CASTLEREA, a market and post-town

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CASTLEREA, a market and post-town, in the parish of KILKEEVAN, barony of BALLINTOBBER, county of ROSCOMMON, and province of CONNAUGHT, 13 ¾ miles (N. W.) from Roscommon and 88 ½ (W. by N.) from Dublin; containing 1172 inhabitants. This place appears to have arisen under the protection of the proprietor's castle, the site of which is now occupied by the seat of Lord Mount-Sandford, into whose demesne a gate opens directly from the market-place. The town consists of one long street extending from the marketplace, and continued by bridges over the river Suck and a small river that runs through the demesne of Lord Mount-Sandford and unites with the Suck immediately below the town. The total number of houses is 162, of which the greater number are built of sandstone; clusters of cabins extend along the roads, and there are several pretty cottages and small houses surrounded with trees, which, being neatly white-washed, give the neighbourhood a very cheerful appearance. There are several springs of excellent water, and the place is considered remarkably healthy.

A very extensive distillery, producing annually more than 20,000 gallons of whiskey, is conducted with success; and there are also a brewery and a tannery. The market for corn is on Wednesday, and has lately been rapidly increasing; and there is a market on Saturday for provisions, which is amply supplied; large quantities of butter, both fresh and in firkins, are sold here for the supply of distant markets, and cattle of every description and great quantities of yarn are brought for sale; the markets are held by patent of Lord Mount-Sandford, who has erected convenient shambles, which will be of great benefit to the town. Fairs are held on May 23rd, June 21st, Aug. 23rd, and Nov. 7th, and are well attended. A chief constabulary force has been stationed here, the sub-inspector for the county being resident in the town. The quarter sessions for the western division of the county are held here every nine months; and petty sessions are held every Wednesday. The sessions-house is a commodious building in the market-place, and attached to it is a bridewell containing the requisite accommodation. Castlerea House is the seat of Lord Mount-Sandford, and near it is a handsome house fitted up by his lordship for the residence of his chaplain.

The parish church is a neat edifice with a square embattled tower; the R. C. chapel is a spacious structure, but being in indifferent repair, it is in contemplation to rebuild it; there is also a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A school-house for a school on Erasmus Smith's foundation was erected here by the late Rev. William Sandford, who endowed it with the interest of £200; and a handsome school-house, with apartments for a master and mistress, was erected by Lord Mount-Sandford, for a male, female, and infants' school, supported by his lordship; there is also a national school. A dispensary has been established; and a building, with wards attached for the reception of patients, is about to be erected on an improved principle by Lord Mount-Sandford. A loan fund has existed for some years with great benefit to the poor; the capital at "present is £600. Dr. Young, Bishop of Clonfert, an eminent natural philosopher and mathematician, was a native of this place.—See KILKEEVAN.

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