, Esq. (See Kilfyan); and the Vicarage-house, the residence of the Rev. — St. George, rector. Deel castle, on the banks of the river of the same name, now a fine modern residence, surrounded with much old timber, stands on the site of a very ancient structure.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Killala, united to the vicarages of Addergoole, Kilfyan, and Magaunagh, together forming the union of Crossmolina, in the patronage of the Bishop: the rectory is partly appropriate to the vicars choral of the cathedral of Christ-Church, Dublin, and partly to the prebend of Errew in the cathedral of Killala. The tithes amount to £460, of which £17 is payable to the vicars choral, £213 to the appropriators, and £230 to the vicar: the gross amount of the tithes of the union is £550. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £ 100, and a loan of £825, in 1814, from the late Board of First. Fruits: the glebe comprises 35 acres.
The church is a neat plain edifice, with a square tower and spire, erected in 1810, by aid of a loan of £1000, in 1809, from the late Board of First Fruits; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £197 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Glanbest, and partly a district or parish in itself, in which are two chapels, one at Kilmurra and one at Crossmolina; the former was built in 1785, at an expense of £50, and the latter in 1806, and cost £200. A painting of the Madonna over the altar was brought from Rome by Archbishop McHale. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Crossmolina.
There are seven schools, one of which is aided by a donation of £10 per annum from Mrs. Palmer, and a house and two acres of ground, valued at £10 per annum, given by the late Mrs. Palmer; also six hedge schools and a Sunday school. The total number of children on the books of these schools is upwards of 1000. A dispensary has been established. At Errew, a peninsula stretching from the barony of Tyrawley into Lough Conn, are the ruins of a friary, which was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, having a beautiful east window. There is also a ruin at Abbeytown; at Kildavarrogue are the remains of the old church, with a burial-place; and near the church are the ruins of an old castle.
In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries.
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