From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
DRUMCLIFFE, a parish, in the Lower half-barony of CARBERY, county of SLIGO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 3 ¼ miles (N. N. W.) from Sligo, on the mail coach road to Londonderry, through Ballyshannon; containing 13,956 inhabitants. This place anciently called Cnoc na teagh, was once a large town. A monastery was founded here, in 590, by St. Columba, who appointed his disciple, St. Thorian, or Mothorian, abbot, and to his office episcopal jurisdiction was united: the see was subsequently united to Elphin. St. Torannan, a succeeding abbot, who died in 921, was afterwards regarded as the patron saint of the place. A religious house was also founded at Cailleavinde by St. Fintan, a disciple of St. Columb.
The parish comprises 17,038 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The land is principally light and under tillage, and there is abundance of bog. On the north-west side of Magherow lies the Serpent Rock, so called from the great variety of its curious fossils, representing serpents, fishes, &c. Here are quarries of limestone; and at Glencar is a remarkable waterfall, 300 feet high; but when the wind is south, the water is prevented from descending. At Raughley is a good harbour, designed by Mr. Nimmo, and executed at the joint expense of the Government and Sir R. G. Booth, Bart. Petty sessions are held at Summerhill every Wednesday; and a manor court is held at Ardharman, under Sir R. G. Booth's patent.
The principal seats are Lissadell, the residence of Sir R. Gore Booth, Bart.; Craig House, of the Hon. R. King; Dunally, of Colonel Parke; Ellen-villa, of J. C. Martin, Esq.; Summerhill, of R. Irwin, Esq.; Elsinore, of R. Young, Esq.; Mount Shannon, of H. H. Slade, Esq.; Cottage,of J. Gethin, Esq.; Willoughbrook, of W. Ormsby Gore, Esq.; and Millbrook, of J. Simpson, Esq.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Elphin, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in Owen Wynne, Esq. The tithes amount to £720, of which half is paid to the impropriator and half to the vicar. The glebe-house stands on a glebe of 40 acres. The church is a handsome building in the Gothic style, with a square tower ornamented with minarets, erected by aid of a loan of £600, in 1809, from the late Board of First Fruits, on part of the site of the ancient abbey: the church service is also performed every Sunday in the school-house at Lissadell.
In the R. C. divisions this parish is divided into two parts, Drumcliffe and Rathcormac: and has three chapels. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Drum, and another at Ballinford; and also one for Primitive Methodists. Schools at Milltown and Castletown are supported by Sir R. G. Booth, Bart.; at Drum, by J. Wynne, Esq.; and there are two other public schools. In these about 500 children are educated, and in twelve private schools about 700 are taught; there are also four Sunday schools.
There are some remains of the monastic buildings, and close to the shore are the ruins of the ancient castle of the Gore family, which settled here in the reign of William III.: there is also a portion of an ancient round tower; and near the church are two remarkable crosses, one handsomely carved, the other mutilated. In the demesne of Summerhill is an extensive Danish fort, called Lisnalwray; and, near Lissadell demesne, a cromlech weighing several tons. There are also many ancient forts, one having a chamber under ground; and at Raughley are chalybeate springs.—See CARNEY.
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