RATHCONNELL

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RATHCONNELL, or TURIN, a parish, in the barony of MOYASHEL, and MAGHERADERNAN, county of WESTMEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Mullingar, on the road to Castletown-Delvin, and near Lough Hoyle; containing 2946 inhabitants. Between two tracts of land of a moory nature, at this place, was a celebrated pass, noted in the Irish annals for the defeat of the Irish army under General Preston by the retreating forces of Sir Richard Grenville, accompanied by the famished garrison of Athlone and the Protestant inhabitants: the pass had been fortified to intercept their retreat, and was bravely defended; but the English horse, unexpectedly finding themselves able to pass the moory ground contiguous, changed the fortune of the day, and the victory was complete.

This parish contains 12,440 statute acres, according to the county assessment under an improving state of agriculture; much of it is fine grazing land, and the arable produces good crops of corn and potatoes: there are about 400 acres of bog, with some limestone and black stone. Petty sessions are held on alternate Tuesdays at Knockdrin. In the parish are several fine seats, among which are Knockdrin Castle, the handsome residence of Sir Richard Levinge, Bart.; the house, which is castellated and of Gothic architecture is situated in a fine demesne adorned with an extensive lake, and including the high hill of Knockdrin, crowned by a large rath, and covered with plantations. Clonlost is the ancient family seat of J. Nugent, Esq.; Reynella, the elegant residence of the late R. M. Reynell, Esq., now the property of a minor, situated in a fine demesne, adorned with a lake and extensive plantations; Cooksborough, the fine mansion of the Cooke family; Killymon, the residence of R. N. Reynell, Esq.; Rathconnel, of J. Adamson, Esq.; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. R. Crone.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Drogheda; the rectory is impropriate in Nicholas Ogle, of Dysart, Esq.

The tithes amount to £369. 4. 7., half of which is payable to the impropriator, and half to the vicar. The glebe comprises 23 acres, valued at £31. 18. 11. per ann., and subject to a rent of equal amount: the glebe-house was built at an expense of £738, defrayed partly by a gift of £369 and a loan of £214 from the late Board of First Fruits, and the residue by the incumbent. The church is a neat building with a tower and spire, in complete repair, erected in 1798 at an expense of £831, of which £461 was a gift, and the residue a loan, from the same Board.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, also called Turin, comprising this parish and those of Taghmon, Stonehall, and Tyfernon, in which union are two chapels; that of Rathconnell, at Turin, is a modern building. The parochial school, at Kuockdrin, has been endowed by Sir R. Levinge, Bart., with a house which cost £350, and an acre and a half of land; about 10 children are educated in it. A school at Reynella was built at a cost of £200; and there is a private school, in which are 50 children. At Turin is a dispensary. In the northern extremity of the parish is a ruined church, and at Rathconnel is also another fine ruin of a church: here are several raths.

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