STRADBALLY, a market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of STRADBALLY, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 5 miles (E.) from Maryborough, and 38 (S. W. by W.) from Dublin, on the road to Cork, containing 2392 inhabitants, of which number, 1799 are in the town. This place, anciently called "Mon-au-Bealing", was the site of a Franciscan monastery founded in the 12th century by the chief of the O'Mores, which, in 1592, was granted with all its possessions, comprising several castles, to Francis Cosbye and his heirs, to hold as of the Castle of Maryborough, in capite, by knight's service, at a yearly rent of £17. 6. 3., and to provide nine English horsemen, This grant was, in 1609, confirmed and renewed by Jas, 1st to Richard, son of Alexander Cosbye, together with the manor and lordship of Timahoe. The town is one of the most pleasant in the county : it is situated on the banks of a small river which flows into the Barrow, in a vale surrounded by lofty hills, and in a district richly embellished with cultivated demesnes, The principal street is spacious : the number of houses, in 1831, was 306, mostly well built : the river is crossed by a bridge of three arches. The southern branch of the Grand Canal passes along the eastern side of the barony into the vale of the Barrow, opening a communication with Dublin and the towns on that river, but there are no manufactures, nor is any trade carried on, excepting that arising from the produce of two flour-mills on the stream that runs through t.he town. The market is on Saturday ; and there are fairs on May 6th, July 10th, Aug. 21st, Sept. 14th, and Nov. 21st. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town ; general sessions of the peace are held here twice in the year, and petty sessions on alternate Fridays. The court-house is a neat building, and attached to it is a small bridewell, containing three cells, two day-rooms and an airing-yard. There is a dispensary, and also a savings' bank.
The parish comprises 1373 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act : the land is good, and much of it in demesne ; the system of agriculture is improved, and very excellent limestone is procured, which is used for building and other purposes. The vicinity is beautifully varied. Stradbally Hall, the residence of T. P. Cosby, Esq., is a handsome mansion adjoining the town, and situated in a highly embellished demesne, within the limits of which was formerly the ancient castle of the O'Mores. Brockley Park, formerly occupied by the Earl of Roden, and now the residence and property of W. D. Farrer, Esq., is pleasantly situated on the opposite side of the town, In the vicinity are also Ballykilcavan, the seat and improved demesne of Sir Edw. Welsh, Bart. ; Kellyville, the residence of Thos. B. Kelly, Esq. ; Timogue, of Thos. Budds, Esq. ; Ballymanus, of M. Duane, Esq. ; Moyanna, of J. Lyons, Esq. ; Vicarstown, of Jas, Grattan, Esq. ; Rahinduffe, of Mrs. Baldwin ; Derry, of John Baldwin, Esq. ; Lohihoa, of R. Dexter, Esq. ; Clopook, of Mrs. Mahon ; and Esker, of T. Bailey, Esq. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Leighlin, united by act of council, in 1774, to the vicarage of Moyanna, and in the patronage of T. P. Cosby, Esq. : the rectory is impropriate in the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. The tithes amount to £208. 14. 2., of which £139. 9. 7, is payable to the impropriators, and the remainder to the vicar. The glebe-house is a good residence, and the glebe comprises 12 acres ; the gross tithes of the bene-fice amount to £207. 13. 9. The church, a handsome building in the town, was erected in 1764 by subscription ; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £321 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Moyanna, Corelone, Timogue, Fossey, and Kilcolmanbrook : the chapel in the town is a spacious edifice, and a handsome chapel has been lately erected at Timahoe in the Gothic style, capable of accommodating 4000 persons. About 80 children are taught in the national school, which is wholly supported by Mrs. Cosby ; and there are several private schools. There was formerly a charter school, for which a building was erected at an expense of £3000, of which sum, £300 was a gift from the late Poole Cosby, Esq. A battle is said to have been fought at Stradbally bridge between the first settlers of the Cosby family and a native sept, in which the leaders on both sides were killed. Near the town are the ruins of an old church, the walls of which are about six feet thick and of considerable height : under one end is the mausoleum of the Cosby family. Four miles to the south is the Dun of Clopoke, an isolated rock, in which are various singular cavities ; it has a level summit, formerly encompassed with a rampart of stone, and was a fort of the O'Mores ; the ascent is steep and rugged ; it is now remarkable only for the romantic views which it commands along the range of hills in its vicinity and the rich pastures of Timogue.