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GEASHILL

In 1868, the parish of Geashill contained the following places:

"GEASHILL, a parish and post town in the baronies of Geashill and Upper Philipstown, King's County, province of Leinster, Ireland, 4 miles S. of Philipstown, and 55 from Dublin. It is situated on the road from Portarlington to Tullamore, and contains in the Geashill portion the villages of Ballinagar and Billeigh. The general character of the surface is flat. The principal hill is Mallagh. The soil is poor, with extensive tracts of waste and bog. Lime and building stone are procured. The living is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Kildare, value £1,126. The church was rebuilt in 1815. There are chapels-of-ease at Cloneyhorke and Killeigh. The Roman Catholic chapels at Killeigh and Ballinagar are united to that of Ballykean, and the chapel at Kilmalogue to those of Lea and Coolbanagher. There are two Methodist meeting-houses in the parish, also National and other public schools, besides eleven Sunday and several private day schools. The principal residences are Geashill, Newtown, Woodville, and others. Here are the ruins of Geashill Castle, formerly belonging to the O'Dempsey family, and afterwards to the Fitzgeralds, from whom it came into the hands of Sir Robert Digby in 1620. Within it Lady Digby withstood a siege of many months in 1642, until relieved by Sir Richard Grenville. Church ruins exist near Ballinagar. The village contains a police station and a dispensary within the Poorlaw Union. Geashill gives title of baron to the Earl of Digby. Fairs are held on the 1st May, 6th October, and 26th December."

"BALLINAGAR, a village in the parish of Geashill, and barony of Philipstown, King's County, in the province of Leinster, Ireland 3 miles to the S. W. of Philipstown."

"KILLEIGH, a post-office village in the parish of Geashill, King's County, Ireland, 4 miles S.E. of Tullamore. It was anciently noted for its three religious houses. At the Dissolution the site of the abbey was given to the Geraldine family. The principal seat is Killeigh House. Fairs are held on the 1st July and 19th October."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018