KILSARAN, or KILSORRAN, a parish, in the barony of ARDEE, county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, on the mail coach road from Dublin to Belfast; containing, with the parish of Gernonstown and the post-town of Castle-Bellingham, 3254 inhabitants.
A commandery of Knights Templars was founded here in the 12th century by Matilda de Lacy, which was granted, in the reign of Edw. II., to the Knights Hospitallers.
In 1483, Keating, prior of Kilmainham, appointed Marmaduke Lomley preceptor, but some time after threw him into prison, where he died of a broken heart. According to the Ordnance survey the parish comprises 3393½ statute acres, of which 3127 are applotted under the tithe act and valued at £3732 per ann.
The land is of superior quality, and is chiefly under a good system of tillage; there is neither waste nor bog.
The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and the neighbourhood is embellished with several handsome seats, among which are Milestown, the residence of J. Woolsey, Esq.; Greenmount, of T. Macan, Esq.; Maine, of B. B. Stafford, Esq.; and Kilsaran, of M.
Chester, Esq. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, united by statute of the 9th of Anne, cap.
12, to the rectory of Gernonstown, and in the patronage of J. McClintock, Esq.: the tithes of this parish amount to £359. 1.6.; and the value of the union, including tithes and glebe, is £544. 16. 10. The glebe-house was built about 70 years since by Mrs. Spencer; the glebe comprises 19½ acres of profitable land, valued at £39 per ann. The church of the union is at Castle-Bellingham.
In the R. C. divisions this is the head of a union or district, comprising the parishes of Kilsaran, Gernonstown, and Stabannon, and containing chapels at Kilsaran and Stabannon, of which the former is a large building adjoining the ruins of the ancient church.
The parochial school is aided by an annual donation of £10 from the rector; adjoining the R. C. chapel is a national school; and there are also a female and an infants' school, supported by subscriptions: about 320 children are educated in these schools.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.