All Lewis entries for Fiddown


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


FIDDOWN, a parish and village, in the barony of IVERK, county of KILKENNY, and province of LEINSTER, on the high road from Kilkenny to Carrick ; containing, with the post-town of Pilltown (which is separately described), 4296 inhabitants, of which number, 193 are in the village. This parish, the name of which is said to be derived from Fiodh, "a wood," and Doon, a "rath" or "fort," is bounded on the west by the river Lingawn, which is crossed by a good stone bridge, and on the south by the river Suir ; it comprises 10,485 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £8145 per annum. The soil in some parts is of astonishing fertility, and there is no waste land ; the system of agriculture has much improved within the last seven years, through the exertions of the Irish Farming Society. There are numerous limestone and sandstone quarries ; and near Pilltown is a quarry of variegated grey marble, susceptible of a high polish. The village of Fiddown consists of 36 houses, and has fairs on April 25th, June 10th, Sept. 29th, and Nov. 30th. It is situated on the bank of the river Suir, which is navigable throughout the extent of the parish for vessels of large burden, and abounds with excellent salmon and trout. Besborough, the fine old mansion of the Earl of Besborough, and from which his lordship takes his title, is situated in a well-wooded park of more than 500 acres. The house, which is built of hewn blue limestone, is 100 feet in front by 5O in depth ; the great hall is supported by four Ionic columns of Kilkenny marble, each of a single stone 10- feet high ; it was erected in 1744 from a design of David Bindon, Esq., and contains a fine collection of pictures. The other seats are Belline, the elegant residence of W. W. Currey, Esq., surrounded by a beautiful demesne ; Fanningstown, of J. Walsh, Esq. ; Tyburoughny Castle, of M. Rivers, Esq. ; Willmount, of G. Briscoe, Esq. ; Cookestown, of J. Burnett, Esq. ; Garrynarca, of N. Higinbotham, Esq. ; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. W. Gregory. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, united by act of council, in 1689, to the rectories of Owning or Bewley, and Tubrid, and the rectories and vicarages of Castlane and Tipperaghney, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes of the parish amount to £687, and of the benefice to £1228. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100 and a loan of £1500 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1817 ; the glebe comprises 48 acres. The church is situated in the village, on the site of an abbey, of which St. Maidoc or Momoedoc is said to have been abbot in 590: it is an ancient structure, handsomely fitted up by the late Earl of Besborough, and contains several monuments to the Ponsonby family, among which is one to Brabazon, first Earl of Besborough, who died in 1758, consisting of half-length figures of the earl and his countess, on a sarcophagus of Egyptian marble, under a pediment supported by four Corinthian columns and four pilasters of Sienna marble. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Templeorum ; the chapel, a neat building, is at Pilltown. In the schools at Pilltown, an infants' school, and a national school at Tubbernabrona about 300 children are instructed: there are also a private school, in which are about 40 children, and two Sunday schools. Throughout the parish are ruins of several ancient churches, Danish forts, and druidical altars or cromlechs. Several vestiges of antiquity have been found at Belline, and many are still to be seen in its immediate neighbourhood. The horns, with a great part of the skeleton, of a moose deer were found in a bed of soft marl, and are preserved at Besborough House.-See PILLTOWN.


PILLTOWN, a market and post-town, in the parish of FIDDOWN, barony of IVERK, county of KILKENNY, and province of LEINSTER, 9 miles (N. W. by W.) from Waterford, on the road to Clonmel ; containing 634 inhabitants. It derives its name from a branch of the river Suir, called " The Pill", at the head of which it is situated, about 1- mile from the river, and consists chiefly of one wide street, about a quarter of a mile in length, and in 1831 containing 102 houses, which being mostly of modern erection, with neat gardens in front and interspersed with some fine old trees, have an extremely neat and pleasing appearance : at the east end of the town is an excellent hotel. A patent for a market has been obtained, but it is not yet established ; a handsome building, erected at the expense of the Earl of Besborough and intended for the market-house, is appropriated to the use of the R. C. day-school, the Protestant Sunday-school, and all public meetings : it is also used for performing the evening church service. At the rear of the market-house, is, a commodious quay, erected a few years since at the expense of Viscount Dungannon, at which not less than 126 vessels discharged their cargoes in one year, the Suir being influenced by the tide as far as the Pill, and navigable for vessels of 200 tons' burden, and for smaller vessels up to the town. Here is a chief constabulary police Station ; and petty sessions are held on alternate Thursdays at the market-house. In the town is a neat R. C. chapel, being one of the three belonging to the union or district of Templeorum ; also the male and female Protestant parochial schools, chiefly supported by the Earl of Besborough and the rector ; and a dispensary for the poor. A loan fund has been established, with a capital of £100 raised by subscription ; and, in consequence of a bequest of £1000 to the poor of the parish from the late Robert and Elizabeth Landers, almshouses are about to be erected, A neat museum has been fitted up at the hotel by Mr. Redmond Anthony, the proprietor,who has here a valuable collection of paintings, curiosities, and Irish antiquities ; a small charge is made for admission, and the proceeds, averaging upwards of £40 per ann., are applied by him towards the support of the fever hospital at Carrick-on-Suir. The scenery in the vicinity is varied and beautiful ; and immediately adjoining the town is the splendid seat of the Earl of Besborough, which is described in the article on Fiddown.

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