TINTERN, or KINNEAGH, a parish, in the barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (N.) from Fethard, on the road from Wexford to Duncannon Fort; containing 2602 inhabitants. This place derives its name from a monastery founded here by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, after his escape from shipwreck off this coast in the year 1200, in fulfilment of a vow made during his peril, in which, after its endowment and dedication to the Blessed Virgin, he placed monks from the Cistertian abbey of Tintern, in the county of Monmouth, whence it obtained the appellation of Tintern-Minor. In 1447 the monastery had suffered such dilapidation that the abbot rebuilt the house at his own expense, and on that occasion obtained an act exempting him from all compulsory attendance in parliament.

The parish is bounded on the south-east by the bay of Bannow, and on the north-east by the river Blackwater: it comprises 6528 statute acres; about one-half consists of arable land, and the remainder of meadow and pasture, with a considerable portion of bog; the soil is fertile, and the system of agriculture is much improved, green crops for winter feeding having been introduced with success; and the cottages of the farmers and peasantry exhibit a considerable degree of neatness and comfort.

The village of Tintern, which was contiguous to the abbey, was taken down some years since and rebuilt on the townland of Saltmills, by which name it is now more generally known, and it is described under that head. An inlet from Bannow bay is navigable to the old bridge near the abbey for lighters bringing limestone and coal; and there is a small fishery. Fairs are held at Tintern on May 12th, Sept. 21st, and Nov. 11th, and at Nash on June 24th, Aug. 15th, and Nov. 20th: it is a station of the constabulary police.

Tintern, the property of Caesar Colclough, Esq., and now the residence of his agent, J. W. Goff, Esq., is beautifully situated in a sequestered spot near the margin of the bay, and in the midst of a richly wooded demesne; the family mansion has been formed principally from the chancel of the ancient conventual church, of which the tower and part of the walls form a picturesque feature in the grounds; but from the frequent alterations which the abbey has undergone, these ruins have lost much of their original character. Subsequently to the formation of the present mansion, the ancient domestic buildings were removed, and the materials were used in the erection of the old chapel of ease near the abbey, and in that of the bridge before mentioned. About half way between Tintern and Clonmines is Thorla, or Tallough, the pleasantly situated residence of Mr. George Hughes, supposed to occupy the site of an ancient religious house called Midway, from its position between the monasteries of Tintern and Clonmines.

The living is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Ferns, united in 1785 to those of Owenduffe and Clonmines, and in the patronage of Caesar Colclough, Esq., in whom the rectories are impropriate, and who allows the officiating minister a stipend of £82. 6. 1 ¾., augmented by £60 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; the tithes, amounting to £300, have merged into the rental of the land. The impropriate cures of Clongeen and Kilcowanmore are also attached to this union for the performance of clerical duties. The church, a neat edifice in the later English style, with a square tower crowned with pinnacles, was erected in 1818, at an expense of about £1000, of which £600 was a loan from the late Board of First Fruits; the remainder was assessed on the parishes of the union.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Ballylennon (or Rosegarland), Clonmines, Clongeen, Owenduff, Inch, and Newbawn. The chapel at Ballycallane is an ancient and spacious building, near which a residence for the priest has been lately erected; and at Rathnagusseran is a handsome modern chapel, adjoining which also is a residence for the priest: the chapels of Clongeen and St. Leonard also belong to this district.

A school at Saltmills is supported by Mr. Colclough, and a school-house has been lately erected at Ballycullane: in these and in the private schools of the parish about 160 children are educated. On digging the foundations for the present mansion at Thorla, a piscina and a great number of bones were discovered; the latter were interred under a tumulus in the grounds, and the former removed to the R. C. chapel. In the old chapel adjoining the abbey is a large table monument to Sir Anthony Colclough, Knt., who is recorded to have first arrived in Ireland in the 34th of Henry VIII., as captain of the Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, in which and other offices of state he continued during the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, and died in 1584.

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »