All Lewis entries for Caher


More information on Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
Accompanying Lewis map for Kerry


BEG-INNIS or BEGNERS ISLAND, in the parish of CAHIR, barony of IVERAGH, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, lying near the north-east end of the island and post-town of Valencia: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated nearly in the centre of the chief entrance to the harbour of Valencia, on the western coast, from which island it is separated by a channel varying in breadth from one-eighth to one-half of a mile; and comprises about 330 statute acres of land, held by J. Primrose, Esq., of Hill Grove. The opening to the north, called Lough Kay, has deep water, but is much exposed to the great ocean swell. The south-eastern shore is covered with a fine shell sand, which forms a valuable manure, and is conveyed in boats to a considerable distance. There is a quarry of slate on the island, in the working of which the greater portion of the inhabitants are employed. Nearly in the centre of it is a remarkable conical hill, called the Sugar Loaf.


CAHIR, a parish, in the barony of IVERAGH, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with the market and post-town of Cahirciveen, 5653 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the harbour of Valencia, on the south-western coast; and is intersected by the high road from Tralee to Valencia; it includes within its limits Beg-innis or Begnis island, which, however, is situated nearer to the island and parish of Valencia, and between which and Dowlas Head is the northern entrance to the harbour. It comprises 20,452 statute acres, of which about 7000 are arable, 6500 mountain pasture, 6932 waste land and bog, and about 20 acres woodland. The soil is in general light; and the system of agriculture, though still in a backward state, has improved considerably since the construction of the new line of road through this and the neighbouring parishes, and along the coast of Castlemaine bay, as projected by the late Mr. Nimmo about 20 years since, by the completion of which great benefit has been conferred upon a district depending upon sea-weed and sea sand chiefly for manure, and for the conveyance of which from the coast to the interior it affords great facility. Shell sand of superior quality is brought from Begnis island and is extensively used for manure. There is no limestone nearer than Killorglin, a distance of 28 miles; and probably on account of the steepness of the hills, and the imperfect drainage of the lowlands, the spade is much more in use than the plough. The seats are Castlequin, that of Kean Mahony, Esq.; Bahoss, the newly erected mansion of Charles O'Connell, Esq., situated nearly in the centre of a reclaimed bog, and commanding a fine view of the amphitheatre of mountains by which it is encircled; and Hillgrove, the residence of J. Primrose, Esq., surrounded by a finely wooded demesne, a feature of rare occurrence in this wild district. Near the foot of Hillgrove is Cashen, the old mansion of the O'Connell family, and the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell, Esq., who holds the greater portion of a large estate in this parish under the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, besides a large tract his own estate. The prevailing rocks are of the slate formation, and slates of a good quality have been quarried on Cahirciveen mountain, and used for roofing the houses in the town. A few boats belonging to the parish are employed in the fishery, and several others are engaged in the conveyance of shell sand from Begnis island.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, episcopally united, prior to the date of any existing record, to the rectory and vicarage of Glenbegh and the rectory of Killinane, together constituting the union of Cahir, in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £226. 16. 10., and of the whole benefice to £517. 13. 10. The church is a neat plain edifice, built in the year 1815 by aid of a loan of £540 from the late Board of First Fruits. There is a glebe- house; and the glebe lands, in four separate parcels, comprise IOTA acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Cahirciveen, which also comprises the parish of Killinane: there are two chapels, situated at Cahirciveen and Fielmore; the former is a spacious building with a handsome belfry of hewn stone surmounted by a cross; the latter is a chapel of ease in the parish of Killinane. There is a national school endowed with the interest of a bequest of £500 from the late Gen. Count O'Connell, aided by annual donations from the Marquess of Lansdowne and Daniel and Maurice O'Connell, Esqrs.; also a free school supported by subscription, in which together about 650 children are educated. A fever hospital was established in 1834, for the reception of 25 patients; and there is d dispensary. Nearly opposite to the town are the extensive ruins of the ancient castle of Bally-Carbery; and at a small distance from them are the remains of one of those remarkable circular buildings, similar to Staig Fort, which are found only in Kerry, and which are generally supposed to have been built as places of security against the incursions of pirates on this wild and remote coast. Opposite to the north-east coast of Valencia island is the lofty cliff called Dowlas Head, near which is a spacious cavern; the entrance is low, but the interior is lofty, and bears a slight resemblance to a cathedral.-See CAHIRCIVEEN.


CAHIRCIVEEN, a market and post-town, in the parish of CAHIR, barony of IVERAGH, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 36 miles (S. W.) from Tralee, and 183 (S. W. by W.) from Dublin; containing 1192 inhabitants. This town, of which the greater portion has arisen since the formation of the new line of road along the coast of Castlemaine bay and through the Iveragh mountains to Valencia, is pleasantly situated at the base of the Cahirciveen mountain, and on the high road from Tralee to Valencia. In 1815 there were only five houses in the entire village, but within the last ten years it has rapidly increased, and consists of one principal street stretching along the main road, and of two smaller streets branching from it at right angles, one of which leads down to the quay, and the other to the upper road or old village of Cahir, which consists only of mud cabins. The houses on the new road are neatly built and roofed with slate; the town has a lively and cheerful appearance; the approaches are all by good roads kept in excellent order, and great improvements have been made in the neighbourhood. A subscription news-room upon a small scale has been established, also an agency for transacting business with the National Bank of Ireland. The chief trade carried on is the importation of timber, salt, and iron; oats and flour from some mills to the east of the town are occasionally exported. The flour-mills were erected at an expense exceeding £4000, and from the increasing cultivation of wheat in this district, are now extensively worked. A pier and a small quay were constructed in 1822, which are much used, but would have been more beneficial to the town had they been built a little below the present site; the quay is accessible to vessels of considerable burden. About 400 persons are employed in the fishery, but being also engaged in agriculture they neglect the best seasons for fishing. At Renard Point, immediately opposite to the "foot" of Valencia island, is a small quay, from which is a ferry to Valencia. It is supposed that Renard, which is about 2- miles to the west of Cahirciveen, will be the commencement of the great western railway, should that work be carried into execution. The market is on Saturday; and fairs are held on the 1st of September and 13th of December, besides which, several others have been recently established. A constabulary police force has been stationed here; and petty sessions are held in the town every alternate week. The bridewell is a neat and well-arranged building. The parish church and the R. C. chapel (the latter a handsome building), and a fever hospital and dispensary, are situated in the town. Here is also a national school.- See CAHIR.

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