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"SLIGO, a parish, a seaport, municipal and parliamentary borough, and chief town of county Sligo, province of Connaught, Ireland, is situated near the mouth of the river Garrogue, and is 131 miles from Dublin by road, or, 134 by rail. It is the terminus of a branch line of the Midland Great Western railway from Mullingar, and steamers ply regularly between it and Glasgow. The town, which was the property for the most part of the late Lord Palmerston, and of the Right Hon. John Wynne, of Hazlewood, P.C., lies principally on the S., or left bank of the river Garrogue, which is here crossed by two bridges, and is navigable from Lough Gill. The houses are irregularly but well built. The streets are lighted with gas and paved, but in the older parts of the town they are narrow and ill suited for trade. The most important public building is the parish church of St. John, an ancient cruciform structure in the later style of English architecture, with a square tower at the W. end. It has lately been enlarged and improved. Calry parish church, standing on a hill at the E. end of the town, is a Gothic building of recent erection, with a tower and spire. The Roman Catholic church of the parish of St. John is large. There is also a friary attached to the Dominican convent, and there are Presbyterian, Independent, and two Methodist meeting-houses. The new building for National schools is appropriate. There are besides schools under Erasmus Smith's charity, and the Incorporated Society, with parochial and other schools. The other public buildings are the county court house, gaol, infirmary and fever hospital, the union workhouse, district lunatic asylum, the custom-house, butter market, linen hall, constabulary barrack, and a new office of the Ulster bank. There is a small business done in linens, and there are flour mills, some small breweries, and a distillery. The salmon fishery in the river is important; the limits of the district are Coonamore Point and Mullaghmore, and the close season is from 19th August to 4th February in each year, for both tidal and fresh-water fishing. The port is under the control of the Town and Harbour Commissioners, who are elected for life. They have improved the harbour-vessels of large draught, however, are obliged to anchor in the pool, which is safe and easily gained. The chief imports are coals, timber, iron, and salt, and the exports are butter, meal, flour, and corn. The assizes for the county are held in the town, and also quarter and petty sessions. Four newspapers are published weekly. The religion of the townspeople is principally Roman Catholic. In 1861 there were 8,392 persons of that religion, 1,630 members of the Established Church, 288 Presbyterians, 231 Methodists, 122 Independents, and 30 of other religious persuasions, or unspecified. The borough returns one member to parliament, and had a constituency in 1865 of 379. It is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, elected from 3 wards. Sligo is the seat of a Poor-law Union, comprising 29 electoral divisions. Tuesday and Saturday are market days. Fairs are held on 27th March, 4th July, 11th August, and 10th October."

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


Description and Travel

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The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.

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Historical Geography

The civil parish of St. Johns contained the following townlands: