From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
TEMPLEBREADY, or TEMPLEBRIDGET, also called ST. MATTHEW AND ST. BRIDGET, a parish, in the barony of KERRYCURRIHY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles from Carrigaline; containing 1789 inhabitants. In 1589, Sir Francis Drake, with a squadron of five ships of war, being chased into Cork harbour by a Spanish fleet, sailed up the river Ounabuoy, or Yellow river, under the lee of Currabinny hill; the Spaniards followed, but Sir Francis having sailed up this winding estuary, anchored safely a little off the north-western shore of the parish, and the pursuers returned without their expected prize.
The parish is bounded on the north by the estuary called Cross-Haven, or river of Ounabuoy or Awenbuoy, forming a peninsula between Cork harbour and the Atlantic ocean, at the entrance of the Cove of Cork: it comprises 2900 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £2466 per annum. The land is generally very productive, the soil being deep, on a substratum of clay-slate, and, with the exception of the plantations in the demesnes of Hodderfield, Cross Haven House, and Aghamarta, it is almost wholly under tillage. About two-thirds of the parish being surrounded by the sea, there is a portion of waste near the rocks, besides which there is no waste land incapable of tillage; some is covered with a light herbage depastured by sheep.
The Awenbuoy is navigable for lighters and small sloops, and on the south is the Atlantic ocean, in which is Ringabella bay, where sloops can enter at spring tides, and discharge coal, &c., at 1s. per ton less than in the harbour, owing to exemption from dues. The substratum is of the schistose formation, changing through all the varieties of transition rocks, strangely mixed with argillaceous grit, which alternates in a remarkable manner; some of this stone is procured for building, but it is very porous and soft. Quarries of indifferent slate are partially worked near Hoddersfield, and at Myrtle Ville; and in several places in the eastern part of the parish is good manganese; that near the surface, being in a state of decomposition, has prevented any efforts being made to search for the mines. From the elevated grounds near the church are extensive and magnificent views of the town of Cove and the villages of Monkstown, Whitegate, &c., with the delightful scenery along the shores of the river Lee. On the eastern point of land, at the entrance to Cork harbour, is Camden Fort, at present under the care of a master-gunner and five men only.
The gentlemen's seats are Hoddersfield, the residence of Colonel Hodder, a handsome house beautifully situated in a domain of 647 acres, embellished with extensive plantations rising above the Awenbuoy, whence the drive to the house is a mile and a half long through a picturesque glen; Agamarta Castle, of Carew O'Grady, Esq., on an estate of about 800 acres, extending along the south bank of the Awenbuoy, and extensively planted; Cross-haven House, of T. Hayes, Esq., a spacious and handsome structure on the margin of the harbour, and in the midst of a fine old wood; Myrtle Ville, of Dr. Shea; and several ornamental cottages, chiefly occupied in the summer as bathing-lodges.
The living is a rectory and perpetual cure, in the diocese of Cork; the rectory has been united time immemorially to the rectories of Cullen and Templemartin, which three parishes constitute the union and corps of the deanery of St. Finbarr's, Cork, in the patronage of the Crown; the perpetual cure is in the gift of the Dean.
The tithes amount to £200, of which £160. 7. 2. is payable to the dean, and £39. 12. 10. (being the tithes of the demesne of Hoddersfield) to the perpetual curate, who has also 12 acres of glebe and the glebe-house. The church is a large edifice, in the early English style of architecture, with a turret and spire, erected in 1778, near the site of a former church; its situation is remarkable, on the summit of the highest ridge that rises west of the mouth of the harbour, and, being whitewashed, it forms a conspicuous and well-known land-mark.
In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Carrigaline; the chapel is a large plain building. The male and female parochial school is in the village of Crosshaven, and is supported by the perpetual curate; in the chapel-yard is a school under the National Board. The castle of Aghamarta, in the demesne of Carew O'Grady, Esq., was built by the first Earl of Desmond; it stands on the verge of a beautiful and picturesque glen, and consists of a tower, 52 feet high, partly square and partly octagonal: on the west side are the fragments of a building of two stories; the upper one, which is unroofed, was lighted by two large semicircular windows on each side: this part of the building, formerly much more extensive, was taken down by a late tenant, and the materials used in the erection of a house and cottages on the estate. On the eastern point of land, close to the inner harbour, was a nearly perfect tumulus, which has been almost obliterated by the excavations for Camden Fort.