TEMPLEMICHAEL

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

TEMPLEMICHAEL, a parish, in the barony of COSHMORE and COSHBRIDE, county of WATERFORD, and province of MUNSTER, 3 ½ miles (N. N. W.) from Youghal, on the road from Two-mile-Bridge to Clashmore; containing 2573 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the east by the navigable river Blackwater, and on the south by the river Touro, which is navigable for lighters. On Molana, formerly an island, but now united with the mainland, an Augustinian monastery was founded in the 5th century by St. Molanfide, who became its first abbot, and in which Raymond le Gros, the companion of Strongbow, was interred. At the dissolution it was granted, with the lands of Ballinatray and Rhincrew, to Sir Walter Raleigh, by whom they were assigned to the Earl of Cork.

The parish comprises 9000 statute acres, of which about 400 are woodland, 900 bog, and 7700 arable and pasture; the land is of good quality and principally under tillage, and the scenery is pleasingly diversified and embellished with woods and thriving plantations. Ballynatray, the seat of R. Smyth, Esq., is finely situated in a highly improved demesne, comprising nearly 1500 acres; the deer-park is well stocked, and the grounds are tastefully disposed and enriched with flourishing plantations. The other seats are Cherrymount, the occasional residence of Captain Parker, R. N.; Garryduff, of H. Garde, Esq.; Woodview, of Colonel Uniacke; Templemichael House, of Captain Armstrong; and Newtown, of N. P. Stout, Esq.; there are also several other respectable houses in the parish. A constabulary police force is stationed here.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Lismore, united to that of Kilcockan, and in the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire; the rectory is impropriate in R. Smyth, Esq.

The tithes amount to £660. 14. 6., of which £440. 9. 8. is payable to the impropriator, and £220. 4. 10. to the vicar; the entire tithes of the benefice amount to £317. 9. 7 ½. The church is a neat edifice, rebuilt in 1823 on the site of the ancient structure, towards which the late Board of First Fruits gave £100.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union, called also Knockanore, and comprising the parishes of Templemichael, Kilcockan, and Kilwatermoy; there are three chapels. About 170 children are taught in two public schools, of which the parochial school is wholly supported by Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Smyth, who also clothe the children; there is also a Sunday school. The remains of St. Molanfide's abbey are very extensive, and being thickly overspread with ivy have a very picturesque and interesting appearance; they are preserved with great care; in the interior is a modern statue of the founder, habited in the costume of his order, erected on a pedestal. A little below these remains are the ruins of the castle of Templemichael, which appears to have been demolished by gunpowder; and a little to the south on an eminence called Rhincrew, are the ruins of another building, which appears to have been destroyed by similar means.

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