From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
TAGHMON, an ancient incorporated post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough), and a parish, in the barony of SHELMALIER, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 7 miles (W.) from Wexford, and 72 (S. by W.) from Dublin, on the old road from New Ross by Fowke's Mill to Wexford; containing 3175 inhabitants. This place derived its name, originally Theagh Munno, or "the House of Munno," from St. Munno, who in the 6th century founded here an Augustinian monastery, to which is attributed the origin of the town. This monastery was plundered by the Danes in 917, and was subsequently granted by Dermod Mac Murrough, last King of Leinster, to his abbey at Ferns, as appears by his charter, which is still extant.
The town consists chiefly of two nearly parallel streets intersected obliquely by two others; and in 1831 contained 237 houses, some of which are neatly built. Its chief trade arose from its situation on a public thoroughfare, which has been recently diverted into the new line of road from Wexford to New Ross; and it is now chiefly dependent on the number of its fairs, of which not less than 23 are held in the year. A market for salt butter only is held every Tuesday and Friday during the season, and the fairs are well attended.
Of its ancient corporation scarcely any thing is at present known; it has for many years ceased to exist, and even the remembrance of it seems to have passed away. The last privilege it exercised was the return of two members to the Irish parliament, which was continued till the union, when the borough was disfranchised. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town, and petty sessions are held on alternate Wednesdays.
The parish comprises 7946 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and principally under tillage; the soil is fertile, and the system of agriculture improving; there is very little waste land, and the bog of Slevoy is now under cultivation; limestone of good quality is found at Poulmarle, and is quarried for agricultural uses and for building.
The principal seats are Harperstown, the residence of W. Hore, Esq.; Slevoy Castle, of Lieutenant-Colonel Pigott; Hilburn, of J. Hatton, Esq.; and Coolcliffe, of Colonel Sir William Cox, K. T. S.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Ferns, episcopally united, in 1764, to the rectory of Ballyconnick, and with it forming the corps of the prebend of Taghmon in the cathedral of Ferns, to which was also united, in 1785, the impropriate curacy of Ballymitty; it is in the patronage of the Bishop.
The tithes amount to £446. 13. 6.; the glebe comprises only about three roods of land in the town. The church, for the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1818, granted a loan of £1000, is a small but handsome edifice in the later English style, with a square embattled tower; in the churchyard are the remains of an ancient granite cross of considerable dimensions and rude workmanship.
In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the greater portion of the parishes of Coolstuff and Kilgarvan, and some part of Horetown, Ambrosetown, and Whitechurch of Glyn: the chapel is a spacious and handsome edifice, partly concealed by some fine beech trees, and adjoining it are a residence for the priest, and a school; there are chapels also at Trinity and Carroreigh; and at Forrest, about half a mile from the town, is a place of worship for the Society of Friends.
About 40 children are taught in two public schools, of which the parochial school is supported by the incumbent, who also pays the rent of the school-house; and a school chiefly for females is partly supported by a society of ladies; in these and in three private schools about 200 children are educated: there is also a Sunday school.
A benevolent association, called the Female Spinning Association, for employing poor females of this and the adjoining parishes of Coolstuff and Horetown, in the domestic manufacture of flax and wool, was established here under the management of a committee of ladies in 1826; it has afforded much comfort to the poor, by supplying them with articles of clothing of their own manufacture, and also with wages for their labour; in 1832, not less than 210 pieces of linen and woollen stuff, each 50 yards long, were manufactured for the association, which, though supported by subscriptions amounting only to £15 per ann., has, after paying all expenses and rendering great assistance to the poor, realised a capital of £100. Here is also a dispensary for the parishes of Taghmon and Horetown.
There are three ancient burial-places, in two of which are the ruins of churches; and near the town is a burial-place, called the grave, belonging to the family of Batt, which has a large property here. In the town is a massive square tower, all that remains of an ancient castle formerly belonging to the heirs of Sir Gilbert Talbot, Knt., Lord of Wexford, who held a hundred court there; it is now the property of W. Hore, Esq., of Harperstown.