The vestiges of antiquity are numerous and of great variety of character. There were two ancient round towers; that at Ardpatrick fell a few years since; the other, at Carrigeen, is in good preservation. Of the earlier and ruder kind of pagan relics are the cromlech on Bailenalycaellach hill, and two others near it; fortifications on Knocktow; a large fort at Friarstown; a large and very perfect moat at Kilfinane and another at Pallasgreine; a tumulus at Bruree; an earthen fort of great height near Croom; stone circles at Grange; a large dun or intrenched mount, with raths and other circular fortifications, at Kilpeacon; a circular fort divided into segments near Shanid castle, and traces of an ancient city in Cahir park.

The number of religious houses that have been founded here is about 35, exclusively of those in the city and its liberties: there are still remains of those of the Trinitarians, Augustinians, and Franciscans, at Adare; of Monaster na Geailleach; of Askeaton abbey; of Kilshane abbey, in the parish of Ballingarry; several extensive ruins of the ancient college at Mungret; of Galbally friary; of Kilflin monastery; of Kilmallock abbey; of Monaster-Nenagh abbey; and of the fine old abbey in the parish of Rochestown, all of which are more particularly described in their respective parishes. There are upwards of 50 ruins of churches: it is, however, but right to observe, that in many instances new structures have been built in more eligible situations, and every parish has now a church, or is united to a parish in which there is one.

So numerous were the castles rendered necessary by the former unsettled state of the country, that they are sometimes found within half a mile of each other; there are still ruins, more or less extensive, of nearly one hundred, which, with the modern seats of the nobility and gentry, are also noticed in their respective places. The peasantry differ little in their manners, habits, and dwellings from the same class in the other southern agricultural counties; their dwellings being thatched cabins, their food potatoes with milk and butter occasionally, their fuel turf, their clothing home-made frieze and cheap cottons and stuffs: their attachment to the neighbourhood of their nativity, and their love of large assemblages, whether for purposes of festivity or mourning, are further indications of the community of feelings and customs with their countrymen in the surrounding counties.

Among the natural curiosities may be included Lough Gur, with its romantic knolls, islands, and cave; the Castle-Connell chalybeate and astringent spa; and the sulphuric spring at Montpelier, in the parish of Kilnegariff. Bones and horns of the moose deer have been found in many parts of the county, from five to ten feet deep in boggy ground; five pairs of horns were found at Castle Farm, near Hospital, and seven pairs near Knocktow. In many parts of the county old fireplaces of the primitive inhabitants are occasionally turned up, containing burnt black earth, charcoal, sooty and siliceous stones.

County Limerick | Limerick Towns and Baronies | Limerick Topography | Limerick Agriculture | Limerick Geology | Limerick Manufactures | Limerick Antiquities | Limerick City

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