The land is generally good, being in a limestone vale; about one half is under tillage and the other in pasture and demesne; the system of agriculture is greatly improved, under the spirited example and encouragement given by the Marquess of Thomond, whose farm is one of the best cultivated and most productive in the county. Rostellan Castle, the seat of that nobleman, is an elegant mansion on the margin of the harbour, over which it commands extensive and pleasing views, and in a highly cultivated and extensive demesne, comprehending one-third of the parish, and richly embellished with woods and plantations. The grounds are arranged with great taste, and for nearly two miles skirted by the waters of Rostellan bay, and diversified with the rural and picturesque houses of the farming steward, gardeners, and others connected with the management of the farm. The gardens are extensive and tastefully arranged; the flower gar dens contain a fine selection of the choicest plants and flowers. Here are the Rostellan mills for making starch from potatoes, conducted by Mr. Prendergast.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, formerly a part of the union of Aghada, from which, on the demise of Dr. Brinkley in 1S35, it was separated and made a distinct benefice, in the patronage of the Crown. The tithes amount to £288. 7. 3½.; the glebe, at Kilteskin, for which the old glebe, now forming part of the demesne of Rostellan Castle, was exchanged, comprises 47 acres. The parishioners attend divine service at Aghada or Cloyne: but it is in contemplation to erect a district church for this parish and that of Garranekenefick. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Aghada; there is a small chapel at Ballinrostig. About 30 children are taught in the parochial male school, supported by the Bishop of Cloyne, and in the female school, supported wholly by the Marchioness of Thomond; and there are two private schools, in which are about 60 children. The ancient castle of Rostellan was, during the parliamentary war, surrendered to Lord Inchiquin in 1645, but was afterwards retaken by Lord Castlehaven, who also made prisoners Lord Inchiquin's brother and Col. Courtenay, who had been sent to demolish it Near the demesne is a holy well much venerated by the peasantry, and an ash tree literally covered with their offerings to the patron saint; not far distant is a stone on which is sculptured a rude representation of the crucifixion; and within the demesne are some limestone rocks, in which are capacious natural caverns, with stalactites depending from the roof.
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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