All Lewis entries for St. James and Dunbrody

St. James and Dunbrody

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


ARTHURSTOWN, or KING'S-BAY, a post-town, in the parish of ST. JAMES, barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 9- miles (S. E. by S.) from New Ross, and 80 (S. by W.) from Dublin; containing 170 inhabitants. This place is situated on Waterford harbour, three miles below the junction of the rivers Barrow, Suir, and Nore, and derives its origin and name from its proprietor, Arthur, first and present Lord Templemore, whose seat is here, and by whom it has been mostly built within the last few years. The trade consists principally in the importation of coal and culm from South Wales, and slates from Bangor; and the exportation to Waterford of corn, pigs, butter, eggs, honey, and poultry. It has a commodious quay, with a gravelly strand open to Waterford harbour; and a pier of millstone grit found in the quarries here, 306 feet in length, and originally intended for the accommodation of the boats employed in the fishery, has been constructed at an expense of £3000, of which £700 was granted by the late Fishery Board, and the remainder was defrayed by Lord Templemore. Vessels of 100 tons' burden can come up close to the pier, but the entrance has lately become partially choked with an accumulation of mud, which requires speedy removal, and the adoption of some plan calculated to prevent a recurrence of the obstruction. The bay is subject to a heavy sea during the prevalence of south, south-west, and northwest winds. This place is a chief constabulary police station, and a station of the coast-guard. There is a dispensary, and a fever hospital was also built, but the Grand Jury, on application being made for its support, deemed it unnecessary.-See JAMES (ST.)


BALLYHACK, a village, in the parish of ST. JAMES, barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 6? miles (N. W.) from Fethard; containing 258 inhabitants. This place is situated at the outlet of the rivers Barrow, Suir, and Nore, in Waterford harbour, and is chiefly supported by the shipping that anchor in the estuary, where, both at the quay and in the anchorage grounds, large vessels may ride securely in all states of the weather: the decrease in the amount of its population, within the last seven years, is attributable to the growth of Arthurstown, in the same parish. It is a fishing station ; and a small trade is carried on in corn and pigs for the Waterford market. Fairs are held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, March 25th, June 17th, 24th, and 29th, July 26th, Aug. 24th, and Sept. 29th. Here are the ruins of a castle; and there was anciently a commandery, which belonged to the grand priory of Kilmainham, and was subordinate to that of Kilcloghan.-See JAMES (ST.).


DUNBRODY (ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL), a parish, in the barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 2 miles (N.) from Arthurstown, on the road from New Ross to Duncannon Fort ; the population is returned with the parish of St. James. Hervey de Moatmorency, marshal of Hen. II., and seneschal of all the lands acquired by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, on his expedition to Ireland, having in Consequence of some dispute resigned his commission, parcelled out the lands allotted to him among his followers, retaining only that portion which now constitutes the parishes of Dunbrody and St. James. In 1182, he founded and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul the Cistertian abbey of Dunbrody, which he endowed with this reserved portion of his possessions, and became himself the first abbot. The abbots sat as barons in the Irish Parliament, and the establishment flourished until the dissolution, when Alexander Devereux, the last abbot, compounded for his abbacy, and was appointed Bishop of Ferns. The parish is bounded on the west by Waterford harbour ; and an inlet called Campile is navigable for small craft, bringing limestone and coal, the former of which is extensively used for manure ; the land is chiefly under tillage, and an improved system of agriculture has been generally adopted. A ferry hence to Passage, on the opposite side of the harbour, affords a direct communication with the city of Waterford. Dunbrody Castle, the property of Lord Templemore, and at present in the possession of Richard Barron, Esq., is a modernised edifice, partly incorporated with the walls of the ancient castle built in the reign of Hen. II. The living is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Ferns, annexed to those of Rathroe and St. James, and in the patronage of Lord Templemore, in whom the rectory is impropriate. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Horeswood. The ruins of Dunbrody abbey are among the most interesting and magnificent relics of antiquity in the south of Ireland ; they are situated on a verdant slope gently inclining to the shore of the harbour, and comprise the skeleton of the conventual church, the refectory, the foundations of the cloisters, and part of the domestic buildings. The church, a noble cruciform structure, 200 feet in length and 140 in breadth, is chiefly in the early style of English architecture, with a massive central tower supported on four finely pointed arches. A Considerable portion of it was built by Herlewen, Bishop of Leighlin, who died in 1217, and was interred in the abbey. In 1810, a massive bronze seal, supposed to have been the ancient seal of the abbey, was discovered among the ruins.


