"Gowran", an incorporated post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough) and a parish, in the barony of Gowran, county of Kilkenny, and province of Leinster, 6 miles (E.) from Kilkenny, and 52 miles (S.W. by S.) from Dublin, on the road to Waterford; containing 2783 inhabitants. In the 14th century a strong castle was built here by James, third Earl of Ormonde, who made it his principal residence till 1391, when he purchased the castle of Kilkenny. James I., in the sixth year of his reign, made the town a parliamentary borough, and incorporated the inhabitants under the designation of the "Portreeve, Chief Burgesses, and Freemen of the Town and Borough of Gowran," by charter setting forth that the inhabitants had always been loyal, but were then greatly reduced by the war and the late plague. In 1650, the [former Butler] castle was beseiged by the forces of Cromwell under Sankey and Hewson, to whom, after an obstinate defence by Col. Hammond, it ultimately surrendered, when the commander and the garrison were inhumanly massacred and the castle destroyed by fire. The town, which is the joint property of Viscount Clifden and W. Bayly, Esq., contains 193 houses, many of which have been recently rebuilt. The parish comprises 7682 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; the land is chiefly under tillage. Adjoining the town is Gowran House, the seat of Viscount Clifden, finely situated in a richly wooded demesne, with a deer-park attached. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of Viscount Clifden. The glebe-house, a new and handsome residence, was built by the present incumbent under the provisions of Primate Robinson's act; the glebe comprises 10 acres. The church is part of a very old cruciform structure, which was restored and fitted up for divine service in 1826; the remainder, which is still in ruin, has some very interesting details in ealry English style, among which are a finely pointed arch of black marble leading into the chancel; a series of similar arches supported by circular and octagonal columns; some windows of elegant design, delicately ornamented in quatrefoil, and several interior chapels. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Dungarvan, Blanchfieldskill, Dunbell, Blackrath, Templemartin, Clara, and Tascoffin: the chapel is a neat modern edifice, to which a school-room for 300 children is now being added; and there are three other chapels situated respectively at Pitts, Dungarvan, and Freneystown. About 30 children are taught in the parochial school, supported by the rector; a female school is supported by Lady Dover; there is an infants' school, and also six private schools, in which are about 320 children. Gowran formerly gave the title of Baron to the family of Fitzpatrick, Earls of Upper Ossory.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]
Civil Parish: Gowran. RC Parish: Gowran and Clara.
Earliest Records: b. Jan 1809; m. Jan 1810.
Cross reference to Family History Library microfilm (double-check with the Library)
Civil Roman Catholic Time FHLC parish parish period number Gowran Gowran 1809-1880 0926194 Note: The northern part of Gowran R.C. parish became Clara.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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Townlands (1851)Parish Townland Acres Diocese Gowran Ballyquirk 523 Ossory Gowran Blanchvilleskill 98 Ossory Gowran Blanchvillespark 902 Ossory Gowran Blanchvillestown 106 Ossory Gowran Brickana 200 Ossory Gowran Castle Ellis 195 Ossory Gowran Clashmagrath 143 Ossory Gowran Clashwilliam 282 Ossory Gowran Clashwilliam Upper 292 Ossory Gowran Clifden Commons 114 Ossory Gowran Clover 231 Ossory Gowran Commons 162 Ossory Gowran Commons North 73 Ossory Gowran Commons South 9 Ossory Gowran Earlsbog Commons 77 Ossory Gowran Flagmount North 418 Ossory Gowran Flagmount South 24 Ossory Gowran Gallowshill 106 Ossory Gowran Gowran 259 Ossory Gowran Gowran Demesne 846 Ossory Gowran Kylebeg 157 Ossory Gowran Newhouse 176 Ossory Gowran Redbog 136 Ossory Gowran Sheafield North 138 Ossory Gowran Sheafield South 20 Ossory Gowran Stangs 119 Ossory Gowran Talbotshill 207 Ossory Gowran Watree 301 Ossory Gowran Woodquarter 63 Ossory
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