Throughout the whole of the lower or northern part of the parish are extensive beds of coal lying above each other in five different strata, of which the uppermost only, which is the thinnest, has been worked, but so inefficiently that, though it is of excellent quality, coal is imported from England and Wales at a cheaper rate, and the works have been consequently discontinued.
The substrata are chiefly silicious grit, greenstone, and quartz, the last penetrating the entire country in veins of considerable thickness, and in some parts nearly white and of great purity. The principal seats are Mount Trenchard, that of the Rt. Hon. Thos. Spring Rice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, a handsome mansion formerly called Cappa, and beautifully situated on the banks of the Shannon; Rock Lodge, of S. Harding, Esq.; Fairy Lawn, of P. Griffin, Esq.; Woodcliff, of A. E. Taylor, Esq.; Curragh, of the Rev. D. OSullivan; and Ouvane Cottage, of Lieut. Hewson, R.N. The village contains 53 houses, most of which are small thatched cabins. Nearly adjoining Ouvane Cottage is a good quay, where sloops may receive or deliver their cargoes. Fairs are held at Mount-Trenchard in March, June, September, and December. The townland of Kilfergus, on which is the old church of Glin, and the adjoining townland of Ballyoulihan, though both in this parish, pay tithes to the rector of Glin. In the townland of Knockabooley a singular tenure prevails, by which the Bishop of Limerick is enabled to grant leases for three lives; whereas, in the other townlands of the parish, he can grant leases only for 21 years. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Limerick, forming part of the union and corps of the precentorship of the cathedral of Limerick: the tithes amount to £95; there is a glebe of 16 acres, but no glebehouse.
The church, a small but neat edifice in the early- English style, with a square tower, was built on a new site by a loan of £800 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1812; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £116 for its repair. In the R. C.
divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Glin; the chapel is a large plain edifice. About half a mile from the village are the ruins of the old church; and near the shore was a very strong castle, said to have been the property of the Bishop, which was taken down by the late Mr. Hewson, who built a garden wall with the materials. On the demesne of Woodcliffe is a piece of ground called the Field of Sculls, where more than 100 skeletons were found; and on the Curragh estate have been dug up numerous brass coins of the reign of Jas. I.
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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