WHITECHURCH,a parish, in the barony of DECIES-WITHOUT-DRUM, county of WATERFORD, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (W.) from Dungarvan, on the mail coach road from Waterford, through Youghal, to Cork; containing 3176 inhabitants. This place was the scene of repeated hostilities during the parliamentary war: in 1645, Sir Richard Osborne, then proprietor of Knockmoan castle, notwithstanding his scrupulous observance of the cessation of hostilities which had been previously concluded, was closely besieged by the Earl of Castle-haven, to whom he was compelled to surrender. The castle was delivered up to Lord Lisle in 1646, and in 1649, while Cromwell was besieging Dungarvan, it was besieged and taken by a detachment of his army, by whom it was afterwards demolished.

The parish comprises 9149 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the land is of good quality, and the system of agriculture very much improved. Limestone abounds on the lowlands, and marl of rich quality is obtained in several places; on the high grounds brown freestone and green flag-stone are found in abundance; manganese is also found at Cappagh, but has not been worked to any extent, and at Carriglea is a stratum of pure black marble. Ballyntaylor, the property of J. Musgrave, Esq., formerly a seat of the Osborne family, is pleasantly situated in the southern part of the parish, within half a mile of the picturesque ruins of Knockmoan Castle. The other seats are Mount Odell, the property of J. Odell, Esq., of Carriglea, also in this parish, the latter a handsome mansion in the later English style, pleasantly situated in a highly improved demesne, commanding some fine mountain scenery; Cappagh, of R. Usher, Esq., a handsome residence embracing some picturesque and romantic scenery; and Whitechurch, of R. Power, Esq., pleasantly situated in grounds tastefully laid out. The farm-houses are of very superior character. At Cappagh is a lake from which a stream issues, and after turning a mill pursues a subterranean course for nearly two miles, emerging at Canty, where it falls into the river Brickey. A fair is held on the 5th of August, and at Cappagh is a constabulary police station.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Lismore, episcopally united to that of Lickoran, and in the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire, in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithes amount to £525, of which £350 is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar; the gross value of the benefice is £202. 12. 6. The church, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £600, is a neat edifice, built in 1831.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Aglish: the chapel is a spacious edifice. About 90 children are taught in the parochial school at Ballyntaylor, supported by J. Musgrave, Esq.; and there are two private schools, in which are about 130 children.

There are some remains of the ancient castle of Kilmoan, said to have been originally built by a lady, whose tombstone was long shown here; they occupy the summit of a lofty limestone rock, surrounded by a deep morass, the only passage across which was a narrow causeway. Near Cappagh is an ancient building, said to have belonged to the Knights Templars; and near Ballylemon, when searching for marl, the skeletons of several moose deer were found.

In the limestone rocks are two extensive caverns, situated near each other; one, called Ooni-na-glour, or "the pigeon hole," is divided into two chambers, through the innermost of which runs a small stream that disappears at Ballymacourty, and after passing through this cavern emerges from its subterraneous course at Knockane; the largest chamber is of elliptical form, and about 150 feet in length, very beautifully ornamented with stalactites and crystallizations of various forms. The other cavern, which is called Oon-na-mort, contains numerous chambers, and has been repeatedly occupied as a place of religious retirement. Near the river Phinisk is another cavern called Oon-na-glour, about 100 feet square, of which the roof is very lofty in some parts; there is also a small cavern at Bewley, within a very short distance.

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