The parish, which is situated on the southern coast and on the shore of Kinsale harbour, comprises 9586 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £6887 per annum: the northern portion, immediately opposite to the town of Kinsale, is bounded by the river Bandon; the southern stretches out into the long promontory called the old head of Kinsale, and on the east is a peninsula projecting boldly into the entrance of the harbour. The soil is light but fertile, and, especially in the western part of the parish, the land is rich and in good cultivation: the system of agriculture is improved; in some places green crops are cultivated with success. The cliffs around the shore are in many places strikingly bold and interesting, and there are numerous pleasing and picturesque glens; the schistose formation is generally prevalent in the hills, changing into all the varieties of transition rock, with extensive veins of quartz traversing them in every direction. Near the Old Head is an extensive tract of land covered with sand blown in from the bay, which is every year increasing; there is no other waste land, and very little bog; the want of fuel is consequently much felt. The principal seats are Coolmain, that of E. Stowell, Esq.; Glouneveraine, of J. Howe, Esq.; Lahorne, of H. Scott, Esq.; Ballinspittle, of J. B. Gibbons, Esq.; Fort Arthur, of W. Galway, Esq.; Ardkelly, of R. Gillman, Esq.; Roughwood, of W. Bullen, Esq.; Castle Park, of J. Gillman, Esq.; and Sea View, of the Rev. J. B. Webb. There are also several excellent farm-houses. The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture and the fisheries. There are coast-guard stations at Howes Strand, the Old Head, and Sandy Cove, forming three of the eight that constitute the district of Kinsale. The Old Head is situated in lat 51° 36' 15,? and lon. 8° 33' 15?: it is a bold and lofty promontory rising abruptly from the sea. On the head is a well-built lighthouse, the lantern of which has an elevation of 294 feet above the level of the sea, and contains 27 lamps, exhibiting a bright steady light which in clear weather is visible at a distance of 23 nautical miles.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cork; the patronage is at present disputed. The tithes amount to £750; the glebe comprises only ¾ of an acre. The church, a small ancient edifice without either tower or spire, is situated at the head of Sandy Cove, overlooking the Bandon water: divine service is also performed in a school-house near the Old Head, for the accommodation of parishioners in that district.
In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Courcies; the chapel is at Balliuspittle. About 15 children are taught in the parochial school, supported by the rector; and there are three private schools, in which are about 200 children, and a Sunday school. At the Ferry side, near Kinsale, are almshouses for four Protestant widows, founded by Dr. Worth, Bishop of Killaloe, who endowed them with £10 per ann., which sum is now paid by W. H. W. Newenham, Esq., of Coolmore.
The old castle of Duncearma, the ancient residence of the de Courcys, is a venerable ruin: it is situated on the narrower part of the Old Head, on a rock which at the base has been perforated by the action of the waves in the form of an irregular pointed arch. A little to the north of it are the ruins of a more modern edifice, the residence of the barons of Kinsale, near which are the remains of a signal tower. Opposite Kinsale are the ruins of Ring- 3 U 2 rone castle and Old Fort, or Castle-ne-Park; the latter a very strong citadel with extensive bulwarks, ramparts, and fosses; in the inner court are the remains of the two towers of the gateway entrance and drawbridge.
The old castle of Ringrone gives the title of Baron to the ancient family of de Courcy.
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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