DELGANY, a post-town and parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

DELGANY, a post-town and parish, in the half-barony of RATHDOWN, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 95 miles (N.) from Wicklow, and 15 ¼ (S. S. E.) from Dublin; containing 2268 inhabitants, of which number, 188 are in the village. Towards the close of the fifth century a religious cell was founded by St. Mogoroc, brother of St. Canoc, at this place, which was anciently called Dergne, or Delgne; and in 1022 a great battle was fought here between Ugain, King of Leinster, and Sitric, the Danish King of Dublin, in which the latter was defeated. The parish, which is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Wexford, and on the lower road from Bray to Wicklow, and is bounded on the east by the sea, comprises 3782 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4965. 12. 2. per annum. The land is fertile, the system of agriculture much improved, and there is scarcely any waste land and but very little bog.

The village is beautifully situated in a sequestered spot on the banks of the stream that waters the Glen of the Downs, and consists of about 30 houses and cottages, which are built in a very pleasing style. A small manufacture of straw plat and nets is carried on; and about three miles to the south of Bray Head, on a low rocky point, is the small fishing hamlet called the Greystones, where is a coast-guard station, which is one of those that form the district of Kingstown. This point, which is a headland of slate projecting into deep water, has been considered by Mr. Nimmo to afford a suitable site for the construction of a harbour, and his estimate for erecting a serviceable pier is £4000. This would enclose an area of two acres for an outer harbour, and of one for an inner harbour, with a depth of ten feet at low water.

The scenery is richly diversified, and the neighbourhood is embellished with numerous seats, of which Bellview is the chief. It is situated in the Glen of the Downs, which is a deep ravine formed by a disruption of the mountain, apparently by some convulsion of nature, with precipitous sides, richly clothed with wood. Near its northern entrance stands Mrs. Peter La Touche's rustic cottage, on the margin of a fine lawn. The eastern part of the glen is included in the beautiful demesne of Bellview, the seat of Mrs. Peter La Touche. The stately mansion, to which extensive offices are attached, was built at an expense of £30,000 by the late David La Touche, Esq., who, in 1753, purchased the lands of Ballydonagh, now called Bellview, and in 1754 erected the house, which has been subsequently enlarged by the addition of wings. Behind it is a conservatory 264 feet in length, furnished with many rare exotics; it cost £4000. An elegant domestic chapel is in its immediate vicinity.

The demesne, containing above 600 acres, commands a variety of magnificent prospects. There are several walks leading to the Octagon House, Banqueting-room, and Turkish Tent; and within it is a park of 55 acres, well stocked with deer. These beautiful grounds are open to the public on Mondays and by special application on other days. Besides Bellview, there are several other fine seats affording delightful mountain and marine views, the chief of which are Templecarrig, the residence of Major Beresford; Glencarrig, of the Rev. H. Madden; Coolagad, of R. Fox, Esq.; Rathdown, of W. Morris, Esq.; Kindlestown House, of Capt. Morris; and Kindlestown Lodge, of J. Evans, Esq.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, united by act of council, prior to the year 1700, to the vicarage of Kilcoole and Kilmacanogue, together forming the union of Delgany, in the patronage of the Archbishop. This union also comprehends the ancient chapelries of Killossory, Doran or Hartain, Kilbride, Carrick, Kilmacbur, Glasmollen, and Grangenowal, which are now only known as townlands. The tithes amount to £206. 2. 3 ¾., and of the union to £594. 19. 4. The glebe-house stands on a glebe of more than two acres near the church. The church, which was erected in 1789, after a design by Whitmore Davis, and at the sole expense of Peter La Touche, Esq., is a spacious and handsome structure, enlarged in 1832, by a loan of £1200 from the late Board of First Fruits: it is in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower surmounted with pinnacles; the altar is on the north side, and the font of black marble was presented by Chalworth Brabazon, Esq. At the east end is a handsome monument to David La Touche, Esq., finely executed by Noah Hickey, a native artist, consisting of a full length figure of the deceased in a standing posture, surrounded by several members of his family.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Kilquade, and partly in that of Bray. The parochial school, and a school at Greystones, are supported by subscription; and at Windgates is a school on the foundation of Erasmus Smith; all are under the superintendence of the Protestant clergyman. Here is a dispensary in connection with that at Newtown-Mount-Kennedy, also a parochial library and a poor-shop for supplying the necessitous with goods at cost price; and two legacies, amounting to £67.10., have been bequeathed to the poor. On the farm of Mr. W. W. Ireland is the picturesque ruin of the chapel, or cell, of St. Crispin; and at a short distance from it, in a deep ravine towards the sea, stand the ruins of the castle of Rathdown, the ground plan of which may be traced, and the basement story of a tower, the walls of which are four feet thick, are still visible. On the townland of Kindlestown are extensive remains of Kindlestown castle. The remains of the former church are in a burial ground at a short distance from the present building; and in the small hamlet of Windgates is a very large cairn.—See KILLINCARRIG.

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