LARACOR

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LARACOR, a parish, in the barony of LOWER MOYFENRAGH, county of MEATH, and province of LEINSTER; containing, with the post-town of Summerhill, (which is separately described), 2418 inhabitants.

The parish comprises 7787 statute acres, of which about two-thirds are under tillage; the remainder, with the exception of some bog near Summerhill, is good pasturage. The western part consists of limestone gravel, and the eastern of a strong clayey loam.

The principal seats are Rock Lodge, the residence of T. Disney, Esq.; Freffans, of W. Battersby, Esq.; the glebe-house, of the Rev. Blayney Irwine; Spring Valley, of R. Butler Bryan, Esq.; Braymount, of G. J. Murphy, Esq.; Adamstown, the property of T. Disney, Esq.; and Summerhill, the property of the Earl of Longford.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of the Crown; the tithes amount to £415. 7. 8. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £200 and a loan of £550 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1813; the glebe comprises 21 acres. The church is an ancient edifice, which it is intended to rebuild; it contains a handsome monument to the memory of Sir Colley Wellesley, Knt., this having been formerly the burial-place of the Wellesley as it still is of the Perceval family.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Summer-hill, which includes the parishes of Laracor, Agher, Drumlargan, and Gallow; there is a chapel at Dangan, in Laracor, and another at Agher. At Summerhill is a place of worship for Presbyterians, in connection with the Synod of Munster, the minister of which receives an annual grant of £53. 10. 8. royal bounty. The parochial school is at Summerhill, and there is a school at Dangan, and another at Rocklodge, to which T. Disney, Esq., subscribes £15 annually: about 270 children are educated in these schools, and about 30 in two private schools. Here are the ruins of Dangan castle, which was the ancient manorial seat of the Wellesleys, and in which the Duke of Wellington, the Marquess Wellesley, and Lords Maryborough and Cowley, were born. It was a splendid residence, surrounded by a noble demesne, but was burnt some years since and is now the property of Major Burrowes. Of Knightsbrook, formerly the handsome residence of the Perceval family, only the offices remain. This parish was for several years the benefice and residence of Dr. Jonathan Swift, afterwards Dean of St. Patrick's, who was instituted to the living in 1699; and of Esther Johnson, known by the poetic name of Stella.

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