KNOCKANE, a parish, chiefly in the barony of DUNKERRON, with a small part in that of TRUGHENACKMY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Killarney; containing 4716 inhabitants. This very extensive parish is situated on the river Laune, which, in its course from the Lower Lake of Killarney into the harbour of Castlemaine, forms its northern boundary; and also on the river Blackwater, by which it is bounded on the west. It comprehends an area more than 40 miles in circumference, of which 59,077 statute acres are applotted under the tithe act and valued at £6988 per annum. With the exception of some low grounds near the Laune, the parish is chiefly occupied by the lofty and extensive range of mountains called "McGillycuddy's Reeks," from the ancient and powerful sept of that name, who from a very remote period were lords of this territory, and whose descendants are still resident here.

During the wars of Elizabeth, and also during those of Cromwell, these mountains were the secure retreat of this sept, of which Donogh, having embraced the peace offered by the Marquess of Ormonde, raised several companies of foot for the King's service, obtained the rank of Lieutenant-colonel in the army of the Earl of Clancartie, and afterwards commanded Lord Muskerry's regiment at the siege of Limerick, where he was taken prisoner. The principal of these mountains is Garran Tual, which, according to the late Mr. Nimmo's survey, rises to the height of 3410 feet above the level of the sea, being the most elevated point in Ireland. The approach to it from Sir A. Blennerhasset's shooting lodge is through a long and wide valley between ridges of rock, which gradually contracts itself into a narrow passage called the Hag's Glen, of terrific wildness, and is continued along the brow of a rocky precipice overhanging one of the lakes, of which there are several in this mountainous region, and under a projecting crag called the Hag's Tooth through a very confined passage hemmed in with huge masses of rugged rock.

From the summit is a most extensive and magnificent view, embracing the course of the Shannon from Loop Head to Limerick, with a large portion of the county of Clare, the bays of Dingle, Castlemaine, the Kenmare river or bay, and the Tralee bay and mountains to the north-west; and, to the south and west, the Bantry mountains and Dursey islands, and the coast of Kerry with its numerous inlets.

Of the lakes in the interior, Lough Cara is the most conspicuous; part only of the Lower Lake of Killarney is visible, the others being concealed by the intervening heights. The other Reeks range in parallel ridges; on several are seen small lakes, and the view to the south-west comprehends an extensive and beautiful expanse of mountain scenery, including the Glencar mountain and others of the McGillycuddy range, intersected with deep glens and extensive wilds.

The Reeks consist of soft argillaceous schistus or sandstone, large masses of which frequently detach themselves and roll down; the larger rocks are of a grey silicious stone intersected with thick veins of quartz, and in the interstices are found small hexaedral prisms of rock crystal, and some coarse amethysts. Between the Purple mountain and McGillycuddy's Reeks is a singular defile called the Gap of Dunloe, or Dunlogh; the entrance is extremely narrow, and the mountains on each side rise perpendicularly to a towering height, throwing a deep shadow on the waters of a lake, between which, on one side, and the lofty cliff on the other, is a narrow road in which are scattered masses of broken rock impeding the progress of carriages beyond a certain point; and beyond this, impending crags of threatening aspect render the passage to pedestrians apparently hazardous: several small bridges are thrown over the stream which runs through the defile. This pass opens into the valley of Coome Dhuve, at the western extremity of which is a very considerable lough, called the Red Trout lake; and opposite the termination of the defile is a beautiful waterfall of great height, the water of which descends into a succession of small lakes that occupy the whole extent of the valley.

The Gap affords excellent pasturage for sheep; it was formerly covered with wood. From a bank on the south side is a splendid view of the Upper Lake of Killarney, with its richly wooded islands and surrounding mountains, among which the ornamental tower at Gheramine is seen to great advantage; and on the right is the Coome Dhuve, or "Black Valley," a deep hollow among the Reeks with a dark lake at its extremity, above which are precipitous mountains.

The lands under cultivation are chiefly in tillage, but a very large portion of the parish is mountain pasture; the soil is light and gravelly, and interspersed with large tracts of bog. The system of agriculture is gradually improving; at Manus is a limestone quarry, which is extensively worked, chiefly for agricultural purposes; at Glencare is a small slate quarry, and slate is also found in the Gap of Dunloe.

Dunloe Castle, the seat of D. Mahony, Esq., was formerly the residence of the O'Sullivan family, and was built by the O'Sullivan More, by whose descendants it was occupied at the time of its bombardment by General Ireton during the parliamentary war: it is situated about a mile from the Lower Lake of Killarney, on a steep bank rising from the river Laune, and in the midst of a thickly wooded demesne, and commands a fine view of the Lower Lake, and of the scenery of the Gap, with the McGillycuddy mountains. The other seats are Beaufort House, the residence of Frederick William Mullins, Esq., built on the site of Short Castle; Whitefield, of McGillycuddy of the Reeks; Churchtown, of Sir Arthur Blennerhasset, Bart.; Cullina, of Kean Mahony, Esq.; and Glencare, of R. Newton, Esq. There are also several sporting-lodges near Lough Cara, the beauty of which has been much increased by the plantations of McGillycuddy of the Reeks.

The river Laune produces excellent salmon, and the mountains abound with wild fowl and game. The small village of Blackstones is surrounded by rocky hills and high mountains, in the rugged crags of which the yew, holly, and arbutus grow in wild luxuriance. To the north are two considerable lakes formed by the river Cara, and enclosed by lofty mountains, from the lower of which the river flows into Dingle bay. Iron-works were established here by Sir William Petty and carried on till the middle of the last century, when they were discontinued for want of fuel, the timber of the neighbourhood being wholly exhausted. The hops and garden roses planted by the English settlers still grow here in a wild state. Fairs are held at Kilgobbinett on Feb. 11th and Dec. 21st; the former is a great fair for pigs, which are frequently sold to the amount of £4000. There is a constabulary police station at Beaufort, and petty sessions are held at Tuagh every three weeks.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and in the patronage of the Crown; the tithes amount to £260. 2. 2 ½. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £276 and a loan of £461 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1828: there is also a glebe. The church, a plain structure with a square tower, was built in 1812 by a gift of £800 from the same Board; but having been burnt during the disturbances in 1822, it was rebuilt in 1825, by a loan of £240 from the Board of Public Works.

In the R. C. divisions the parish, with the exception of Glencare, forms part of the union or district of Killorglin; there is a chapel at Tuagh, and another at Glencare, which latter is in the district of Glenbegh. About 180 children are taught in three private schools; and there is a national school-house at Cullina, towards the erection of which the late Colonel Mahony bequeathed £100, and Kean Mahony, Esq., gives two acres of land towards its support.

Near Churchtown are the ruins of Castle Cor, formerly the residence of the McGillycuddy family. There are some remains of the old church in the burial-ground; and at Kilgobbinett and Killoghane are those of other churches, or chapels of ease, the latter of which was dependent on Castle Cor. In the reign of Elizabeth Glencare gave the title of Earl to Donald Mac Carty More, by whose descendants it was forfeited.

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