KILMOON

KILMOON, A parish, in the barony of Burren, county of Clare, and province of Munster, 8 miles (N.) from Ennistymon, on the road from Ballyvaughan to the bay of Ballyhaline, containing 1088 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from an ancient conventual church of which no records are extant, comprises about 11,000 Irish statute acres, of which 5285 are applotted under the tithe act ; the remainder consists chiefly of rocky mountain and bog. With the exception only of the townlands of Lisdoonvarna and Ballytigue, which belong to the Stackpoole family, the whole of the parish, together with that of Kilheny or Killeany, and the Castle, town, and lands of Dangan in the barony of Bunratty, were granted by Chas. II. to Pierse Creagh, Esq., as a reward for his services against Cromwell, and in compensation for the loss of his estate of Adare, in the county of Limerick, great part of which are held, with the manorial rights and privileges, by his descendant, Pierse Creagh, Esq., of Rathbane. The surface is in general hilly and intersected by deep ravines formed by torrents rushing periodically from the mountain of Slieveilva, on the northern confines of the parish, one of the highest in the county, and celebrated for its abundance of grouse. Nearly two-thirds of the parish have a very rich substratum of limestone, lying about two feet beneath the surface, and producing most luxuriant herbage, highly prized for grazing cattle, of which large droves are sent to the Cork and Liverpool markets. Of the remainder, the greater part is dry bog covered with heath, which might be easily reclaimed and brought into cultivation, from the abundance and proximity of limestone. Very rich iron ore has been found in several places, and on the townland of Rathbane both coal and iron are stated to abound, though neither has yet been worked : slate also had been discovered on the mountain of Slieveilva. Rathbane is the residence of Pierse Creagh, Esq., who has greatly improved the ample and picturesque demesne in which it is situated ; large plantations have been made along the romantic glens, and on the banks of two beautiful rivulets which encircle the grounds. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Kilfenora, the rectory forming part of the union of
Killeilagh, and the vicarage part of the union of Kilmanaheen : the tithes amount to £73. 16. 11., of which two-thirds are payable to the rector, and the remainder to the vicar. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Tuoclea. There are some slight remains of the convent, church, and cemetery of Kilmoon ; and within the limits of the parish are three large earthworks, and five stone forts called Cahers, said to have been Danish encampments. There are also considerable remains of the old castle of Lisdoonvarna, with its terraces, garden walls, and fortifications ; it was formerly the property of the Davorens, an ancient and powerful family in Burren, but now belongs to the Stackpoole family. On the demesne of Rathbane are several very powerful mineral springs, hitherto erroneously called the Lisdoonvarna spas, one of which is celebrated as being one of the strongest chalybeates in the kingdom : it contains so large a portion of iron, that in a few seconds it stains with a ferruginous colour any substance with which it may come in contact ; and has been found peculiarly efficacious in hepatitis, consumption, scorbutic and bilious affections, and rheumatism. Near this is another spring, which on analysis was found to contain, in addition to the iron, considerable portions of sulphur and magnesia ; the water is used with great benefit as an aperient. On the opposite side of a deep ravine, is a spring powerfully impregnated with naphtha, the exhalations of which taint the surrounding air ; silver thrown into the water is instantly changed to a deep gold colour ; and the water has been used with success as a cure for cutaneous diseases and for rheumatism. About a furlong further up the ravine, is a fourth spring, called the Copperas well ; it has not been analysed, but has been used externally from time immemorial with effect as a cure for ulcers. The Rathbane mineral springs, under the appellation of the Lisdoonvarna spas, have been known and appreciated for centuries; they are situated in deep ravines at the base of lofty hills of black slate, between the strata of which are found large quantities of bright metallic ore resembling silver ; but from the bad state of the roads, and the want of proper accommodation, they have been comparatively neglected by invalids. Several cottages have, however, been recently built in the vicinity of these waters for the reception of visiters; and if the proprietor continues his improvements, and a facility of access be afforded, this place will probably become one of the most frequented spas in Ireland.  Samuel Lewis, 1837

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