From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
The parish comprises 32,300 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, a very considerable portion of which is in demesne and occupied by extensive plantations. The soil is generally fertile, except in those parts which consist of rocky mountain, and even these are in many places embellished with trees of various kinds that have taken root in the fissures of the rock. There are some large tracts of bog, affording an abundant supply of fuel. Quarries of limestone and slate are worked to a considerable extent; the former for building and agricultural purposes, and the latter for roofing and for various other uses. The ancient ironworks have been long since discontinued, but some vestiges of their existence may still be traced, and the extent to which they were carried on is evident from the vast consumption of timber in the neighbourhood. Lead and copper ores have been obtained in abundance, and the mines appear to have been worked at a very early period. Some of the rude implements used in breaking the ore, and called by the country people "Danes' hammers," are still occasionally found; they consist of smooth oval stones much chipped at the edges, with grooves in the centre by which they were fastened to the handles. A very valuable copper-mine was for several years worked on Ross Island; and both copper and cobalt were formerly obtained at Muckross: the works on Ross Island have been discontinued, and the ground has been planted and highly embellished, under the directions of the Countess of Kenmare.
The river Laune, the only outlet from the lakes, is susceptible of great improvement, and at a moderate expense might be rendered navigable from the Lower Lake to the harbour of Castlemaine. Kenmare House, the residence of the Earl of Kenmare, is a spacious mansion, externally plain, but containing several noble apartments elegantly fitted up, with a ball-room of large dimensions, an excellent library, and a domestic chapel. The demesne, which is very extensive, has been greatly improved, and commands from the rear of the house a beautiful but distant view of the Lower Lake and the mountains on its shores. In the deer-park, situated to the north-east of the town, is a beautiful and romantic glen, through which the Dinagh takes its course and is crossed by a rustic foot bridge. Muckross, the seat of H. A. Herbert, Esq., is situated in a demesne of enchanting beauty. The old mansion has been taken down, and is about to be rebuilt in a style according more with the beauty of the grounds, and the numerous interesting objects in the immediate vicinity: the road through the peninsula of Muckross and across Brickeen bridge to the island of that name, will be so improved as to form a delightful drive through the whole of this romantic demesne.
Torc Cottage, the seat of Capt. Herbert, at the southeastern extremity of the lake of that name, is a handsome building in the early English style, commanding, from its peculiar situation, some grand and majestic mountain scenery, the beauty of which is heightened by reflection from the smooth surface of the lake, of which it has an uninterrupted view; the pleasure grounds are laid out with great taste and kept in excellent order. The Park, the seat of D. Cronin, Esq., is a handsome mansion, situated in an extensive and richly wooded demesne, and commanding a beautiful, though distant view of the Lower Lake. Flesk Castle, the seat of J. Coltsman, Esq., a spacious modern castellated mansion, combining various styles, occupies the summit of Droumhumper Hill, rising gently from the river Flesk, which encircles its base, and richly clothed with plantations and shrubs, presenting a remarkably picturesque object as seen from the Cork road. From the castle terrace is an extensive panoramic view of the Middle and Lower lakes, with the surrounding scenery; and at a moderate elevation above the river is a beautiful round tower with projecting battlements, resembling an ancient water tower, which forms an interesting feature in the scenery of the demesne.
Cahirnane, the seat of H. Herbert, Esq., is situated in a richly wooded demesne, which is much admired for its noble avenue of trees. Castle Lough, the seat of D. S. Lawlor, Esq., formerly a strong fortress in connection with the abbey of Muckross, was besieged by the parliamentarian army under Ludlow, and finally demolished; it became afterwards the site of a residence of a younger branch of the family of Mac Carthy More, by patent of James II. in 1683, and it now an inconsiderable ruin in the demesne of the present proprietor, and nearly adjoining the present mansion; it is situated on a rocky promontory in the bay of the same name in the Lower Lake, and the grounds command some of the finest scenery on its shores. Flesk Priory, the seat of J. S. Coxon, Esq., is an elegant modern residence in the cottage style, in tastefully disposed grounds, and commanding some pleasing views.
Danesfort, the seat of Capt. Coulthurst, takes its name from an ancient fort near the house; it is pleasingly situated on a gentle eminence, commanding some interesting views of the Middle and Lower lakes. The other seats are Woodlawn, of the Hon. W. Browne; Flesk Cottage, of Capt. Godfrey; South Hill, of J. Leahy, Esq.; Courtayne Castle, of the Courtayne family; and Gheramine, of the Rev. — Hutchinson. There are several other seats in the vicinity, which are described in the parishes of Aghadoe and Knockane, in which they are situated.
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 story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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