LEIGHMONEY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LEIGHMONEY, LEOFFONEY, or LIFFANY, a parish, in the barony of KINNALEA, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, l ½ mile (S. S. E.) from Innishannon, on the road from Kinsale to Bandon; containing 855 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the south by the river Bandon, on the margin of which are the remains of Shippool castle (formerly called Poolna-long), built in 1496 by the Roche family, and, from its vicinity to Kinsale, twice attacked by the Spaniards in 1601, but vigorously defended by the garrison, who repulsed the assailants with considerable loss. In 1642 it was taken by the garrison of Bandon for the king, and by this means a communication was kept open with Kinsale and the eastern parts of the county, which very greatly assisted the royal cause; it was occupied by the father of the present proprietor till 1794. The remains consist of one lofty square tower, apparently battered by artillery, and several cannon balls have been found in the vicinity.

The parish comprises 2645 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £935 per annum: the land is generally poor and chiefly under tillage; about 200 acres are waste, and there is no bog. The system of agriculture is slowly improving under the spirited example of Captain Herrick; and there are some quarries of good freestone, particularly at Shippool, which is worked into pillars and used for building. The river Bandon is navigable for small vessels up to Colliers' quay, opposite to the parish, and great quantities of sea-sand are landed for manure at four small quays at this place. The only seat of importance is Shippool, that of Captain W. H. Herrick, R.N., a handsome residence in a richly-wooded demesne, sloping gradually to the water's edge. There are some extensive hanging woods, through which the new road from Kinsale to Bandon passes, disclosing some of the richest scenery in the county. There are several salmon weirs on the river Bandon, and great quantities of fish are taken. Near the castle are some singular rocks of the greenstone formation.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the tithes amount to £110. 5., but there is neither glebe nor glebe-house. The church is in ruins, and divine service is performed in the parochial school-room, which has been licensed for that purpose.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Innishannon. About 70 children are taught in the parochial school, which also serves for the parish of Dunderrow, and for which a house and five acres of land were given by Captain Herrick: it is further aided by the rector of Dunderrow and the curate of Leighmoney. On an eminence near the ivy-clad ruins of the old church are the remains of an extensive fortress, called Leoffoney Castle, which was occupied by the Spaniards in 1601, and by the royalists in 1641. There are several chalybeate springs, which are not much used.

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