OUGHTERARD

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

OUGHTERARD, a village and post-town, in the parish of KILCUMMIN, barony of MOYCULLEN, county of GALWAY, and province of CONNAUGHT, 13 ½ miles (W. N. W.) from Galway, and 118 (W. by N.) from Dublin, on the mail coach road from Galway to Clifden; the population is returned with the parish. This place is beautifully situated on Lough Corrib, and is intersected by a river descending from a neighbouring mountain, which rushing over a mass of rocks above the town, forms a picturesque waterfall. The river appears to have had originally a subterraneous source, the limestone rock projecting over the stream for about 100 yards in length, in the form of a broken arch. The pearl muscle is found in this river, in some of which pearls of large size have been found. Here are infantry barracks, at present unoccupied, for 7 officers and 142 non-commissioned officers and privates, with stabling for three horses. A chief constabulary police force, and a party of the revenue police, are stationed here.

The town is much frequented by invalids for its chalybeate spa; the well is but indifferently constructed, and little care is taken to secure it from admixture with the water of the mountain stream. About a mile from the town, a fine quarry of black marble has been opened within the last few months, and is now worked by the proprietor of the estate, T. B. Martin, Esq.; the marble is of the same quality as that of Menlough and Merlin Park; there is another quarry of the same marble in the neighbourhood, belonging to T. H. O'Flaherty, Esq. About two miles from the town, the road to Galway passes over a natural bridge of rocks, and the river flows under the castle of Aghenure, which is built on a ledge of limestone rock. This castle, which is about two miles from the town, was anciently a seat of the O'Flaherty family, and was at a later period inhabited by the Earl of Clanricarde; it was a place of great strength. The river, after flowing under it, falls into Lough Corrib. The parish church, a small neat edifice, and the R. C. chapel, a handsome building with a steeple, are situated in the town, in which are also the parochial school and a dispensary.

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