CONNELL (GREAT), a parish, in the barony of CONNELL, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, containing with the post-town of Newbridge,1911 inhabitants. In 1202, a priory was founded here, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and St. David, by Meyler Fitz Henry, who placed in it Regular Canons from the monastery of Lanthony, in Monmouthshire. It subsisted till the Reformation, when it was granted to Edward Randolfe, with reversion to Sir Edw. Butler ; it was re-granted in the 3rd of Elizabeth to Sir Nicholas White, and is now the property of Thos. Eyre Powell, Esq. The parish is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Limerick, and comprises 4738 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £2337 per annum. The land is chiefly under tillage, and the improved system of agriculture is making gradual progress. At Athgarvan ford, on the Liffey, are the extensive boulting-mills of Messrs. Tuthill and Reeves, in which 15,000 bags of flour are made annually. The principal seats are, Great Connell Lodge, the property of T. E. Powell, Esq., but occupied by E. Butler, Esq. ; Rosetown, the seat of E. Bateman, Esq. ; and Hillsborough, of G. Higgins, Esq. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Kildare, to which that of Ladytown is annexed, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is impropriate in T. E. Powell, Esq. The tithes amount to £171. 5. 2. The church is a small plain edifice, erected about 50 years since ; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently made a grant of £187 towards its repair. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising Great and Old Connell, Killishy, and Morristown-Biller, with parts of Carnalloway and Kill : the chapel is near Newbridge, which see. There are three private and two pay schools, in which about 60 boys and 60 girls are educated ; and a national school is about to be erected. The remains of the priory consist chiefly of the east gable of the church, with a great extent of ruinous walls, and many fragments of masonry, among which is the mutilated tomb of Prior Welleshey, Bishop of Kil-dare. Over the gateway, on one side, is a small sculpture of the Crucifixion, and on the other, Our Saviour crowned with thorns, and a mitred ecclesiastic ; and on another fragment is the figure of St. Peter, bearing the keys. It is said that, within the memory of persons still living, a round tower, 75 feet high, was destroyed during the minority of the present proprietor's father.
NEWBRIDGE, a market and post-town, in the parish of GREAT CONNELL, barony of CONNELL, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 5? miles (S. W. by W.) from Naas, and 21 (S. W.) from Dublin ; containing 577 inhabitants. This place is of very recent origin, and appears to have arisen since the erection of extensive barracks for cavalry, in 1816, on the property of Thos. Eyre Powell, Esq. It is situated on the river Liffey, over which there is a handsome stone bridge of five arches, but so narrow that two carriages cannot drive abreast on it, from which it derives its name, and on the mail coach road from Dublin to Limerick. The town at present consists only of one street, on the western bank of the river ; but it is yet in its infancy, and there is every prospect of its increase. The barracks are spacious and handsome, consisting of two parallel ranges of building, connected by a central range at right angles ; and are capable of accommodating two regiments, with apartments for their officers, and an hospital for 100 patients. A patent has been obtained for two free markets, which are held on Tuesday and Friday in every week, and for two fairs, on the 3rd of May and 15th of August. Here are also a constabulary police station, a dispensary, and a R. C. chapel, with a friary.