"Rathaspick", or Rathaspeck, a parish, partly in the barony of Ballyadams, but chiefly in that of Slievemarigue, Queen's county, and province of Leinster, 5 miles (N. E.) from Castlcomer, on the road to Athy; containing 4032 inhabitants. This place derives its name, which signifies "the Bishop's Fort," from a rath near the old church. Here was anciently a small religious establishment, probably a cell to that on the townland of Clonpierce, about two miles distant: the foundation of both is attributed to the O'Mores. The parish is bounded on the south and south-west by the county of Kilkenny, and contains 8097 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. Here are the extensive coal mines of Doonane. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Leighlin, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The church was built in 1814. In the R. C. divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Mayo and Doonane, and partly in that of Ballyadams; it contains two chapels, one at Dooanane, and the other at Wolfhill belonging to the union of Ballyadams. There is a parochial school at Mullaghmore, and there is a school at Gracefield. In five private schools about 200 boys and 130 girls are taught; and there are two Sunday schools. The present church of Rathaspeck was erected out of the ruins of the ancient religious buildings, under the site of which there were formerly three vaulted chambers, in one of which was a well of the purest water.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]