CLOGHEEN, a market and post-town

CLOGHEEN, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of TULLAGHORTON, but chiefly in that of SHANRAHAN, barony of IFFA and OFFA WEST, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 11 ½ miles (S. W.) from Clonmel, and 94 (S. W. by S.) from Dublin; containing 1928 inhabitants. This place is situated on the river Tar, and on the mail coach road from Clonmel to Cork, near the foot of the steep northern ascent of the mountain of Knockmeladown. A large trade in agricultural produce is carried on, chiefly for exportation, and more than 80,000 barrels of wheat are annually purchased in its market and in the neighbourhood, which is made into flour of very superior quality and sent by land to Clonmel, whence it is conveyed down the Suir. For this purpose there are seven flour-mills in the town and neighbourhood, which are worked by fourteen water wheels; there is also an extensive brewery. A new road has lately been made from Clogheen to Lismore, with a branch to Cappoquin, the greatest rise on which is one in 30 feet. The neighbouring mountains abound with iron-stone, and iron ore was formerly smelted here.

At Castle-Grace, near the town, a lead mine was worked about 40 years since, the ore of which contained a large proportion of silver. The environs abound with varied scenery. In the immediate vicinity is Bay loch, about three quarters of a mile in circumference, and its depth in the centre is about 33 yards; a mountain rises over it with nearly a perpendicular ascent to an elevation of about 600 feet, and eagles are sometimes seen hovering over the lake. On the north side of Knockshannacoolen, Lord Lismore planted about 100 acres of trees, which thrive well and form a pleasing contrast with the ruggedness of the neighbouring mountains. Shanbally Castle, the splendid seat of his lordship, is about 2 ½ miles from the town. The market is on Saturday; and fairs are held on Whit-Monday, Aug. 1st, Oct. 28th, and Dec. 12th. The market-house is a commodious building. At the entrance of the town are barracks for the accommodation of two troops of cavalry.

A constabulary police force has been stationed here; a manor court is held before the seneschal of the manor of Everard's castle, in which the town is included, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £10; and petty sessions are held on alternate Thursdays. There is a small bridewell, comprising four cells, two day-rooms, and two airing-yards; also a dispensary and fever hospital. At a short distance from the church are the ruins of the parish church of Shanrahan, near which are the remains of St. Mary's abbey; and on the summit of Knockmeladown were interred the remains of Henry Eeles, who published many papers on electricity. Adjoining the town are Cooleville, the residence of S. Grubb, Esq., and Claishleigh, of S. Grubb, Esq.

A few miles distant, at Skiheenarinky, on the estate of the Earl of Kingston, is a very remarkable cavern in the limestone strata. The entrance is by a descent of 15 or 20 feet, in a narrow cleft of the rock, into a vault 100 feet in length and 60 or 70 feet high; a winding passage on the left leads for about half a mile through a variety of chasms, some of which are so extensive that, when lighted up, they have the appearance of a vaulted cathedral supported by massive columns; the walls, ceiling, and pillars often presenting highly fantastic forms, and are incrusted with spar of great brilliancy. The stalactites in some places form entire columns, and in others have the appearance of drapery hanging from the ceiling in graceful forms; the angles between the walls appear as if fringed with icicles, and in one part of the caverns is a deep pool of water, the passage of which has not been yet explored. About a quarter of a mile to the east of this cavern is the entrance to another that was discovered in 1833.—See Shanrahan and Tullaghorton.

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