BLACKROCK, a chapelry

BLACKROCK, a chapelry, in the parish of ST. FINBARR, county of the city of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 2 ¼ miles (E. S. E.) from Cork: the population is included in the return for the parish. This place is beautifully situated on a peninsula bounded on the north and east by the river Lee, and on the south by Lough Mahon and the Douglas channel. The castle was originally built in 1604 by the Lord-Deputy Mountjoy, to protect the passage up the river from the harbour to the city, and was subsequently vested in the corporation, who held their courts of admiralty in it, and by whom, having been some years since destroyed by an accidental fire, it was rebuilt in 1829, from a design by Messrs. Pain, and is now assigned to the mayor of Cork as an occasional residence during his year of office.

It is situated on a limestone rock projecting into the river, and consists of one bold circular tower of hewn limestone, containing a small banqueting room, from which there is a fine view over the river: from this tower springs a small turret rising to a considerable elevation and displaying from the upper part of it two brilliant lights; and attached to it is a water gate, with some low embattled buildings in the rear, which harmonise well with the principal feature of the castle. Numerous advantages resulting from its proximity to Cork; the beauty of its situation, the salubrity of its climate, and the excellent accommodations for bathing, have rendered this one of the most desirable places of residence in the South of Ireland. It has a penny post to Cork, and the railroad from Cork to Passage will; if carried into effect, pass through the village. The scenery is of the most varied and pleasing character, exhibiting numerous elegant villas and cottages, with lawns, gardens, and plantations reaching down to the margin of the Lee, which is here a noble expanse of water more than a mile broad, constantly enlivened by steam-boats and other vessels.

Among the principal seats are Dundanion Castle, that of Sir T. Deane, Knt.; Beaumont, of W. Beamish, Esq., a noble mansion consisting of a centre and two wings, with two conservatories, situated in tastefully arranged grounds; Lakelands, of W. Crawford, Esq.; Clifton, of J. Moore Travers, Esq.; Ring-Mahon Castle, of J. Murphy, Esq.; Besborough, of Ebenezer Pike, Esq.; Cleve Hill, of S. Perrott, Esq.; Castlemahon, of Sir W. A. Chatterton, Bart.; Ferney, of J. H. Manley, Esq.; Filtrim, of W. Fagan, Esq.; Ashton, of J. Cotter, Esq.; Prospect, of Garden Terry, Esq.; Rochelle, of R. W. Topp, Esq.; Carrigduve, of R. Notter, Esq.; Sans Souci, of R. B. Shaw, Esq.; Carrigduve, of G. Sherlock, Esq.; Chiplee, of P. Maylor, Esq.; Ballinure House, of W. Crofts, Esq.; Lakeview House, of Miss Allen; Webbe Ville, of the Rev. C. Tuthill; Mary Ville, of J. Lindsay, Esq.; Lakeview, of P. Kearney, Esq., Templeville, of M. Murphy, Esq.; Rose Hill, of G. P. Rogers, Esq.; Lakeview, of W. Prettie Harris, Esq.; Temple Hill, of R. Hall, Esq.; Rosetta, of G. Frend, Esq.; Dean Ville, of J. Mac Mullen, Esq.; Knockrea, of A. W. Webb, Esq.; Barnstead, of the Rev. W. R. Nash; Midsummer Lodge, of Miss Jones; Clover Hill, of C. Connell, Esq.; North Cliffe, of J. Mac Donnell, Esq.; Prospect Lodge, of C: Terry Crofts, Esq.; Flower Lodge, of R. Mac Mullen, Esq.; Rockville Cottage, of J. Cogan, Esq.; Clifton Cottage, of F. C. Cole, Esq.; and Rock Cottage, of M. Smith, Esq.

Besides these seats there are numerous villas which are let during the summer. The land is naturally very fertile, and is for the most part enclosed in lawns, gardens, and pleasure grounds; the rest, deriving from its contiguity to Cork an abundant supply of rich manures, and having the advantage of inexhaustible quarries of limestone and plenty of sea sand, is in a high state of cultivation, and supplies the Cork market with a large proportion of its vegetables. The substratum is limestone of excellent quality, which is extensively quarried for various purposes. Between the fissures of the rocks, near its junction with the clay-slate, are found numerous amethystine crystals, some of which are very large and clustery, and all are beautifully coloured; one specimen in the Cork Royal Institution weighs more than 40lb.

The church, dedicated to St. Michael, serves as a chapel of ease to the cathedral church of St. Finbarr, Cork, and was built in 1827, at an expense of £2100, of which £900 was given by the late Board of First Fruits, £100 by the corporation of Cork, and the remainder, with the exception of a few local subscriptions and the sale of pews, was defrayed by the dean and chapter, who appoint and pay the curate. It is a handsome edifice of hewn limestone, in the later style of architecture, with a tower crowned with battlements and pinnacles, and surmounted by a spire 60 feet high, which, with part of the tower and the western portion of the nave, was destroyed by lightning on Jan. 29th, 1836, but has been restored by aid of a grant of £310 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The R. C. chapel, erected in 1821, is a large and handsome building, and is a chapel of ease to the parochial chapel of St. Finbarr, or the South chapel: it was begun at the private expense of the late Dean Collins, aided by a subscription of £300, and was completed and elegantly fitted up by means of a bequest of £1100 from the late T. Rochford, Esq., of Garretstown, part of which, in 1834, was expended in the erection of a house for the officiating priest near the chapel. An Ursuline convent was removed hither from Cork, in 1825: it was founded in 1771, by the late Miss Honora Nagle, whose portrait is in the visiting-room, and is the original of all the institutions of this class founded in Ireland. The community consists of 35 professed nuns and 6 lay sisters, and is governed by a superioress, her deputy, and a council of six. At this institution many of the daughters of the R. C. gentry are instructed; and in a separate building about 100 poor girls are gratuitously taught and partially clothed.

The convent has a demesne of 42 acres, and is an ornamental building, consisting of a centre and two wings, with a frontage of 350 feet. The chapel, which is in the east wing, is fitted up with simple elegance and ornamented with four Ionic pilasters supporting a pediment, on the apex of which is a cross, and at each of the other angles a vase. It contains a neat monument to the Rev. Dr. Lyons, who was many years chaplain to the convent. A school-house connected with St. Michael's chapel was erected at Ballintemple in 1836; a school for boys was built in 1834, at an expense of £160, of which two-thirds were contributed by the National Board, and the remainder by J. Murphy, Esq., of Ring-Mahon Castle; and there is a school for girls, supported by subscription. Here is a dispensary, and near Ballintemple are two private lunatic asylums. Cittadella, belonging to Joshua Bull, Esq., was established by the late Dr. Hallaran, in 1798, and has secluded pleasure grounds for the use of the patients. Lindville belongs to Dr. Osborne, and is pleasantly situated in a demesne of 14 acres. A temperance society was established in 1835.

At the village of Ballintemple, situated on this peninsula, the Knights Templars erected a large and handsome church in 1392, which, after the dissolution of that order, was granted, with its possessions, to Gill abbey. At what period it fell into decay is uncertain; the burial ground is still used. There are fragments of some ancient towers at Dundanion and Ring-Mahon, but nothing of their history is known.

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