Kilmore Quay and the Saltees - 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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IT is a little more than ten Irish miles from Kilmore Quay to Wexford. The Quay, as it is proudly referred to by the residents, is favourably situated as a summer resort, and have much to interest the tourist, and amuse the annual visitor. There is a hotel, and many well-built and comfortably furnished lodges, but there is room for increased accommodation. A large family hotel, kept in the best style, and judiciously advertised, would pay as a speculation in the right hands. I am not to be understood as intimating that the hotel at present in existence is not a good one. I was there in July, 1884, and it was then filled beyond its capacity. To the southeast is Ballyteige Bay, with miles of sand banks, all of which are occupied by rabbits. The Castle of Ballyteige, erected by Sir Waller Whitty, commands a view of the bay, and is in a good state of preservation. Under its protecting wing is a modern dwelling, occupied by Mr. Thomas Grant. Ballyteige Castle is passed on the way to Duncormick. Kilmore Harbour is not all that it could be made by a liberal expenditure of money, but its pier is of great service to the fishermen.

One of the sights of Kilmore is St. Patrick’s Bridge, a causeway of large stones, fully thirty feet in width, and extending about a mile from the shore. It is remarkable for symmetrical form, being evenly rounded from the centre to the sides. As a walk it is difficult, but those who persevere in the effort to use it for this purpose, cannot fail to admire both the bridge itself and the ingenius naming of it. It evidently has a strong foundation, for it is said that no stones are washed from it. A large rock near the shore, and within a few rods of the bridge, bears an imprint resembling a hand, and it has long been a popular notion that St. Patrick rested his hand upon it on the way to the Saltees, and left the mark as a sign of his presence for future generations.

The Saltee Islands are the great attraction of Kilmore; in clear weather they are a standing temptation to adventurous pic-nic parties, and places from which there is no escape in bad weather. Great Saltee is four Irish miles from Forlorn Point, which is about a quarter of a mile from Kilmore Quay. The Hon. Mrs. Deane-Morgan and Lord Granard are joint owners of it and of Little Saltee. The tenants of Great Saltee are Patrick and John Parle, representatives of a family that has been in occupation for over eighty years, having succeeded the Furlongs about the year 1800. According to tradition, the originator of the Parle family was one of three brothers who were wrecked at Carnsore Point. Having had a leg broken, he was left behind, and his two brothers returned home to France. Permanent settlement in the barony of Bargy was induced by the fair native who nursed him through his illness.

Great Saltee has about 130 acres, of which 45 is fit for tillage, and produces barley, wheat, oats, beans, mangel-wurzel, potatoes, turnips and cabbage. There is a rabbit warren of between 50 and 60 acres, and about 30 acres of barren rock. Crops grow well in fine seasons, but in stormy weather, in consequence of having no beach at the back, the water strikes the cliffs and goes over upon the crops. In this way as much as seven acres of them have been often completely destroyed. The Parle homestead is a comfortable slated house, and occupies a well sheltered spot on the north-west side. Here the father of the present tenants lived until he was eighty-seven years of age, and left a widow a few years his junior, who survived him two years. The great sorrow of their lives had been occasioned by the death of their second youngest son, Stephen, who when a boy of thirteen, fell over a cliff called the Celbooly, the highest point of which is 130 feet.

In winter the winds affect the island to such an extent that communication with the main land is sometimes cut off for three weeks at a time. Frequent wrecks occur in the vicinity, but owing to the strength of the tide, wreckage is seldom thrown upon it. The landing place is between rocks on the north-side, and even in good weather it requires an experienced hand at the helm to shoot it in safety. In severe weather this feat is impossible. Pic-nic parties and curiosity hunters have frequently been compelled to remain over night, and in a few instances for several days, owing to a sudden change to foul weather. Homely fare and plenty of clean straw in the barn have been hospitably dispensed in such instances.

