SKEIRKE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

SKEIRKE, a parish, in the barony of UPPER OSSORY, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 1 ¾ miles (S. S. W.) from Burros-in-Ossory, on the road to Templemore; containing 911 inhabitants. This parish comprises 1922 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the land is generally of good quality, and the greater portion is under tillage; the system of agriculture is improved, and there is neither waste land nor bog.

The principal seats are Ballymellish, the residence of B. Thacker, Esq.; Skeirke Cottage, of R. Steele, Esq.; and the residence of the Rev. T. S. Monk.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Crown; the rectory is impropriate in the corporation of Kilkenny.

The tithes amount to £135, of which £90 is payable to the impropriators, and the remainder to the vicar; the glebe comprises 188f acres. The church, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £500, in 1831, is a small neat edifice.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Rathdowney. About 90 children are taught in a public school, partly supported by the incumbent; and there is a private school, in which are about 60 children. There are some Druidical remains, situated on a high hill, and consisting of a circular area enclosed with a stone rampart, and surrounded with a fosse; in the centre of the area is a pyramidal stone, about six feet high, with fragments of several others; towards the eastern side are the remains of a cromlech, and towards the north is a high mound with a flat summit. There are also some ruins of the ancient castle of Garran.

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