ARDAGH, a parish, in the Shanid Division of the barony of LOWER-CONNELLO, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 3 miles (N. W.) from Newcastle, on the road from that place to Shanagolden 3 containing 2197 inhabitants, of which number, 415 are in the village.
This place is situated in the heart of an interesting and fertile district 3 the village consists of one long irregular street, containing 65 houses., which are in a very ruinous condition. Near it are the interesting remains of the old parish church, which was destroyed in the insurrection of 1641, and has not been rebuilt.
Fairs are held on the 11th of May, Aug. 14th, and Nov. 21st, chiefly for the sale of cattle, pigs, and pedlery, The parish comprises 6572 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, exclusively of a considerable tract of bog; the land is some of the best in the county and finely planted; the system of agriculture is little improved, the fertility of the soil and the abundance of the crops rendering the farmer unwilling to change his plans. On the west it is bounded by heathy and boggy mountains, which contain several strata of coal, but the two upper strata, which are very thin, are alone worked: the only pits now open are at Carrigkerry.
Iron-stone and fire clay of very superior quality are also abundant, but no attempt has yet been made to work them. The seats are Ardagh Lodge, the residence of T. Fitzgibbon, Esq.; and Ballynaborney, of W. Upton, Esq. The parish is in the diocese of Limerick, and the rectory forms part of the union of St. Michael and corps of the archdeaconry, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £184. 12. 3¾. In the R. C. divisions it is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parish of Rathronan and part of the parish of Kilscannell; the chapel, a large but old and neglected building, is situated in the village, where a school-house is now in course of erection. There are two schools, in which are about 100 boys and SO girls.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.