OFFERLANE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

OFFERLANE, a parish, in the barony of UPPER OSSORY, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 3 ½ miles (S. W.) from Mountrath, on the road to Roscrea, and on that from Dublin to Limerick; containing 9915 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called De Foralain, is situated on the river Nore, and comprises 53,131 statute acres, (of which 36,987 are applotted under the tithe act) 311 being woodland, 8000 brown mountain and bog, 4000 green mountain and moor, 16,820 arable, and 24,000 pasture, comprehending an extensive range of the Slieve Bloom mountains, stretching from east to west about seven miles in length, by about two miles in breadth, the greater part of the land in this extent being too rugged and barren to admit of cultivation. Gritstone is in great abundance, and there is a quarry for a fine stone similar to that of Portland: there are also limestone quarries and a slate quarry. Petty sessions take place on alternate Fridays at Castletown and Cooleraine; and fairs are held at Castletown on June 29th, and at Rushall on the first Monday in every month. Police stations have been established at Castletown, Cooleraine, and Cartown. There are extensive flour and oatmeal mills at Cooleraine and Castletown, which manufacture at least 25,000 barrels annually.

The principal seats are Roundwood, the residence of W. Hamilton, Esq.; Westfield Farm, of J. R. Price, Esq.; Laca, of J. Pim, Esq.; Cartown, of Colonel Price; Coolnagour, of J. C. Seymour, Esq.; Shanderry, of A. P. Jessop, Esq.; Cooleraine House, of T. Palmer, Esq.; Donore, of W. Despard, Esq.; Moorefield, of R. Senior, Esq.; Peafield, of R. Belton, Esq.; Springhill, of Captain J. Knipe; Monderhilt, of R. Walpole, Esq.; Larch Hill, of the Rev. J. Bourke; Laurel Hill, of — Bradish, Esq.; Altavilla, of Mrs. Watson; Derrynaseera, of A. Graves, Esq.; and Castleview, of P. Mansergh, Esq.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is appropriate to the dean and chapter of St. Canice, Kilkenny.

The tithes amount to £900, of which £600 is payable to the dean and chapter, and the remainder to the vicar. The old church, situated at Annatrim, is in so bad a condition as long to have been condemned as unsafe for use; a new building is about to be erected near it, by subscription and by a grant from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The glebe-house was never finished; it stands on a glebe of 254 acres, of which 120 are bog and mountain.

The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; it is called Underwoods, and contains four chapels, one at Cormorass, one at Rushall, one at Castletown, and one at Killinure. About 350 children are educated in four public schools, of which the parochial school at Cooleraine is aided by an annual donation from the Dean of Ossory, who gave the school-house and an acre of land; a national school at Castletown is aided by annual donations from the Ladies Fitzpatrick, who built the school-house, and another school is aided by the Dean of Ossory; there are also four private schools, in which are about 290 children; and two Sunday schools. There is a dispensary at Cooleraine. Ruins exist of the old monastery of Monderhilt, of which St. Laserian was abbot about the year 600, and of a church at Churchtown, near Castletown; there are also remains of the castles of Sharahane and Castletown, and ruins of a castle at Rushall. Several raths are in the parish.—See CASTLETOWN.

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