All Lewis entries for Skull


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


BALLYDEHOB, a village, in the parish of SKULL, Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 8 miles (W. S. W.) from Skibbereen; containing 601 inhabitants. The village is situated on a new line of road formed by the Board of Works from Skibbereen to Rock island; and derives its name from its position at the confluence of three streams, whose united waters are crossed by a handsome stone bridge, below which they expand into a small but secure haven, near the termination of Roaring Water bay. It consists of a long and irregular street containing about 100 houses, some of which are large and well built; and is rapidly increasing in size and importance, particularly since the formation of the new road, which has made it a considerable thoroughfare, aided by its propinquity to the copper mines of Cappach and the slate quarries of Audley's Cove and Filemuck, which renders it well adapted for business. Fairs for horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and pedlery are held on Jan. 1st, Feb. 2nd, March 12th, Easter Tuesday, Whit-Tuesday, June 29th, July 15th, Aug. 15th, Sept. 8th, Oct. 10th, Nov. 1st, and Dec. 8th. A penny post to Skibbereen has been recently established; and here is a station of the constabulary police. A chapel of ease was built in 1829 by the late Board of First Fruits, at an expense of £600; it is a small handsome edifice, in the early English style of architecture, without a tower. A large and handsome R. C. chapel was also erected in 1826; and there is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A school, in connection with the Kildare-Place Society, and another at Liskeencreagh, are supported by the Cork Diocesan Association: and adjoining the R. C. chapel is a large school for boys and girls, built in 1835 by the Rev. J. Barry. Here is a dispensary, a branch to that at Skull,which see.


CALVES ISLANDS, in the parishes of KILCOE and SKULL, barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 6 miles (S. W.) from Ballydehob; containing 86 inhabitants. They are three in number, and are situated at the entrance to Roaringwater bay, off the harbour of Skull the largest, called the Middle Calf, contains 78 statute acres ; the second in size, called the East Calf, contains 75 acres ; and the third, called Leacrer, or the West Calf, 65 acres. There are two families in West Calf, and six in Middle Calf, which belong to the parish of Skull, and five families in East Calf, which forms part of the parish of Kilcoe. The islands are contiguous, lying in a line nearly east and west, about midway between Cape Clear and Long island, and about 5 Irish or 6? British miles from the mainland. A school was established in 1835 on the Middle island, in which all the children and adults of these islands may receive gratuitous education ; 18 children and 14 adults were in this school at the commencement of 1836.


CARBERY, an island, in the parish of SKULL, Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 16 miles (S. W.) from Bantry; containing 4 inhabitants. This small island is situated in Dunmanus bay, and comprises only six acres of land : it is very little frequented, although large ships may ride in summer on good ground any where above it, and there is excellent anchorage to the west of the island.


CASTLE-ISLAND, an island, in the parish of SKULL, in the Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Skull; containing 89 inhabitants. This island, which is situated in Roaring Water bay on the southern coast, comprises 141 statute acres of land, which is mostly under tillage and cultivated by the spade, producing good crops of wheat, oats, and potatoes: the surface is gently undulating, and the substratum a compact schistus. Though tolerably fertile, it produces no plant higher than the creeping furze. It is about a mile and a quarter distant from the mainland, between Long island and Horse island, and contains only 15 small cabins indifferently built. On the coast of a small bay near its eastern extremity are the ruins of a castle, erected by O'Donovan More, in the beginning of the 14th century.


HORSE ISLAND, in the parish of SKULL, Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 3 miles (S.) from Ballydehob; containing 81 inhabitants. It is situated in Roaring-Water bay, about a mile from the main land, and comprises 92 acres, based on clay-slate, with a very uneven surface, which is principally under cultivation by the spade. Here are copper mines which yield very pure ore; they were partially worked by Lord Audley, the proprietor of the island, and by the Irish Mining Company, and have been extensively worked by the West Cork Mining Company, which commenced operations in 1835, and soon discovered a large body of excellent ore close to the eastern point of the island, which is sold at Swansea at a high price. About 100 miners are employed, for whom several houses have been erected.


LONG-ISLAND, in the parish of SKULL, Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (S. W.) from Skull, on the south-west coast ; containing 259 inhabitants. It was formerly called Innisfadda, or the "Isle of Dogs," and it is traditionally stated that, in 830, such a violent tempest occurred that the sea broke oven the island and forced it asunder into three parts. It is situated on a fine harbour of the same name, and forms one side of the entrance to Roaring-water bay : though not more than a quarter of a mile wide, it is nearly two miles in length, and comprises about 154 acres of land, chiefly under tillage and tolerably well cultivated by the spade. The substratum is clay-slate, in some places rising into rocky knolls, but even these produce good herbage ; and corn and potatoes, more than sufficient for the support of the inhabitants, are produced, but fuel is extremely scarce : most of the men are engaged in fishing on as pilots. Here is a detachment from the coast-guard station at Crookhaven. The harbour is well sheltered, easy of access, and capable of receiving the largest ships, which may enter at either end of the island, care being taken to avoid a spit of sand extending in a northern direction more than half way across the channel, from about half a mile within the east end of the island : the Kings' sound is considered the safest entrance.


