A castle was built here in the 13th century by De Courcey, of which he was dispossessed by McCarty Reagh; there are still some remains. In 1642 this place was taken and garrisoned by the men of Bandon.
The parish, which lies on the eastern side of a small bay, comprises 4651 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £2888 per ann., twothirds of which are under tillage; the remainder forms the demesne of Kilbritain House, the residence of the Hon. Mrs. Stawell. The land is generally very good, but indifferently cultivated; sand brought from the shore of the bay is the principal manure. Here is a good slate quarry, also some extensive flour-mills, and a fulling-mill on a small river which falls into the bay.
Many of the parishioners are occupied in fishing, and some are engaged in weaving cotton cords and coarse cloth. Besides Kilbritain House, here are Borleigh, the seat of W. Moore, Esq.; Mill House, of the Rev. F.
Stawell; and Riversdale, of T. Bailey, Esq. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Cork, forming the corps of the prebend of Kilbritain, in the cathedral of St. Finbarr, Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £410. The church is in ruins, but divine service is regularly performed in the school-house at Kilshanahane. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Rathclarin. Parochial schools were built by subscription in 1829.
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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