RATHMACKNEE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RATHMACKNEE, a parish, in the barony of FORTH, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 4 miles (S. by W.) from Wexford, on the road to Kilmore; containing 549 inhabitants. It comprises 1569 ¾ statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. Limestone quarries have been opened on the estates of Sir William Geary and H. K. G. Morgan, Esq., and the produce is sold to the tenantry at a low price: the value of these quarries might be greatly increased by a short cut to Wexford harbour, thus opening a conveyance for the limestone into the interior of the county. There is a flour-mill near the church.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ferns, and in the patronage of the Corporation of Dublin: the tithes amount to £139. 2. 11., and there is a glebe comprising 12 acres of cultivated land. The glebe-house, the residence of the Rev. Fras. Pentland, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1809, contributed £100 as a gift and £224 as a loan, is situated near the church, and sheltered by a small but thriving plantation. The church is a neat edifice in the later English style, erected in 1813 at an expense of £800, being a gift from the same Board.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of the union or district called Piercestown, comprising also the parishes of Drinagh, Killiane, Kilmocree, Kildavin, and Rathaspeck; and containing the chapels of Piercestown, Kilmocree, and Mourntown, of which the first is in Rathmacknee and the last in Kildavin. A school of about 50 children, partly supported by Thomas Walker, Esq., of Belmont, is held near the chapel. Adjoining the church is the ancient castle of Rathmacknee, one of the most perfect of the numerous castles in this county; it consists of a massive square tower with the greater part of the walls still surrounding it, and about 70 years since it was inhabited by an ancestor of H. K. G. Morgan, Esq., the present proprietor. The castle and church of Rathmacknee, with the surrounding trees, form a very pleasing group of objects. In the church-yard are two ancient tombs, one of which appears to have been the sepulchre of a former minister, or priest, of this parish.

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