Great Saltee abounds in interesting places. It was a refuge for Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey and John Colclough, leaders in the Rebellion of 1798. They were arrested there by the officers of a Revenue cutter, carried to Wexford and put to death the day after arrival. Colclough’s Cave, to the north-west, for years afterwards, was shown by local guides to sympathetic strangers, but the site of it now only remains, the cave itself having long since yielded to the assaults of the ocean. The greatest existing cave is the otter, to the southward. It is dry and has to be entered on all-fours. Lady Walker’s cave was at the eastern end, and it, too, has been completely carried away by the sea. Some stones of the floor, of that pinkish tint so common in Bargy and Forth, give ground for the suggestion that the blood of Lady Walker has permanently dyed theM.

Cat Cliff, to the west, is about 200 feet high. Makestone Cliff, to the south, is about 100 feet high, and the lesser cliffs are Tommens, Boar’s Back, Wherryman, Happy, Ardheen, The Frenchman, Bird Rock, Raven, Celbooly, Stafford, Hell, Dollow, Red, and Labor-in-vain. Bird Rock received its name through the fact that it is a favourite place for wild fowl. A piece of level land, well sheltered, is called The Ring, and at the east side there is a strip known as The Abbey, although there are no foundations visible.

Little Saltee contains about 100 acres, and is held from year to year by Francis Parle, of Clingarry. St. Patrick’s Bridge, as seen at low water, leads towards this island, which is used for tillage, and as a rabbit warren. Having no cliffs, and, consequently, being more exposed to the weather, crops often suffer very much. There is a farmhouse on it, but it has not proved sufficiently attractive to induce Mr. Parle to make a home on the island.


Ballyhealy, 3 miles distant

Rev. C. J. Townsend, Rector


Rev. Nicholas Keating, C.C.


Ellen Monaghan


Samuel Jeffares in command


Fanny and Kate Walsh, teachers


N. Murphy, F. Prendergast, L. Walsh and N. White


Devereux, John

Hayes, William


R. Barry and M. Murphy


F. Prendergast, J. Rocheford, P. Rocheford and N. White


Catherine Keating


B. Power and M. A. Flaherty


Jas. Brien, J. Codd, Ed. Flaherty, Jas. Furlong, D. Kehoe, James Kehoe, M. Kehoe, J. Madden, P. Parle, M. Power, J. Robinson, J. Rocheford, N. Rocheford, J. Walsh, T. Walsh, J. White, N. White


P. Rocheford, N. White, F. Prendergast (grocer only)


Nicholas White


Richard Murphy, Chapel Garden


John Stafford, Brandycross

William Bates, Ballyburn


R. Kinsella, J. M‘Grath, J. Moran


James White


(Postal District.)

Barry, James, Pollrane

Barry, John, Pollrane

Barry, Philip, Pollrane

Barry, Thomas, Newtown

Codd, John, Beak

Cogley, John, Soughane

Cousins, Richard, Hill

Day, John, Gallagh

Day, Martin, Ballybealy, n

Edwards, Nicholas, Chapel

Furlong, John, Ballygrangans

Furlong, William, Soughane

Grant, Thomas, Ballyteigue

Harper, John, Ballask

Keating, John, Ballyhealy

Keating, Nicholas, Sarshill

Kehoe, Paul, Moortown little

Kelly, James, Ballygrangans

Kenselah, Thomas, Gallagh

Parle, John, Saltee Island

Parle, Patrick, Crossfarnogue

Pierce, John, Gallagh

Power, James, Libgate

Ray, Thomas, Ringbawn

Rashford, Nicholas, Crossfarnogue

Rashford, Patrick, Crossfarnogue

Rashford, Richard, Ballygrangans

Ronan, Patrick, Ballyteigue

Rossiter, Francis, Libgate

Rossiter, Michael, Ballyask

Rossiter, Thomas, Libgate

Rossiter, Wm., Libgate

Stafford, Francis, Ballygrangans

Stafford, James, Chapel

Stafford, Martin, Ballygrangans

Stafford, Thomas, Ballygrangans

Walsh, Laurence, Ballyteigue

Walsh, Nicholas, Ballyteigue

White, Nicholas, Crossfarnogue

White, Robert, Chapel

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