This parish is situated on the road from Cork to Waterford, and comprises 10,025 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £8270 per annum: about 800 acres are woodland and nearly 500 waste; and of the remainder, 6600 are arable and 2600 pasture The soil is in some places very light, and in others deep and rich, producing excellent crops: the system of agriculture has been extensively improved by the example and encouragement of the late Mr. Smith Barry and other resident proprietors. Great quantities of limestone are quarried and burnt into lime for manure. The scenery in almost every part is exceedingly interesting, particularly near Foaty, around which the rich woods and thriving plantations are beautifully diversified with water. Several extensive plantations have been made in other parts of the parish, which in a few years will add greatly to the appearance of the country. The principal gentlemen's seats are Foaty, the elegant residence of the late J. Smith Barry, Esq.; Ann Grove, of F. Wise, Esq.; Tulligreen, of Hughes Martin, Esq.; Spring Hill, of W.
J. Wakeham, Esq.; Rockville, of T. Barry, Esq.; Green View, of R. Barry, Esq.; Barry's Lodge, of D. Barry, Esq.; Union Lodge, of the Rev. W. Gifford; Water Rock, of W. Wakeham, Esq.; and Johnstown, of Mrs.
Palmer. The village consists principally of one long irregular street, and contains 98 small houses indifferently built. It is a constabulary police station; and fairs are held on the 12th of March and May, Aug. 26th, Sept.
19th, and Nov. 8th, chiefly for horses, cattle, pigs, and pedlery, and, from the central situation of the place, are Oo in general well attended. A new line of road from this place to Cove has been recently opened through Foaty, and a very handsome bridge has been erected over the arm of the sea.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, united by act of council from a very early period to the particle of Kilcurfin, and in the alternate patronage of the Bishop and the representatives of the late John Anderson, Esq.; the rectory is impropriate in the representatives of George Lukey, of Midleton, Esq. The tithes amount to £1035. 4., of which £690. 2. 8. is payable to the impropriator, and £345. 1. 4. to the vicar.
The church, a small but venerable structure, was repaired and much improved in 1835, by a grant of £144. 8.
from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The glebehouse was built in 1825, by aid of a gift of £300 and a loan of £450 from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe comprises 15 acres, of which 5 are a rock of limestone. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, comprising the parishes of Carrigtohill and Mogeeshy; the chapel is situated on the site of an old abbey near the churchyard, and near it is a parochial house for the priest. There is a school at Foaty for boys and girls, founded by the late J. Smith Barry, Esq.; the boys are under the superintendence of the Protestant curate, and the girls under the direction of Mrs. Smith Barry; adjoining the school-rooms are houses for the master and mistress, and there are also two pay schools. Nearly adjoining the village are the ruins of a Franciscan abbey, founded and endowed by the Barry family: one of its towers still serves as a steeple for the present parish church, which and the R. C. chapel have been erected on its site; there are also several detached portions of the buildings remaining, but they are rapidly falling to decay. In the northern part of the parish are the ruins of the ancient parish church of Kilcurfin; and near the old entrance to Foaty are the remains of Castle Cloydubh, now called Barry's Court, from which the Barrymore family takes the title of Baron; it derives its name from Philip de Barry, whose uncle Fitz-Stephen granted him three cantreds here, where he built the castle in the beginning of the 13th century. During the insurrection of the great Earl of Desmond, in 1580, Capt., afterwards Sir Walter, Raleigh received a commission to seize this castle; but Lord Barry, the proprietor, having received intelligence of his design, previously set fire to it; it was an extensive and very strong pile, and one of the earliest erected in this part of the kingdom. In various parts of the parish are caverns which penetrate for a considerable distance into the limestone rocks, and in some of them are very large and beautiful stalactites.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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