RATHCOOLE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RATHCOOLE, a post-town and parish, in the barony of UPPERCROSS, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 8 miles (S. W.) from Dublin, on the road to Naas; containing 1409 inhabitants, of which number, 602 are in the town. This place, anciently called "Radcull," appears from various records to have been incorporated prior to the time of Henry III., and to have had burgesses. In the 24th of that reign (1240), it is recorded that "Lucas, Archbishop of Dublin, grants to the burgesses of Radcull common of pasture and turbary in the mountain of Slescol with his men of Newcastle near Lyons, at 4s. per annum." The town, which is about a quarter of a mile in length, contains 112 houses irregularly built, and has a patent for holding fairs on April 23rd, June 18th, and Oct. 9th, but these fairs have not been held for some years. It is the head station of the constabulary police for the district of Uppercross, and the residence of the chief constable.

The parish comprises 4005 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; the land is fertile, and generally under profitable cultivation; about 600 acres of common were enclosed in 1818. To the west of the town is a range of heights branching off from the chain of hills on the confines of the county of Wicklow, in a north-western direction, comprising the hills of Rathcoole, Windmill, Athgoe and Lyons, the formation of which is generally clay-slate loose and conglomerate, and grauwacke slate, with occasional alternations of granite, and some red conglomerate sandstone. The principal seat is Johnstown, the handsome residence of J. Kennedy, Esq., in a tastefully disposed and well-cultivated demesne of 200 acres.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin, united to the rectory and vicarage of Calliaghstown, and in the patronage of the Archbishop; the rectory forms part of the corps of the deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin.

The tithes amount to £310, of which £60 is payable to the dean, and the remainder to the vicar; the glebe-house is a good residence, and the glebe comprises 15 acres, of which 6 were allotted from the common on its enclosure in 1818. The church, for the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £111, is a neat plain edifice.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Saggard. A school, in which are about 70 children, is supported by J. D. La Touche, Esq., and there is a private school of about 40 children, also a dispensary. A school was endowed here for 50 Protestant girls by the late Mrs. Mary Mercer, which was removed some years since to the parish of Castleknock. This place formerly gave the title of Viscount to the family of Tracey, to which James Tracey, Esq., of Geashill, in King's county, is at present prosecuting his claim before the House of Lords.

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