From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
TEMPLEMORE, a market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of ELIOGARTY, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 31 miles (N. by W.) from Clonmel, and 65 (S. W.) from Dublin, on the road from Athlone to Cork and on that from Cashel to Roscrea, and near a branch of the river Suir; containing 5218 inhabitants, of which number, 2936 are in the town. It is supposed that this place originated in its having been a station of the Knights Templars, who were settled in the castle. The parish contains 8108 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, about 700 of which are very good land, the property of the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin; agriculture has much improved of late years, and the parish has in it some of the finest pasture and meadow land. The limestone quarries are very good, affording blocks of 20 feet, if required.
The manor courts have been discontinued, but petty sessions are held every Wednesday in the court or market-house, a handsome decorated building in the centre of the town. Fairs are held in Jan., March, May, June, July, Sept., Oct., and Dec., for cattle, sheep, pigs, wool, &c.; they are considered the best in the county.
Templemore is remarkably healthy, and well supplied with water and fuel: and every encouragement is given by the proprietor to induce the inhabitants to adopt improvements. The town is clean, well built, and modern; it is approached on all sides by handsome avenues of ash trees, and owes its very improved condition to the exertions of the late proprietor, Sir John Craven Carden, Bart., father of the present proprietor, who granted the ground on which it stands at a nominal rent, and under whose auspices the public buildings were erected. It contains extensive infantry barracks, with accommodations for 54 officers, 1500 men, and 30 horses, and an hospital attached for 80 patients; a bridewell; a fever hospital and a dispensary; ball, news, and reading rooms, and a public billiard table.
The neighbourhood is adorned with many fine seats and elegant cottages, having ornamented grounds. The castle was, so lately as a century ago, the family residence of the Cardens, but in consequence of its accidental destruction by fire they removed to another house in the demesne, which was lately pulled down for the purpose of erecting a new mansion on a more elevated spot: since the demolition of the old house, Sir H. R. Carden's family has resided at the Priory, a modern building adjoining the Park, erected by the late baronet for his son; the demesne, exclusively of the large plantations, comprises 200 statute acres: it is situated within 1 ½ mile of the town, and is surrounded with rich gardens and shrubberies tastefully laid out.
One of the entrances to the Park is a remnant of the castle of the Knights Templars: the park is well wooded, and contains a large sheet of water; it is surrounded by excellent land and backed by a range of mountains, the largest of which is called "the Devil's Bit," from its singular shape, appearing as if a portion had been taken out. Lloydsborough is the seat of J. Lloyd, Esq.; part of the demesne is in Killea, though the mansion is in the parish of Templemore; it is a handsome residence in a well-planted demesne. The other principal seats are Woodville Lodge, the residence of D. J. Webb, Esq.; Belleville, of the Hon. C. J. K. Monck; and Eastwood, of T. Bennett, Esq.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cashel, united by act of council to the rectories and vicarages of Killavenogh and Killea, and in the patronage of the Archbishop; the rectory is impropriate in J. Lloyd, Esq.
The tithes amount to £641, of which £420 is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar; the gross tithes of the benefice are £811. 15. 4 ¾.
Here is an ancient glebe of 147 acres, in dispute: but there is a glebe of 20 acres, for which the incumbent pays £30 per ann. rent, on which the glebe-house was built by the late incumbent, Dr. Graves.
The church is remarkably handsome, both internally and externally; it was erected about 50 years since, and has a fine spire; the interior is highly finished and very commodious, and furnished with a good organ, the gift of the late baronet; the window over the altar is enriched with a representation of the Crucifixion in stained glass; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £169 for the repairs of the church.
The R. C. union or district is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and in each of the parishes is a chapel; that of Templemore is a handsome and capacious building, on a plot of ground given rent-free by the late Sir J. C. Carden. Here is also a handsome Wesleyan Methodists' chapel.
A school under the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity affords instruction to about 70 children; it has a good school-house, with a square tower, for the erection of which the trustees gave £300, and the late Sir J. C. Car-den defrayed the remainder of the cost. The late incumbent, Dr. Graves, also left £50, the interest to be applied for the benefit of this school. There are six private schools, in which are about 200 children. George Bennett, Esq., vested £200 in the old 3 per cent, annuities, the interest of which is placed at the disposal of the incumbent for the benefit of the poor.
There are remains of several ancient castles, built at different periods, but all of very remote date. In a cave in the Devil's Bit mountain was found in 1790, a MS. copy of the Gospels in Latin, but in the ancient Irish character, apparently written in the thirteenth century; it was enclosed in a case, partly of silver, ornamented with crystal and coloured glass, and is now in the possession of Sir W. Betham, Knt., Ulster King at Arms.