SKULL, a parish, in the Western Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 11- miles (W. S. W.) from Skibbereen, on the road to Crookhaven ; containing, with several inhabited islands in Roaring Water bay, 15,252 inhabitants, of which number, 385 are in the village. It is exceedingly wild and uncultivated, and appears in the earlier periods of Irish history to have been regarded as of very great importance from its numerous defiles and strongholds amidst its rocks ; and in later times, from the erection of several castles by the various native septs, which from their situation and great strength would appear to have been impregnable. The castles of Dunbeacon and Dunmanus, on Dunmanus bay, were built by the sept of O'Mahony ; the former to protect the boundary and pass between their territories and those of the O'Donovans. At Lemcon, in the south of t.he parish, are the remains of a castle which was taken, in 1602, by the Lord-President of Munster, on his return to Cork after the siege of Dunboy ; to the east of these, on the shore of Roaring Water bay, are the castles of Ardintenant and Rossbrin ; and opposite to the former, on an island about a mile from the shore, are the remains of Black castle, which gave name to the island, all of which were erected by the sept of O'Mahony. At Liscaha are also the remains of a very extensive fort, surrounded by a double rampart and fosse, which gives name to that district, signifying "the Battle Fort," and where a sanguinary battle is said to have taken place between the Irish and the Danes, in which the latter were defeated with great slaughter. At Ratrovane is also a similar fort, surrounded by a mound of earth and strengthened with a massive stone wall, firmly built without mortar.

The parish forms the eastern portion of a peninsula extending from Dunmanus bay, on the north, to Roaring Water bay on the south, and comprising 84,000 statute acres, of which 24,204 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £7898 per annum. The surface is rocky and very uneven, rising in some parts into mountains of considerable elevation ; the highest in a chain extending from east to west is Mount Gabriel, 1145 feet above the level of the sea ; the whole are of the schistose formation, in some places passing into all the varieties of transition rock. About one-third of the land, consisting principally of small patches between the rocks, is under tillage ; but the system of agriculture is in a very backward state, and spade husbandry is in general practice. There are some tracts of mountain which afford tolerable pasturage to numerous herds of young cattle ; but the greater portion presents only a bare rocky surface, and appears to be wholly irreclaimable. There are also considerable tracts of bog, producing a good supply of peat, part of which might be reclaimed at a moderate expense. The principal seats are Ardmanah House, the residence of Major J. Wynne; Lemcon House, of R. E. Hull, Esq. ; Rock Cottage, of J. O'Callaghan, Esq. ; Gortnagruach, of R. Swanton, Esq. ; Audley Lodge, of Capt. Forster, R. N. ; Greenmount, of Capt. Long ; Ballydehob Cottage, of the Rev. J. Barry, P. P. ; and Ardirivema, of the Rev. L. O'Sullivan. The islands within the limits of the parish are Long island, Goat island, Castle island, Horse island, Dunmanus, Ballydehob, Carbery island, the Three Calves, and the islands of Carty and Moan. The largest of these is Long island, but the most valuable is Horse island, abounding with copper ore of good quality, which is found also in other parts of the parish. Some very extensive mines have been opened on the summit of Cappach hill by the proprietor, Lord Audley ; they were subsequently worked by the Irish Mining company, but are now rented by the West Cork Mining company, who have for a time suspended their operations here while they are working the mines in Horse island, about a mile and a half distant ; the ore found at Cappach and Horse island is very pure. The same company, in 1835, opened very extensive slate quarries at Audley's Cove and at Tilemuck, in this parish, in which 500 men are constantly employed; the slate is of excellent quality, compact, hard, and durable ; and great quantities have been already sent to London and other English markets, where it is in great demand. Trials for copper ore and slate have also been made with success in various parts of the parish, the working of which will be highly beneficial, by providing constant employment to the dense population of this wild and hitherto almost unknown portion of the country. The mines and quarries now in progress are situated close to the shores of Roaring Water bay, upon a small creek called Audley's Cove, from which their produce can be readily shipped for any British port. The bay is accessible to vessels of 600 tons' burden ; and the harbour of Skull is well sheltered, the ground level, and the water in the anchorage averaging from three to four fathoms ; the entrance is perfectly safe, and at all times practicable, there being only one rock, which is situated nearly in the centre, and is dry at two hours' ebb. A new line of road parallel with the shore, and leading from Skibbereen to Rock island and Crookhaven, has been constructed, which will materially benefit the trade of the place. The village contains 79 houses, several of which are modern and well built. A fair for cattle, sheep and pigs is held at Skull on the 5th of January, and fairs are also held in the village of Ballydehob, which see. A constabulary police force is stationed here and also at Ballydehob ; and there are coast-guard stations on Long island and at Skull, which latter is a detachment from the station at Crookhaven, in the district of Skibbereen. A manorial court is held at Lemcon, every third Monday, at which debts under £5 are recoverable ; there is also an ecclesiastical manor belonging to the bishop of Ross, for which a court is held occasionally ; and petty sessions are held at Towermore every alternate week.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cork, and in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop : the tithes amount to £850. The glebe-house is a handsome residence, and the glebe comprises 63- acres. The church, towards the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £207, is a small plain edifice, erected in 1720. At Ballydehob is a very handsome church, in the later English style, erected in 1829 as a chapel of ease, at an expense of £600, a gift from the late Board of First Fruits; divine service is also performed in three school-rooms in the parish, In the R. C. divisions the parish is divided into East and West Skull, which latter forms part of the union of Kilmore ; in the eastern division are two chapels, one at Ballydehob and the other at Skull, in which also is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. About 340 children are taught in six public schools, of which three are supported by the rector ; and there are nine private schools (in which are about 230 children), a Sunday school, and a dispen sary. Near Towermore, on the road to Rock island, are the remains of a cromlech, called "the Altar ;" and on the road to Four-mile-Water are those of another, with an imperfect circle of upright stones. On the shores of Dunmanus bay are the beautiful remains of the ancient church of Kilcoma ; and at Bawnaknuckane are the ruins of an ancient religious house and seminary, and of the ancient castle of Rossbrin, in which was written the Psalter of that name by a bard of the O'Mahony family. An ancient skein, or sword, was found in the churchyard in 1835 ; and at Quoilahmore a great number of silver coins of the reign of Anne were recently discovered.

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