All Lewis entries for Clareabbey


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


CLARE, a town, in the parish of CLARE-ABBEY, barony of ISLANDS, county of CLARE, and province of MUNSTER, 2 miles (S.) from Ennis ; containing 1021 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Fergus, about 12 miles from its confluence with the Shannon, is of great antiquity, and was formerly the capital of the county. In 1278 a great battle was fought here between Donell O'Brien and Malion O'Brien, in which the latter was defeated. According to the annals of the Mac Brodies, the castle was built by Donogh O'Brien, surnamed Cairbreach, King of Thomond, and in 1641 was surprised and burnt by Murrough O'Brien, who took possession of the lands. Although the town contains some good slated houses, the greater number arc thatched, and on the commons to the west, poor cottiers from various parts have located themselves and erected wretched cabins, which gives to this suburb an air of extreme poverty. On the site of the castle are cavalry barracks, affording accommodation for 17 officers and 234 men ; and, from its central situation, the town is well adapted for a military depot. Fairs are held on May 2 1st, Aug. 17th, and Nov. 11th. A great quantity of salmon is taken in the Fergus, and occasionally sold at the low price of £3. per lb. The parochial church, a Roman Catholic chapel, the parochial school, and a dispensary, are in the town. This is one of the principal ports of the county for the export of grain, by means of the Fergus. The entrance to the river lies between Rinana Point, on the east, and Innismurry on the west, and is about 5 miles wide, but the ship channel does not exceed three-fourths of a mile in width, and is not adapted for vessels drawing more than 16 feet of water. The quay, although only 80 feet long, and therefore accommodating but one vessel at a time, is yet of considerable service, as before its erection in 1815 there were no means of shipping or discharging a cargo, and vessels of any kind very rarely visited the town. At present, one or two come every month, bringing coal and taking back grain to Liverpool, where, in 1831, it was sold at a higher rate than any other grain in the market, About 600 feet above the quay there is a bridge, the abutments of which rest on a solid bed of rock, forming an obstruction that separates the Upper from the Lower Fergus ; this bridge leads to an island, on which stand the remains of the castle. A second and smaller bridge, leading to the mail coach road to Limerick, crosses the arm of the river that runs round Castle Island. The main branch of the river, from the bridge to the quay, is about 250 feet wide. From Clare to Ennis by the Upper Fergus is three miles: this is a fine piece of water, about 150 feet wide, wearing much the appearance of a large canal. It sometimes overflows its banks, and greatly fertilises the adjacent country. To form a communication between the Upper and Lower Fergus, it is proposed to place a dam and lock at the falls, about a furlong above the bridge, and to deepen the bed of the river between those places from three to six feet, and between the quay and the bridge about four feet.


CLARE-ABBEY, a parish, in the barony of ISLANDS, county of CLARE, and province of MUNSTER, 2 miles (S.) from Ennis ; containing, with the town and commons of Clare, 3881 inhabitants, This parish is situated on the river Fergus, and on the road from Ennis to Limerick, and was the seat of a richly endowed abbey, founded in 1195, for Augustinian friars, by Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick. At the suppression, in 1543, it was granted to the Barons of Ibrackan by Hen. VIII., and in 1620 was given in fee to Donough, Earl of Thomond, which grant was confirmed, in 1661, to Henry, Earl of Thomond, The parish contains 6694 statute acres ; there are about 200 acres of bog, and the rest is principally in pasture ; sea-weed is procured for manure on the shores of the Fergus, and limestone exists in abundanee. Two fairs are held annually at Clare ; and a senesehal's court for the recovery of small debts is held there monthly for the manor of Clonroad. The principal seats are Buncraggy, finely situated on the banks of the Fergus, and surrounded by a richly wooded demesne, the property of the Marquess of Conyngham, but now occupied by J. James, Esq. ; Carnelly, the seat of the representatives of the late Col. Stainer ; and Barntick, of D. Roche, Esq. The living is an impropriate cure, in the diocese of Killaloe, and in the patronage of the Bishop ; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Egremont, the representatives of Giles l)axon, Esq., and the Rev. F. Blood, Of the 6694 acres, the tithes of 1153, amounting to £35. 1. 6 are paid to the incumbent alone ; of 1005, amounting to £27, 13. 10., to the impropriators alone ; and of 1904, amounting to £54. 2. 9., in equal shares to the incumbent and impropriators : the remaining 2632 acres being unprofitable land, pay no tithes. The church is a neat structure with a square tower, erected in 1813, by aid of a gift of £800 from the late Board of First Fruits, and repaired recently by a grant of £162. 4. 7. from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, The glebe-house was built in 1822, by aid of a gift of £450 and a loan of £50 from the former Board. The glebe comprises 15 acres, subject to a rent of l0s. per acre, as £450 was paid by the late Board of First. Fruits to reduce the rent. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, called Clare, comprising the parishes of ClareAbbey and Killone, in each of which is a chapel ; that at Clare is a thatched building, which it is intended shortly to re-erect on a larger scale. There is a school under the care of the incumbent, in which are about 50 children ; and there are two hedge schools, containing about 80 ; also a school under the superintendence of the parish priest. The remains of the abbey consist of a tower in tolerable preservation, surmounted by graduated battlements, and the ivy clad walls of the abbey church, which together form a very picturesque object when viewed from a distance.

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