KILLEAGH, a post town and parish, in the barony of IMOKILLY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 10 miles (W.) from Youghal and 114 (S. W. by S.) from Dublin, on the road from Cork to Youghal; containing 2785 inhabitants, of which number 698 are in the town. A nunnery is said to have been founded here in the 7th century by St. Abban near the spot now occupied by the parish church. The town consists of one regular street, comprising 112 houses, and is neatly built; it is a constabulary police station, and has a sub-post-office to Cork, Youghal, and Castlemartyr. Fairs are held on June 1st and Nov. 1st, at which a great quantity of live stock is sold. A court is held for the manor of Inchiquin, the jurisdiction of which extends over the parishes of Killeagh, Ardagh, Dangandonovan, and Clonpriest. The water of the small river Dissour, which passes by the town, is in high repute for its bleaching properties; and near a bridge which crosses it is a blouting-mill. The Parish comprises 5800 statute acres, as rated to the county cess, and valued at £4495. 3. 1. per annum, of which a small quantity is bog, about 400 acres are woodland, and the remainder is arable or pasture land of good quality and well cultivated. Sea-sand and sea-weed are used as manure, and there is abundance of limestone, brown-stone, and inferior slate. The principal seat is Ahadoe House, the residence of Sir Arthur de Capell Brooke, Bart., not more remarkable for its natural beauties than for its having remained in the same family for more than 600 years, while nearly all other estates in the South of Ireland have been confiscated. It was granted in 1172 to Philip de Capell, lineal ancestor of the present baronet, and is called by the peasantry “the Maiden Estate” to distinguish it from the numerous fortified properties in this vicinity. From its elevated situation it commands beautiful views of the distant ocean, while the deep wood of Glenbower, which is one of the few remnants of the ancient forests, lies stretched below. This romantic glen, which is thought to be equal in beauty to the celebrated Wicklow Dargle, commences above the town of Killeagh and winds upwards for some miles till it is lost in the mountains. Its precipitous sides are richly wooded, and the Dissour, which runs through it, in winter dashes with the fury of a mountain torrent, fully justifying the name Glaunbour, or “the Deafening Valley.” The present house is about to be replaced by castellated mansion, for which a site has been selected with great taste; and a fine new road, nearly a mile in length, through Glenbower, has been opened by the present baronet. This road, which passes over a deep ravine by means of a neat iron bridge, commands some delightful views, among which are the magnificent prospect from the Warren Hill, the Bathing-house Glen, the Foxes’ Rock, and the Upper Cascade. In the grounds is a nux vesicaria tree, or bladder nut tree, also an ancient sycamore of very large size. Drumdihey House is the seat of Roger Green Davis, Esq.; it consists of a centre and two wings, ornamented with Doric columns, and with a portico at the eastern end. This handsome mansion, which was completed in 1833, is near the summit of an eminence, from which a splendid prospect is obtained of the country extending to Youghal, with its fine bay, and of Capell Island. Here also is Mount Uniacke, the seat of Norman Uniacke Esq. It is an ancient family mansion situated among mountains which have been bought into cultivation, and is surrounded by a grove of fine trees, and commands extensive views of the sea and the Vale of Imokilly.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the Crown : the tithes amount to £974. 10. 6. The church is a plain building with a square tower, at the extremity of the town, for the erection of which a loan of £375 was granted by the late board of First Fruits in 1811. There is a glebe-house, for the erection of which, the board in 1809 gave £100 and lent £1000 : the glebe comprises six acres. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Dangandonovan and Ardagh, and part of Clonpriest; and containing two chapels, one at Killeagh, and the other at Inch, in Ardagh. There are two public schools, in which about 80 children are taught, and for one of which Sir A. de Capell Brooke has erected a handsome school-house; and three private schools, in which are about 70 children; also a Sunday school and dispensary. A castle said to have been built by the Carews, formerly existed here, which was charged, in 1364, with an annuity to William Skiddy, mayor of Cork. Here is a rock of red clay formation rising like a pyramid, and nearly covered with moss and plants; and there are some extraordinary subterranean caverns, which were explored in 1826 by Sir A. de Capell Brooke.
Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (London: 1837)
Michael Cronin 2001
Cronin Families of Cork
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