Bannow - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

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. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory 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.

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CARRIG-ON-BANNOW is the name of the prettily situated village which the Postal authorities persist in calling Bannow. It is twelve miles, Irish, from Wexford, and thirteen from New Ross. The population of the village and its immediate vicinity is about 200. The houses are in good repair, and have an inviting appearance. As a point for a view of the surrounding country, there is none finer in the county. Carrig has a monthly fair, and a fowl market every Wednesday. Rosegarland, the splendid residence of Mr. Leigh, is about three miles from it, and the way lies through a district abounding in ancient and picturesque sights. The Catholic and Protestant (I.C.) Churches of Carrig, architecturally, are fine edifices, and have well kept grounds. A special interest attaches to the former, for the reason that it has in it the holy water font which originally belonged to the ancient Church of Bannow. Its form is square, and it stands about four feet from the floor. Bannow Church is on a point which overlooks the entrance to Bannow Bay. The ruin is small, but has much to attract the archaeologist. A striking object is a square piece of masonry, said to have at one time formed part of the Town House of the buried Town of Bannow. Not the least curious of the many curious additions to the ruin are the monuments, more than a score of which have been erected to the memory of natives of extreme old age. Near the Church door there is one which records the death of Walter French, of Grange, who died in 1701. The reading of the slab on which the name appears is done with so much difficulty as to give rise to considerable doubt as to whether the age attained by Mr. French was 104 or 140. A majority of the residents of Bannow hold the opinion that he reached 140. It is said, furthermore, that, but for an accident, he might have lived much longer. While on his way from Wexford to his farm at Grange, with a load of iron, the car broke down. He carried the iron on his back for the rest of the distance, and died from fatigue. Many of his kindred have lived to ages ranging between 80 and 100, a fact verified in well cut letters on the slabs which mark their graves, in the same church-yard.

The town of Bannow has often been referred to as the Irish HerculaneuM. It is buried beneath the sand, but there is no reason whatever to believe that in its destruction any loss of life occurred. The reasonable conclusion is that it fell into decay through loss of the commerce which it once enjoyed. The movement of the sand upon the constant winds, suggests to the poetic mind the manner of the destruction. For the following complete list of streets, and other valuable information, I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. William Murphy, Post Master of Bannow: High Street, Little Street, Weaver Street, Lady’s Street, St. Mary’s Street, George’s Street, Upper Street, Ivory Street, St. Toolock Street, Back Street, Market Place, St. John’s Gate, Bride Street, Selskar Street, Hayes Lane. Bannow, it is claimed, was the oldest corporate town in Ireland. Some superficial excavations made by the late Captain Boyse, R.N., in 1865, resulted in the discovery of the foundation of a large house, and of a slab bearing date 1398. The church-yard of Bannow was first used as a burial place in 1661. What is called Bannow Island, contains about 500 acres, and is occupied by less than a dozen families. Sometimes the tide surrounds it, and this is now the only claim it has to be called an island. Major Boyse’s residence, Bannow House, is one of the finest in the County Wexford, but he seldom lives in it. Mrs. S. C. Hall, née Fielding, the gifted authoress, was a native of Graigue, in the neighbourhood, where the initials of her maiden name, A.M.F., are cut into a tree near the wall and chimney-shaft which mark the site of her old home.


Rev. P. C. Sheridan, P.P., Bannow

Rev. A., Kinsella, C.C., Coolishal

Rev. J. Boggan, C.C., Ballymitty


Very Rev. John Kehoe, guardian


Rev. W. Corvan, rector, Vernegley


William Murphy. [There are two of the same name in the village. One is postmaster and schoolmaster, the other is a general merchant.]



Dr. James Boyd, Kiltra


Francis Dillon, Mulrankin


W. Walker, sergt., Wellington br


William Murphy, master

Mary T. Murphy, mistress



Michael Reddy, master


David Furlong


N. Murphy, J. Wade, P. Wallace, P. Walsh


Wm. Murphy, Bannow; Capt. S. Roche, Ballygow; A. Colfer, Kiltra; Wm. Scallan, Barlough


Wm. Murphy


N. Barry, J. Breen, Wm. Murphy, *John Wade (*not a spirit dealer)


James Roche


William Murphy


Clement Colfer, Kiltra; T. Flynn, Kiltra; Simon Roche, Ballygow


J. Breen, A. Colfer, Wm. Murphy


Michael Bowe


Michael Hayes, Graigueen


(Postal District.)

Barry, James

Barry, John, Coolhull

Barry, John L., Ballyfrory

Burnsides, William, Cullenstown

Cahill, Michael, Cullenstown

Caine, Patrick, Haggard

Cain, James, Bannow Moor

Carty, Jasper, Graigueen

Casey, James

Codd, Patrick, Graigue, l

Colfer, Alice, Danes castle

Colfer, Bartholomew, Newtown

Colfer, Eliza, Ballygow

Colfer, Eliza, Graigueen

Colfer, James, Haggard

Cook, Samuel, Vernegley

Corish, M. K., Coolhull

Corish, Nicholas, Lough

Crane, Patrick, Barrystown

Crosbie, Denis, Bannow Moor

Cullen, Bartholomew

Cullen, James, Newtown

Cullen, Thomas, Knocklime

Culleton, Thomas, Graigue

Dake, Patrick, Grange

Dake, Stephen, Brandane

Daly, Philip, Ballyoughton

Devereux, Thomas, Danescastle

Doyle, Patrick, Maudlintown

Fowler, Richard, Barrystown

French, John, Grange

Furlong, Mary, Cullenstown

Furlong, Mary, Lough

Furlong, Pat, Ballygow

Furlong, Peter, Lacken

Harper, Ed., Ballymadder

Harper, John, Haggard

Harper, Thomas

Harpur, J. P., Barriestown

Jeffares, John, Coolseskin

King, Richard, Danescastle

Kough, Pat, Lacken

Kough, James, jun., Lacken

Meyler, Andrew, Brandane

Moran, Patrick, Grange

Morris, Robert, Newtown

Murphy, Margaret, Lacken

Murphy, John, Lacken

Nugent, Martin, Sheastown

Quinn, Patrick, Brandane

Radford, Ben., Cullenstown

Radford, W., Cullenstown

Rossiter, Greg., Grange

Scallan, Mary, Lough

Scallan, Mat, Ballyfrory

Sheppard, W., Ballygow

Sheridan, James, Vernegley

Sinnott, Nicholas, Vernegley

Stafford, John, Coolseskin

Stafford, L., Cullenstown

Stafford, P., Graigue little

Stafford, Peter, Graigue little

Synnott, Nich., Ballymadder

Tierney, James

Tierney, Martin, Haggard

Walsh, Laurence

Walsh, Matt, Grange

Warriner, Samuel, Ballygow

White, Moses, Danescastle

White, Nicholas, Newtown

White, Thomas, Newtown

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