From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
NAUL, formerly called The NAULE, a parish, in the barony of BALROTHERY, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 14 miles (N.) from Dublin, on the road to Drogheda by Ballyboghill; containing 758 inhabitants, of which number, 216 are in the village.
The parish comprises 1600 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, one-third pasture, and about 40 acres are woodland. The ancient castle, sometimes called the castle of Roches, is supposed to have been built by the family of De Geneville, from which it passed to the Cruises; and having passed through various hands since 1641, has become the property of Colonel Tennison, of Castle Tennison, in the county of Roscommon. It is boldly . situated on a rocky precipice on the brow of a chain of hills, commanding a fine view of the vale of Roches, above which it towers at a height of upwards of 150 feet. Through this vale, which is a romantic glen, bordered in many places with rocks of various size and form, and broken into caves, flows the winding Delvan rivulet, which separates the counties of Dublin and Meath, and after forming a waterfall of the same name as the glen, falls into the Irish sea at the village of Knockingin. A fine view of this picturesque glen is obtained from Westown House, the seat of Anthony Strong Hussey, Esq., a respectable mansion of antiquated character, apparently erected early in the last century, and standing in a highly improved demesne, embellished with some fine old timber, at a short distance from the village: in the demesne is a rath, which has been thickly planted. Reynoldstown, the residence of William W. Yates, Esq., is the only other seat in the parish.
By an act of the 1st of George I., £2000 was granted to Arthur Mervyn to enable him to complete the mills at Naul, by the addition of granaries. Agriculture is not in a forward state: the principal crops are wheat, oats and potatoes; limestone is raised from quarries in the parish. In 1824, after several previous trials, a trial for coal was made by boring to the depth of 160 feet, but without success. There is a station of the constabulary police in the village. Fairs, established in 1832, and in which black cattle, horses, and pigs are sold, are held on March 16th, April 26th, Whit-Tuesday, and Oct. 2nd. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin, forming part of the union of Hollywood; the rectory is impropriate in W. Dutton Pollard, Esq. The church, which serves for the union, is a plain neat building, and adjoining it is a chapel in ruins, built, as is stated in an inscription on a stone over the western entrance, by the Hon. Colonel E. Hussey, of Westown, in 1710. Mr. Pollard agreed, in 1833, to take £200 per ann. for his share of the tithes of this and the adjoining parishes of Hollywood and Grallagh.
Naul forms part of the R. C. union or district of Naul or Damastown; a neat chapel was erected at the former of these places in 1822, by subscription, on a site given by A. S. Hussey, Esq. A commodious school-house was erected, in 1835, near the entrance to Westown demesne, on a site given by Colonel Tennison, at an expense of £238, of which £138 was a grant from the Board of National Education and the remainder was defrayed by subscription; it is supported by an annual grant of £20 from the same Board, between £50 and £60 by subscriptions, and by the fees of the pupils. Here is a private school, in which 20 boys and 25 girls are educated.
Charlotte Milligan Fox, sister of the poet Alice Milligan, was a founding member of the Irish Folk Song Society and an indefatigable field collector of Irish traditional music. Her singularly important work on Irish haprers is here presented for the twenty-first century reader. This edition of Annals offers a much greater number of illustrations than were included in the original 1911 publication, a full biographical introduction, an extensive bibliography of the writings of Milligan Fox and an appendix discussing the variant texts of Arthur O’Neills Memoirs.
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