"Rower", or Roar, a parish, in the barony of Ida, county of Kilkenny, and province of Leinster, 4 miles (S. E.) from Inistioge; containing 3589 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called Rochar, is situated at the confluence of the rivers Nore and Barrow, forming a tongue of land extending five miles in length from north to south, by about three in breadth, and comprising 10,508 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which about 1000 acres consist of mountain, and a small portion of bog. Within its limits are Ringwood, the seat of Lord Clifden; and an ancient residence of the Bolger family, in whose demesne, on the water's edge, is a romantic and richly wooded spot, called Ballynabarna, near which is a picturesque cascade of the Clodagh, noticed in the article on Cloneamera. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The church is a plain building. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Inistioge, and contains a chapel. In the parochial school, aided by the rector, and in the national school at Rower, about 170 children are educated; there are also a private school, in which are about 140 children; and a Sunday school. The ruined castle of Coolkill, said to have belonged to the Butler family, still exists; and there are several broken cromlechs in the vicinity of Ballynabarna.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]