DUNCANNON, a village, in the parish of ST. JAMES, barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 1? mile (S.) from Arthurstown ; containing 560 inhabitants. This place, which commands the entrance to the ports of Waterford and Ross, was granted by Hen. VI. to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, from whom it reverted to the Crown ; and the castle, with some lands for keeping it in repair, was vested in trustees by Queen Elizabeth. On the threatened invasion of the Spaniards, in 1588, it was strongly fortified. In 1645, the fort, which was held by Laurence Esmonde for the Parliament, was surrendered to Gen. Preston for the King ; and in 1649, was besieged by Ireton, whom the garrison compelled to retire. After the battle of the Boyne, Jas. II. embarked for France from this fort ; and during the insurrection of 1798, it afforded an asylum to most of the loyalists in this part of the country. The fort is situated on a rock projecting from the eastern side of Waterford harbour, and has undergone frequent alterations : it is adapted for mounting 42 pieces of cannon, and, including "the bombproof" erected in 1815, contains barracks for 10 officers and 160 men, residences for the chaplain, fort-major, storekeeper, and other officers, and a chapel for the garrison ; the whole is surrounded by a dry moat crossed by a drawbridge, and the only entrance is defended by a portcullis. On the hill overlooking the village are two martello towers, now dismantled. The village consists chiefly of one street, forming the approach to the fort, and had formerly a considerable trade, which has been mostly transferred to Arthurstown, in consequence of a steamer established by an English company to ply between Duncannon and Waterford. A new line of road is to be opened direct from Duncannon to Wexford, in consequence of which, and as the town is now in the possession of the head landlord, Lord Templemore, it promises to be soon in a flourishing state. The quay has been recently repaired, and the Harbour Commissioners are proceeding to deepen the harbour at a considerable expense. There is still a small export trade in pigs, butter, and poultry, and an import of coal. It has a daily penny post to Arthurstown, and a well-appointed mail car runs from Fethard, through Duncannon and Arthurstown, to Ross. A few boats are employed in fishing, on which and on the garrison the inhabitants depend chiefly for their support. An oyster bed just below the fort, which has been for some years only partially known, has been recently discovered to be of considerable extent, and is now much dredged. A branch from the coast-guard station at Arthurstown is quartered here. The creek is formed by the rock on which the fort is built, and the approach to the strand is rendered dangerous by shoals ; but vessels of 100 tons can approach the pier at high water in fair weather. Within the fort is a lighthouse, nearly due north from that of Hook ; another to the north of the Fort is nearly completed. In the village is a R. C. chapel ; and two neat school-houses, one of which is for infants, have been recently built by subscription. Duncannon gives the inferior title of Viscount to the family of Ponsonby, Earls of Besborough.


JAMES'S (ST.), a parish, comprising the sea-port and post-town of Arthurstown, and the villages of Ballyhack, Duncannon, and Ramsgrange (each of which is described under its own head), in the barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER; and containing, with the ecclesiastical parishes of Dunbrody and Rathroe, 4122 inhabitants. It is situated on the eastern shore of Waterford harbour, and comprises 10,611 statute acres, chiefly in tillage: the soil is varied, and the state of agriculture has been much improved. Limestone brought by lighters from Granny, in the county of Kilkenny, and slab and sea-weed from Waterford harbour, are used for manure. Near Arthurstown are quarries of good millstone grit. Dunbrody Park, the seat of Lord Templemore, and now occupied by his agent, Pelham Babington, Esq., is situated on a finely wooded eminence commanding an extensive and interesting view of the harbour and surrounding country. The living is an impropriate curacy, with those of Dunbrody and Rathroe annexed, and with the rectory of Killesk also united in augmentation: it is in the diocese of Ferns, and in the patronage of Lord Templemore, in whom the rectory is wholly impropriate ; the tithes amount to £400. The church, a small plain building without tower or spire, is near Ballyhack; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have granted £367 for its repair and improvement, which have been commenced. There is also a chapel for the garrison at Duncannon Fort, served by the curate of St. James's, who has quarters in the Fort. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Hook, or Templetown, and has a small chapel at Duncannon, and another at Ramsgrange, near which latter place there is a residence for the priest. The parochial school, at Arthurstown, and an infants' school at Duncannon, are supported by subscription, and there is another free school, in all which about 35 children are educated: and in nine other schools in the parish and those of Dunbrody and Rathroe are about 175 children; two of the latter schools are attached to the chapels, and are under the superintendence of the R. C. clergyman. On a promontory in Waterford harbour, forming the small bay of Neuk, are the ruins of Buttermilk castle, said to derive its name from the exaction of a toil on buttermilk by the monks of Dunbrody.


RAMSGRANGE, a village, in the parish of ST. JAMES, barony of SHELBURNE, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 9 miles (S.) from New Ross, on the road from Arthurstown to Salt Mills ; containing 220 inhabitants. Here is a R. C. chapel belonging to the union or district of Hook ; being in a dilapidated state, it is in contemplation to build a new one on a different site. Near the chapel is a residence for the priest.

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