All Lewis entries for Coolbanagher


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


COOLBANAGHER, or COOLBENGER, a parish, in the barony of POUTNEHINCH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER ; Containing, with the parish of Ardea, or Ardrea, the post-town of Emo, and part of that of Mountmellick, 7456 inhabitants. It comprises 8623 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The soil is generally fertile, and there is a considerable tract of waste land, which is mostly exhausted bog, also a large tract of valuable bog ; the system of agriculture is daily improving. Limestone abounds, and is quarried for building, repairing the roads, and burning into lime for manure. The principal seats are Emo Park, the residence of the Earl of Portarlington ; Woodbrook, of Major Chetwood ; Lauragh, of the Rev. Sir Erasmus Dixon Borrowes, Bart. ; Knightstown, of Joseph Kemmis, Esq. ; and Shane Castle, of Thomas Kemmis, Esq. From a desire to introduce manufactures and trade into this part of the country, for the employment of the population, Mr. Kemmis has established, on his estate at Shane, an iron-foundry and manufactory. The Dublin Grand Canal passes through the parish to Mountmellick ; also a tributary stream which, running northward, falls into the Barrow at Portnehinch bridge. Petty sessions are held at Lauragh.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Kildare, episcopally united, in 1804, to the rectory of Ardea or Ardrea, together forming the union of Coolbanagher, in the patromiage of the Crown : the tithes amount to £276. 18. 5-. per annum. The extent of the union, as applotted under the tithe act, is 15,763 statute acres ; and the tithes for the whole amount to £536. 6. 1-. per annum, The glebe-house, in Ardea, is a handsome residence, built in 1790 : the glebe comprises 26- acres. The church, also in Ardea, is a handsome edifice, erected at the expense of the late Lord Portarlington, on the summit of an eminence not far from the southern extremity of the union. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Portarlington ; the chapel, at Emo, is a very neat edifice. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school is at Moret, and there are about six other schools at that and other places in the parish : a spacious slated building was erected for one under the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, at an expense of £500, chiefly defrayed by I. C. Chetwood, Esq. ; and the school at Emo is endowed with 20 acres of land by the Hon. Lionel Dawson. There are about 700 children in these schools. The ruins of the ancient church are still visible, and also those of the castle of Moret, in the vicinity of which are the venerable remains of Shane Castle, formerly called "Sion" or" Shehan Castle," which was the head of a manor , when in the possession of Sir Robert Preston, in 1397, but it has shared the fate of the other castles of Leix. During the parliamentary war it was seized by the insurgents, in 1641 ; taken from them the year following by Sir Charles Coote, retaken by Owen Roe O'Nial in 1646, and finally surrendered, in 1650, to Cols. Hewson and Reynolds, who demolished the out-works, and left nothing but the present building remaining. It is situated on a high conical hill, and was fitted up in the last century by Dean Coote, who converted it into a very pleasant residence.-See EMO and MOUNTMELLICK.


EMO, a post-town, in the parish of COOLBANAGHER, barony of PORTNEHINCH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 5 miles (E.) from Maryborough, and 34? (W. S. W.) from Dublin, near the high road to Maryborough ; containing 14 houses and 102 inhabitants. Here are the R. C. chapel (a neat building), a public school, and a constabulary police station. Adjoining the town is Emo park, formerly Dawson's Court, the splendid mansion of the Earl of Portarlington.- See COOLBANAGHER.


MOUNT-MELLICK, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of COOLBANAGHER, barony of PORTNEHINCH, but chiefly in that of ROSENALLIS, barony of TINNEHINCH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 5 miles (N. W.) from Maryborough, and 40 (W. S. W.) from Dublin, on the road from Portarlington to Clonaslee ; containing 4577 inhabitants. This town, which is nearly encircled by the small river Owenas or Onas, was anciently called Moun-cha-Meelick, signifying " the green island." It consists of one principal with some smaller streets, and in 1831 contained 700 houses, many of which are very neat and some elegant buildings : from the extent of its trade and manufactures it ranks as the chief town in the county. The weaving of cotton is carried on very extensively, and affords employment to about 2000 persons in the town and neighbourhood ; the manufacture of woollen stuffs and coarse woollen cloths also is conducted on a very extensive scale by the Messrs. Beale and Messrs. Milner and Sons, who have lately erected very spacious buildings adjoining the town for spinning and weaving, in which nearly the same number of persons are employed. In 1834, Messrs. J. and D. Roberts, from Anglesea, established an iron and brass foundry here, on an extensive scale, for the manufacture of steam and locomotive engines and machinery in general, in which about 40 persons are employed. There are also an extensive manufactory of bits and stirrups, a tanyard, three breweries, a flour-mill, two soap manufactories, a distillery making about 120,000 gallons of whiskey annually, and some long established potteries for tiles and the coarser kinds of earthenware. A branch of the Grand Canal, which has been brought to the town from Monastereven has greatly promoted its trade in corn, butter, and general merchandise, which is rapidly increasing. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday ; fairs for cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs are held on Feb. 1st, March 17th, May 1st, June 2nd, Thursday after Trinity-Sunday, July 20th, Aug. 26th, Sept. 29th, Nov. 1st, and Dec. 11th. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town, and there are subordinate stations at Clonaslee, Kilcabin, and Rosenallis. By a recent act of parliament, quarter sessions are held here in April and October ; and petty sessions are held by rotation weekly at Mount-Nugent, Ballymachugh, and Ballyjamesduff. A new court-house is about to be erected in or near a new street at present in progress from the church square to lrishtown. A branch of the Bank of Ireland was opened here in 1836. Here is a chapel of ease to the parish of Rosenallis, a handsome edifice, lately repaired by a grant of £110 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, In the R. C. divisions this place is the head of the union or district of Mount-Mellick and Castlebrack, comprising parts of the parishes of Rosenallis, Castlebrack, and Coolbanagher, and containing the chapels of Mount-Mellick and Castlebrack : the former is a spacious structure. There are also in the town places of worship for the Society of Friends, and the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. A parochial school of the Leinster Society of Friends was established here in 1788 ; there are also a school in connection with the church, a national school, and a dispensary ; and a Temperance Society has been formed. There is a chalybeate spring at Derryguile.

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