Templemore: Origin of the Town, Ancient Castle, Preceptory - 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.

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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 libraryireland.com, 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.

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According to an inquisition made in the reign of Charles I., it appears that the site of the town of Templemore formed part of the parish of Corckehenny. This was also the name of a territory famous in Irish history. Templemore simply means Great Church. The castle, extensive remains of which still continue, heavily ivy-covered, in the demesne of Sir John C. Carden, is traditionally supposed to have been built by O’Maher, Chief of Hy-Cairin (I-Kerrin). It afterward served the purposes of a Preceptory for Knights Templars. The castle stands close to a lake covering about seven acres. An arched passage ran from the verge of this to the interior of the main building. A part of it, about a hundred feet long, is in good preservation. The Cardens lived in the castle until it was accidentally destroyed by fire over one hundred and fifty years ago. The family then went to reside in a mansion erected for the son of the then proprietor, and for a long time the high gate-way of the castle was used as an entrance to the demesne.

A view of the present residence of Sir John C. Carden is obtainable from the top of the castle. It is a fine building in the Elizabethan style of architecture, with an engaged and a separated tower, and was erected in 1856–63 by the late baronet, at a cost of £36,000. The decoration of the interior is very handsome, and it is worthy of note that it was entrusted to local people, Messrs. Casey & Sons.

The ruin of the old church, known to the residents of the district as St. Mary’s Abbey, stands upon a slight elevation at the opposite side of the lake from the castle. It is surrounded by a grave-yard used for burials by all denominations. One side, tastefully enclosed, is sacred to the Carden and Willington families. An effort was made by the father of the present baronet to close the grave-yard to the public, but he did not succeed. At present only those having established rights are permitted to use it. Dr. John O’Donovan, who examined the old church ruin in 1840, says:—“It is a building of considerable extent, but no great antiquity, and was the Protestant church at no distant period.”

The present Protestant church dates from 1790. It was rebuilt in 1856. The architecture is in the pointed style. It is a well proportioned edifice with pinnacled tower and graceful spire. The interior consists of nave and one aisle, separated by four cut stone arches. A fine stained window in the chancel, erected in 1876, commemorates Caroline Eliza Mary, first wife, and Constance Laura, daughter of Sir John Craven Carden, Bart. To the left of the chancel there is another handsome stained window, erected by his widow to memory of Sir John Craven Carden, Bart., who died in 1879. A pretty oak lectern was presented by Richard Lloyd, in memory of his mother, 1888. The baptismal font commemorates Eveline Caroline Mary Brooke, 1875. Mural tablets bear the names of Capt. W. Chaloner Bisse, 1849; Rev. Edwin Ormsby, 1881; John Bennett, 1869; Richard Martin Forsayeth, M.D., 1876; Major Richard Butler Willington, 1868; David Ring, 1875; Margaret, his widow, 1876; R. J. Lloyd, 1847; John Butler, 1858.