From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
DRUMCONRA, or DRUMCONRATH, a parish, in the barony of LOWER SLANE, county of MEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Ardee, on the mail road from Dublin to Londonderry; containing 2967 inhabitants, of which number, 420 were in the village. This place was the scene of an action, in 1539, between the English of the Pale and the northern Irish under O'Nial. A considerable party of the latter, detached from the main army, had taken an advantageous position at Bellahoe, in order to oppose the passage of the river by the Lord-Deputy Grey and his forces, who were inarching to attack the insurgents, but after an obstinate conflict, the English threw them into disorder; and their commander being killed, they retreated in dismay, and communicating the panic to the main body, the whole army of the Irish fled in every direction with so much precipitation, that 400 only of their forces fell in the pursuit. This victory broke up the northern confederacy, which had been raised to oppose the progress of the Reformation in Ireland.
The parish comprises 7566 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: about 1500 are good grazing land, 300 bog, and the remainder, with the exception of a small quantity of waste land, is under tillage; the soil is fertile, the system of agriculture improved, and the parish generally in a good state of cultivation. There are several quarries of limestone, and a good quarry of building stone near the village; and on the townland of Kellystown, near Bellahoe, is a quarry of white marble, which is not worked at present. Aclare, the seat of H. Corbet Singleton, Esq., is pleasantly situated in a demesne comprising about 325 statute acres, one-fourth of which is underwood. Aclare Lodge is the neat residence of G. Moore Adams, Esq., and Newstone, the property of A. Forbes, Esq. A large portion of the lake of Bellahoe, which is a mile and a half in length and half a mile in breadth, and in which are two picturesque islands, is within the limits of the parish. The village is a constabulary police station, and has a penny post to Ardee.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £507. 13. 10 ¼.; the glebe-house has seven acres of glebe attached to it. The church, a plain neat structure, was erected in 1766. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £261 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also Ardagh and Loughbraccan. The chapel, a spacious modern building, is situated near the village. In the parochial school are about 20 boys and 20 girls; and there are two private schools, in which are about 50 boys and 30 girls. Alderman W. Forbes bequeathed to the poor a rent-charge of £10 late currency, secured on the Newstone estate. Near the village is a large rath, commanding a very extensive view of the bay of Dundalk, with the several adjacent counties; it has been recently planted by H. C. Singleton, Esq., and forms a prominent and pleasing feature in the scenery of the place.
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.
This is a story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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