RATHGOGAN, a parish, in the barony of ORRERY and KILMORE, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, on the mail road from Limerick to Cork; containing, with the post-town of Charleville (which is separately described), 5809 inhabitants. It is supposed to have derived its name from the great number of raths or forts in the immediate neighbourhood, and appears to have had an ancient castle, of which nothing more is known than that in 1642 it was besieged by the insurgents, and relieved by some English forces under the command of Lord Inchiquin.

The parish comprises 3068 statute acres, as rated for the county cess, of which 2969 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £3816 per ann.: the land is mostly in pasture; limestone abounds and is burnt for manure, and the state of agriculture is gradually improving. The surrounding country has a rather bleak aspect.

The seats are Saunderspark, that of C. Saunders, Esq.; Fortlands, of Andrew Batwell, Esq.; Springfort, of the Rev. J. Brace; Belfort, of — Reeves, Esq.; Knight Lodge, of Dr. Bernard; and Moatville, of Mrs. Ryan.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne; the rectory is partly appropriate to the rector of Kilpeacon, in the county of Limerick, and partly with the vicarage is united to the vicarage of Ballyhea, in the patronage of the Bishop.

The tithes amount to £326. 15. 11., of which £102. 11. 2. is payable to the rector of Kilpeacon, and the remainder to the incumbent: the entire tithes of the benefice amount to £624. 2. 9. Of the parochial glebe, only a few perches near the church are at present known; that of the union comprises 9a. 0r. 29p. The church is in the town of Charleville.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Charleville, comprising also small portions of the parishes of Ardskeagh, Ballyhea, and Shandrum: the chapel is situated in the town, and there is also a chapel at Ardnagehy. There are 16 schools in the parish, in which about 500 children are educated; of these, the endowed school and the National school are noticed under the head of Charleville, in which place are also an infants' school, supported by subscription, and a Sunday school under the superintendence of the vicar: the remainder are private schools. Near Moatville are the ruins of the ancient mansion of Lord Orrery, burnt in the war of 1688; and the neighbourhood is remarkable for the great number and the perfect state of those earthworks usually called Danish forts or raths; they are generally of a circular form and most of them are surrounded by a rampart and fosse. At Ballysallagh, or Ballysally, are the ruins of an old church with a cemetery attached.

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »