KILPEACON, a parish, partly in the baronies of COSHMA, COSTLEA, and PUBBLEBRIEN, but chiefly in that of SMALL-COUNTY, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 41/2 miles (S.) from Limerick, on the road to Fedamore; containing 947 inhabitants. This parish comprises 1189 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the land is generally of good quality and very productive, though the system of agriculture is far from being in an improved state; the substratum is limestone. The fences, except around the demesnes, consist chiefly of loose stones, but in various parts the scenery is pleasingly varied, and in some highly interesting.
The manor was granted, in the reign of Jas. I., to William King, Esq., who erected a very strong castle, which has recently been taken down. The park was extensive and well planted; part of it remains, and the oaks are some of the finest and most stately in the country.
The late proprietor, on taking down the old castle, erected a very handsome mansion on a more elevated site, which is now the property and residence of E.
Cripps Villiers, Esq. Ballyclough, the residence of E.
Moroney, Esq., and Leamonfield, of H. Bevan, Esq., are also in the parish. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Limerick, united by act of council, in 1803, to the vicarage of Knocknegaul, together constituting the corps of the prebend of Kilpeacon in the cathedral of Limerick, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The tithes amount to £92. 6. 2., and of the entire benefice (including the Hackneys, a detached portion of the parish in the barony of Costlea, and separately compounded for) to £323. 1. 61/2. The glebe-house was rebuilt in 1817, by a gift of £250 and a loan of £550 from the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe, which is situated in Knocknegaul, comprises 11 acres. The church, a neat edifice with a square embattled tower, was in 1762 destroyed by the whiteboys, and rebuilt the following year; in 1820 it was enlarged, for which purpose the late Board granted a loan of £400; it contains a handsome monument to Sir William King. In the R. C.
divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Fedamore, and partly in that of Loughmore. The parochial school is built on an acre of land given by the late E. Villiers, Esq., and is supported by subscription, aided by an annual donation from the rector. There is a dispensary in the parish. In the neighbourhood is a place called Bawnachumtha, or the "Camp Field," in which are some raths and circular fortifications; and on the summit of Greenhill is a rath or doon, about 320 feet in circumference and 18 feet high. In the adjoining fields are several smaller forts, surrounded by a single vallum and quite level within; near these forts a crown of gold, in the form of a shell, and weighing 51/2 ounces, was dug up by a peasant in 1821, and sold to a goldsmith in Dublin for £18. 18.
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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