ROSENALLIS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

ROSENALLIS, or OREGAN, a parish, in the barony of TINNEHINCH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, on the road from Emo to Birr, through Clonaslee; containing, with the greater part of the post-town of Mount-Mellick (which is separately described), 8463 inhabitants. The parish is said to have derived its name from Rossa Failgea, eldest son of Cathavir O'More. The north-eastern extremity of the Slieve Bloom mountains is included in it. The Barrow rises in Tinnehinch hill, and after receiving the tributary stream of the Owenass, or Onas, quits the parish near Mount-Mellick.

The soil is cold, but capable of great improvement by the application of lime, which is much used, as is also a compost of clay, bog mould and the refuse of the farm-yard. In the Slieve Bloom mountains are quarries of a soft white sandstone, which hardens when exposed to the air, and is susceptible of a high polish; it is in great demand throughout the country for chimney-pieces and hearth-stones; a coarser kind is used for flagging. Another peculiarity of these mountains is the fertility of their northern side, which is interspersed with neat farm-houses and cultivated enclosures to its summit, while its southern side is mostly a heathy waste.

Iron ore was formerly raised, but is not now. There is a large tract of bog in this district, affording an abundant supply of fuel. Tillage is more attended to than grazing: there are but few flocks of sheep. The chief crops are potatoes, wheat, barley and oats. Near Mount-Mellick are three public nurseries.

Besides the fairs which are held in the last-named town, there is one at Tinnehinch on Oct. 29th solely for pigs. Comfortable farm-houses are thickly scattered through the parish, and there are several good mansions, of which the principal are Capard, the residence of John Pigott, Esq., situated on the side of a hill commanding an extensive view of the adjacent country, with the towns of Mount-Mellick, Maryborough, Portarlington, Mountrath, and Monastereven; Rynn, of Mrs. Croasdaile; Summergrove, of J. Sabatier, Esq.; and the Glebe, of the Rev. George Kemmis. The manufacture of woollen cloths, stuffs and cottons is carried on chiefly in Mount-Mellick and its vicinity; there are also breweries and distilleries.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Kildare: the rectory is impropriate in General Dunne; the vicarage, united with those of Castlebrack, Kilmanman, and Rerymore, is in the patronage of Thomas Kemmis, Esq.

The tithes amount to £398. 15. 4 ¾., of which £265. 16. 11 ¼. is payable to the impropriator, and £133. 18. 5 ½. to the vicar; the parishes of the union constitute the barony of Tinnehinch, and the tithes of the benefice amount to £336. 3. 3 ½. The glebe-house, at Camira, is a commodious building on an elevated piece of ground near the village of Rosenallis, and has a glebe of 180 acres annexed to it, besides which there are 356 acres of glebe, including mountain land, in the other parishes of the union. The church, at Rosenallis, is a neat building, and has been lately thoroughly repaired by means of a grant of £578 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: there is a chapel of ease at Mount-Mellick.

In the R. C. divisions Rosenallis is the head of a union or district, comprising parts of the parishes of Rosenallis, Castlebrack and Rerymore; the other part of the parish is in the district of Mount-Mellick; there are chapels at Capard and Mount-Mellick. The Society of Friends have an enclosed burial-ground near the village. Besides the schools at Mount-Mellick, there are two in Rosenallis, one of which is a national school. At Rosenallis is a station of the constabulary police. Within the grounds of Cappard are several raths, and brass coins of James II. were dug up near the mansion a few years since. A remarkable togher or bog-pass, in the neighbourhood, is pointed out as the place where an engagement took place between parties of King William's and King James's forces, in which the latter were defeated.

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