KILCORNAN, a parish, in the barony of KENRY, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 1 mile (W.) from Pallas-Kenry, on the river Shannon and the lower road to Askeaton; containing 3840 inhabitants.
This place was one of the chief stations, in this part of Ireland, of the Danes, who in 1041 erected a very strong fortress near the present village of Castletown, and the Danish chieftain having soon afterwards embraced the Christian faith, built a church near the fort of Moige.
In 1164 another castle was erected, which soon after fell into the hands of the O'Donovans, by whom it was given up to the English; it afterwards became part of the possessions of the Earl of Desmond, on whose rebellion in the reign of Elizabeth it was forfeited, together with the manor, and was granted to Sir Hardress Waller, ancestor of the present proprietor. In the war of 1641 it was garrisoned for the king, but was taken the year following by the Irish under the command of Gen.
Purcell, who kept possession of it till its surrender to Ireton, by whom it was garrisoned for Cromwell. The pa- rish comprises 9637 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; the lands towards the Shannon are fertile and under good cultivation, but towards the south are much encumbered with stones scattered in every direction, and with portions of rock rising above the surface; they are, notwithstanding, well fenced and drained, and together form one of the most fertile and best-cultivated districts in the South of Ireland. The principal seats are Castletown, the elegant residence of J. Waller, Esq., beautifully situated in a richly wooded demesne of 200 Irish acres, sloping gently to the river; Holly Park, the ancient residence of the Taylor family, now the property of Sir Aubrey de Vere, Bart.; Summerville, the ancient seat of Lord Charleville, now occupied by an agent; Castle Grey, of G. Langford, Esq.; Stonehall, of E.
Langford, Esq.; and Bushy Island, of P. Low, Esq.
There are also many large and substantial farm-houses, and several very neat cottages. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Limerick, and in the patronage of J.
Waller, Esq.: the tithes amount to £646. 3. 1. The church, a spacious and handsome edifice with a lofty embattled tower, was built entirely of hewn marble in 1832, at an expense of £1500, of which £800 was a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, and the remainder a gift from J. Waller, Esq., who also undertook to repay the loan. The glebe-house is a very handsome and commodious residence, and the glebe comprises 60 acres of profitable land. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district called Stonehall and Cappagh, comprising also the parishes of Cappagh and Nantinan; the old chapel is in the village of Stonehall, and a handsome chapel of hewn marble was built at Boherbuie, in 1832, at the expense of J. Waller, Esq.
About 120 children are taught in the two public schools of this parish, one of which is supported by Mr. Waller; and there are two private schools, in which are about 170 children. Of the castle built by the Danes nothing is now remaining, and of that subsequently erected the vestiges are very slight. In the south-western part of the parish are some fragments of the castle of Carrigonan; and on the new line of road, near Holly Park, are the interesting ruins of the old church or priory of Killeen.
Not far from Carrigonan are the remains of the small church, of Cillenalotor, 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, lighted by one narrow lancet window in the east gable, and having a very low pointed entrance on the west.
Near Stonehall are some very small but interesting lakes, on the shores of which are vestiges of ancient buildings.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.