CLONBRONEY, or CLONEBRONE, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CLONBRONEY, or CLONEBRONE, a parish, partly in the barony of ARDAGH, but chiefly in that of GRANARD, county of LONGFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 6 ½ (W.) from Granard, on the road to Longford; containing 4819 inhabitants. Here was a nunnery, said to have been founded by St. Patrick, which was destroyed by fire in 778, but was soon restored, and existed at least till the 12th century. In 1798, Lord Cornwallis encamped here before the battle of Ballinamuck. The parish contains 12,101 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which 51 are woodland, 9892 arable and pasture, 1382 bog, 444 grazing bog and 332 curragh or fen. Excellent limestone is found here. Fairs are held on May 9th and Nov. 18th. The principal seats are Kilshruly, the residence of T. N. Edgeworth, Esq.; Curraghgrane, of W. L. Galbraith, Esq.; Whitehill, of H. B. Slator, Esq.; Lissard, of J. L. O'Ferrall, Esq.; and Lake-view, of R. Grier, Esq. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ardagh, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is partly impropriate in Michael Nelligan, Esq., and partly appropriate to the see of Ardagh. The tithes amount to £406. 5. 11., of which £115. 7. 11 ½. is paid to the impropriator, £124. 13. 8 ¼. to the Archbishop of Tuam (as Bishop of Ardagh), and £166. 4. 2 ½. to the vicar.

The church is a handsome structure, in the ancient style of English architecture, built in 1825, by aid of a gift of £1100 from the late Board of First Fruits, and enlarged in 1830, by a loan of £300 from the same Board, and a donation of £100 from the Countess Dowager of Rosse. The glebe-house was built in 1822, by aid of a gift of £200 and a loan of £255 from the Board: the glebe comprises 38 acres. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; there is a chapel at Ballinalee, or St. Johnstown, and one in Drumeel. At Drumeel is a national school, and there is another in course of erection in the village. There are also a school for boys at St. Johnstown, a male and female school at Drumderrig, and one in Ballinascroaw; a female school in the village is aided by the vicar and curate, and an infants' school is supported by Colonel Palliser. The school-house in the village is a good building. Sir James Ware left a tract of land called Scolands, for the instruction of children, but his bequest has been a considerable time under litigation. Mr. Charlton left the lands of Moate Ferrall, the profits to be distributed among male and female servants, on their marriage. Near White Hill is a remarkable moat, which is said to have been the residence of the head of the O'Ferralls, the ancient proprietors of the soil. There are some remains of the ancient church of Clonbrone, with a cemetery attached. The small lake of Gurteen discharges its superfluous waters into the river Camlin by a subterraneous passage, extending a quarter of a mile in length. At Firmount was born the Abbe Edgeworth, who attended Louis XVI. on the scaffold, as his confessor.

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