LEITRIM ANTIQUITIES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

Vestiges of the remotest antiquity are not numerous: there are but two druidical altars, one within half a mile of Fena, and the other on the demesne of Letterfyan: they are called respectively by the inhabitants Leaba Dearmudi Graine, or "Darby and Graine's bed or altar." Fifteen religious houses are recorded to have formerly existed within the limits of the county; and there are still remains of those of Fena, Annaghduff, Clone, Kilnaille, and Ince in Lough Allen. The castles and fortified mansions were also very numerous; those which still remain, more or less in ruin, are O'Rourk's Castle, near the fortified residence called Dromahaire Castle, those of Jamestown and Longfield, Castlefore, Castle John, Cloncorrick Castle, Castle Car, the fortresses of Dungarbery and Manor-Hamilton, and two castles on the banks of Lough Gill.

The modern seats, which are not remarkable either for number or grandeur, are noticed under the heads of the parishes in which they are respectively situated. The farm-houses are usually long narrow cabins, which sometimes shelter the cattle in common with the family; but houses of a better description, with chimneys, partitions, and separate or detached buildings, are gradually superseding them. The fuel is everywhere turf, procured in great abundance through every part of the county. The general food is potatoes and oaten bread, sometimes with buttermilk, or fish; butchers' meat is only used at Easter and Christmas, or on other great festive occasions.

The clothing of the men is neat and strong, the coat mostly of frieze, the small clothes of corduroy; the females mostly wear a coarse woollen stuff petticoat, and of late cotton gowns have become common. The general character of the people is that of sobriety and industry: the English language is everywhere spoken by adults and children, and mostly by elderly people, except in the remote mountain districts, and even there it rarely occurs that a person is met with who cannot speak it.

The principal natural curiosities, besides those already noticed as forming the grand features of its surface, are its chalybeate and sulphureous springs, of which the most noted are the sulphureous spas of Drumsna, Meelock, and Athimonus, besides several others about Drumshambo, and Cashcarrigan. The principal chalybeate spas are those on the border of Cavan, at the northern extremity of Lough Allen; and Oakfield, within two miles of the sea. In 1783, Robert Clements, Esq., was created Baron Leitrim of Manor-Hamilton, advanced to the viscounty in 1793, and created Earl of Leitrim in 1795, which titles are now enjoyed by his son.

« Leitrim Roads | Index | Leitrim (Cork) »

County Leitrim | Leitrim Towns | Leitrim Topography | Leitrim Climate | Leitrim Agriculture | Leitrim Geology | Leitrim Manufacturing | Leitrim Rivers | Leitrim Roads | Leitrim Antiquities


Library Ireland Facebook