ROBERTSTOWN, or CASTLE-ROBERT, a parish, in the Shanid Division of the barony of LOWER-CONNELLO, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (W.) from Askeaton, on the road from Limerick to Tarbert; containing, with Foyn's Island, 1794 inhabitants.
This parish, which is situated on the river Shannon, in a level and fertile district, is nearly equidistant from the towns of Askeaton, Rathkeale, and Glin.
The land is in general good, though in some places interspersed with detached masses of stone; the greater portion is under tillage, producing favourable crops, and there are good tracts of pasture. The system of agriculture is in a backward state; large portions of land are cultivated with the spade, and manure is carried to the fields on the shoulders of women. That portion of the parish called Ahenish, and improperly considered as an island, is flat and is frequently inundated by the river Shannon; the higher grounds are all well cultivated, and the lower grounds afford rich pasturage. The principal seats are Old Abbey, the residence of W. Morgan, Esq.; Fort Anne, of S. E. Johnson, Esq.; and Congreiff, of Mrs. Griffin; and at no great distance is Mount Trenchard, the seat of the Rt. Hon. Thos. Spring Rice.
Foyn's island lies immediately off Lehys Point, where the rock has been deeply excavated in forming a new line of road. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Limerick, united to the vicarage of Dunmoylan, together forming the union of Robertstown, or Dunmoylan, in the patronage of the Earl of Cork, in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithes amount to £367. 12. 10½., of which two-thirds are payable to the impropriator and one-third to the vicar; the gross tithes of the benefice amount to £200. 17. 7½. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Shanagolden; the chapel is a large and neat modern edifice. There are three private schools, in which are about 140 children.
The ruins of the old church are near the village; about one mile distant are the interesting remains of the abbey of Manister-na-Gillagh-Dubh, here called the "old abbey," near which are some ancient fortifications; and on the lands of Ahenish are the ruins of Dysart castle.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.