Carrick / Carrigg
CARRIGG, a parish, in the barony of SHELMALIER, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 2 miles (W.) from Wexford; containing 1054 inhabitants. This place is situated on the road to New Ross, and on the river Slaney, at its influx into the haven at Wexford. In the townland of Ferry-Carrigg, and near the bridge over the Slaney, Robert Fitz-Stephen, in 1171, built a strong castle, in which he was soon afterwards besieged by the Irish under Donald of Limerick, natural son of Dermod Mac Murrough, the last King of Leinster. Donald, finding himself unable to reduce it by force, had recourse to stratagem, and by a feigned account that Strongbow and his friends in Dublin had been put to the sword by the victorious army, who were on their march to this place, prevailed upon Fitz-Stephen, by the promise of a safe passport into Wales, to surrender himself and the garrison into his hands. Many of the men were instantly put to death; and Fitz-Stephen and the remainder were conveyed in chains to a small island called Beg Erin, in the north part of Wexford haven, where they were confined till the landing of Hen. II. at Waterford, when, being removed to that town, they were placed in Ragnal's or Reginald's tower, from which they were soon afterwards liberated by the English monarch. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Slaney, over which is a handsome bridge of American oak, built by the architect of the old Wexford bridge, under an act passed in 1794, which empowered subscribers to raise £7000 for that purpose, who, on payment of one-fifth of that sum, were to be constituted a corporate body, under the designation of the "Commissioners of Carrigg Bridge" and to have a common seal. The northern part is intersected by the mail coach road from Wexford to Dublin, and the road from Wexford to New Ross also passes through it. It comprises 2538 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which, the greater portion is in pasture and the remainder under tillage; the system of agriculture is progressively improving. Here are some quarries of good building stone, from which the works now in progress at St. Peter's College, Wexford, are supplied. The scenery is pleasingly varied, including the richly wooded banks of the Slaney and the Forth mountains, by which the parish is bounded on the west. Belmont, the residence of Charles Arthur Walker, Esq., is finely situated on a commanding eminence above the Slaney, and embraces some beautiful views of that river above Wexford bridge, and especially of that side of it which is ornamented by the elegant mansions and richly wooded demesnes of Saunders Court, Artramont, and other gentlemen's seats. The other seats are Baratown House, the newly erected residence of Major Perceval; Cullentra, of G. Little, Esq.; Park House, of Capt. J. W. Harvey; Janeville, of D. Jones, Esq.; and Bettyville, of Mrs. Redmond: there are also several other villas. The Slaney affords every facility of water conveyance for the supply of the neighbourhood.
This is one of the 16 parishes that constitute the union of St. Patrick's, Wexford. The living is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Ferns, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Portsmouth. The tithes amount to £185.1. 5., of which £62. 3. 5½. is payable to the impropriator, and £122. 17. 11½. to the curate. There are some remains of the old parish church below Belmont; and in the churchyard, under an altar-tomb, are deposited the remains of Lieut.-Col. Jones Watson, who fell on the 30th of May, 1798, while leading the yeomanry of this county to attack the insurgents, who had encamped at the Three Rocks on the mountain of Forth. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Glynn; the chapel is at Barntown, and adjoining it is the national school, in which about 150 children of both sexes are gratuitously instructed, under the superintendence of the R. C. clergyman.
The remains of the castle of Ferry-Carrigg, in the parish of Tickillen, are romantically situated on a pinnacle of rock commanding the pass of the river, and consist principally of a lofty square tower. On the opposite side of the river, and in the parish of Carrigg, was a castle called Shan-a-Court, or John's Court, supposed to have been built in the reign of John, and in which, that monarch is said to have held a court. The remains consist only of the trenches; many of the stones were used in building the more ancient part of Belmont house. In this parish is also Barntown Castle, which appears to have been built about the same time as that of Ferry-Carrigg, and by some writers is attributed to the same founder; it consists of a lofty square tower still nearly entire; Barntown formed a portion of the lands granted by Cromwell to Col. Le Hunt, whose descendants still reside at Artramont, in the neighbourhood.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
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