LISCARROL

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LISCARROL, a parish, in the barony of ORRERY and KILMORE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 ½ miles (W. N. W.) from Buttevant, on the road to Newcastle; containing 2046 inhabitants, of which number, 666 are in the village. This place is distinguished for the remains of its ancient castle, of which the foundation is by some attributed to the followers of Strongbow, and by others to John, Earl of Morton, afterwards King of England. In 1641, the castle was garrisoned by Sir Philip Perceval, and so strongly fortified that it maintained a resolute defence for thirteen days against General Barry, by whom it was besieged with an army of 7000 foot and 500 horse, with a train of artillery, and to whom it surrendered on honourable terms. The delay occasioned by the siege allowed Lord Inchiquin to assemble a force of 2000 foot and 400 horse, with which he attacked and defeated the Irish in the neighbourhood , of the castle, which was retaken and restored to Sir Philip.

In 1644, the Irish having made prisoners several of the garrison who were without the walls, threatened to put them to death unless the fortress surrendered, on which Raymond, the constable, sallied out with a party of his men, put the Irish to flight, and recovered the prisoners; but the castle, though well prepared for defence, surrendered in the year following to Lord Castlehaven without opposing any resistance. The village is pleasantly situated in a valley, and contains 120 houses, which are mostly thatched. A barrack for two officers and 64 non-commissioned officers and privates was built in the vicinity, in 1821; the establishment was kept up for about four years, but the buildings are now occupied by labourers. Fairs are held on the 25th of March, 1st and 31st of May, Aug. 31st, Oct. 21st, and Nov. 29th, chiefly for cattle and pigs; a constabulary police force is stationed here; manorial courts are held occasionally, with jurisdiction extending to 40s., and petty sessions on alternate Thursdays.

The parish comprises 3855 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; the land in general is good and chiefly in pasture. Limestone is quarried both for agricultural purposes and for building.

The principal seats are Altamira, the residence of W. Purcell, Esq., a handsome mansion in an extensive and richly planted demesne; and High Fort, of R. Purcell, Esq., M. D., distinguished for the gallant defence made by its then proprietor, the late Sir John Purcell, against a midnight attack by nearly 20 robbers, whom, though armed only with a case knife, he entirely repulsed; in consideration of which intrepid conduct he obtained the honour of knighthood. Sally Park, the property of George Bond Lowe, Esq., is now in ruins.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, united to that of Kilbrin, together forming the union of Liscarrol, in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is irnpropriate in C. D. O. Jephson, Esq.

The tithes amount to £254, which is equally divided between the impropriator and the vicar; the vicarial tithes of the benefice amount to £547. The church is at Ballygraddy, on the border of the parish of Kilbrin.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union, comprising also the parish of Churchtown or Bruhenny; the chapel, an old building, is about to be repaired and enlarged; there is also a chapel at Churchtown. About 80 children are taught in a national school; and there are two private schools, in which are about 200 children. There are very considerable remains of the ancient castle, which was a quadrangular building, 240 feet long and 120 feet wide, enclosed with walls 30 feet high and defended with two square and four round towers of great strength, parts of which are still remaining. Near the barracks are some remarkable fissures in the limestone rock; about a mile from the town is a fissure of great depth, called Kate's Hole, which is now closed up; and at Coolbane, to the west of it, is a large rath, now neatly planted, where it is said 17 of the relatives of Garret Fitzgerald, of the house of Desmond, killed in the seige of the castle, were interred.

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