Clonmel - Book of County Tipperary, 1889

About “The Book of County Tipperary,” 1889

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

Read more »

The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. The Book of County Tipperary is the first of these to be made available on, with its own search page. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

To enjoy the rich variety of advertisements, confirm accuracy of the entries, or have a printed record of a family member, obtain an original or facsimile copy of The Book of County Tipperary.

Show less

Population 9,325 in 1881.

Clonmel is situated in the Suir valley, bordering the County Waterford, 112 miles south-west from Dublin, 28 miles west by north from Waterford, 48¼ miles south-east from Limerick, and 86 miles north by east from Cork. These distances are by rail, and are calculated by English miles. Before the opening of the Southern Railway from Thurles, 25½ miles in length, passengers to Dublin had to go by way of Limerick Junction, 22½ miles of a round. Direct communication was established within the last ten years.

The scenery immediately surrounding Clonmel, and for miles in every direction, is exceedingly beautiful. At the southern side of the river the Waterford Hills rise to heights from which many varied and pleasing views are obtained. Among these the town itself first catches the eye of the stranger. The outlines are marked here and there by church spires of graceful proportions, the cupola of the Main Guard, the tower of the West Gate, and private dwellings in the midst of tastefully planted grounds. Three islands, one with handsome residences and gardens, are included in the prospect, in addition to four bridges, two of them narrow and quaint. Another view from the hills, at a distance of a mile and a half, in the Waterford direction, presents charming effects produced by the windings of the Suir, the mountain of Slievenamon to the north, and the splendid open country for miles toward Cashel.

The principal thoroughfare of Clonmel begins at Barrack-street, and runs for about an English mile parallel with the river, taking in Parnell-street, Dublin-street, Main-street, Irishtown and Upper Irishtown. Gladstone-street is an important centre connecting the Main-street with the Railway station. The houses for the greater part are well built, and many of those devoted to business have quite a metropolitan appearance. In window dressing and interior appointments the drapers and cabinet makers rival those in the same lines at Cork, Waterford and Limerick. The same remarks apply with equal force to the wholesale and retail grocery warehouses. Clonmel is the depot of supply for a first-rate farming country. It has good general markets every Saturday, and fairs that are reckoned among the best in Ireland. The manufacturing enterprises are not extensive, but within a few years have been increased. These are represented by a brewery, a woollen factory, tanneries, a boot factory, carriage factories, corn, oatmeal and flour mills, agricultural implement, mineral water, and cabinet works.

Clonmel is a garrison town, the head of a district, and is head quarters for two militia regiments. Socially it has many attractions, including numerous societies for mental and physical culture.

Although there are two Ridings, the capital of the South still has the lion’s share of the public institutions. Assizes are held twice a year, and Sessions of the County Court once in three months. Clonmel has the only gaol in the county, although not long ago the other populous towns were each similarly provided. The County Lunatic Asylum is also here.