This parish, which includes the island of Sherkin or Innisherkin, and the village and sea-port of Baltimore (both of which are separately described), is situated on the harbour of Baltimore, and comprises 5796 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £3174 per annum. The surface is hilly and in some places rises to a considerable elevation 5 the principal eminence is Ballylinch, 649 feet above the level of the sea. The greater portion of the parish is rocky, in some places quite bare, but in others affording good pasture: about one-half of the land is under cultivation, and as it consists chiefly of small patches among the rocks, spade husbandry is necessarily adopted, and the manure is conveyed on horseback. Good freestone is found near the shores of the inner bay, and slate exists in several places. The principal seats are Baltimore Castle, the residence of Mrs. Freake; Lougli- Hyne, of Jas. O'Brien, Esq.; Baltimore House, of Jno.
Collins, Esq.; the Cottage, of Thos. Baldwin, Esq.; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. J. R. Smyth. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ross, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £300. The glebe-house was built about 1818, when £100 was given and £825 lent by the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe comprises 10a. 1r. 3p. The church, towards the erection of which the late Board also granted a loan of £600 in 1818, is in the village of Baltimore. In the R. C. divisions the island of Innisherkin forms part of the union or district of Cape Clear, and the remainder of the parish, part of that of Skibbereen: there are two chapels, one in the island, the other at Rathmore; the latter, on the new road from Baltimore to Skibbereen, is a large plain building.
The parochial school at Baltimore, built in 1832 at the expense of Lord Carbery, is a large and handsome structure, comprising a centre and two wings, the former containing the master's apartments and the latter the male and female schools; in this, and in another school to which a sum of £4 per arm. is contributed by the Catholic inhabitants, for the education of the poor children, about 200 children are instructed.
The extensive and picturesque ruins of Baltimore castle still remain, but of Ardagh castle, which stood on an eminence nearly in the centre of the parish, a small fragment only exists. The remains of the church are picturesquely situated on the shore of a small bay opposite the island of Ringa-Roga.
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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