KILCOOLE, a parish, in the barony of NEWCASTLE, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 1½ mile (E. N. E.) from Newtown-Mount-Kennedy, on the lower road from Bray to Wicklow; containing 2359 inhabitants, of which number, 469 are in the village. It is situated on the eastern coast, and originally formed part of the ancient territory called Crioch Cualan, the maritime portion of the country of the O'Byrnes, and subsequently of the district of Ranelagh, which for more than two centuries has given the title of Viscount to the family of Jones. The village comprises 76 houses, of which a few are well built and roofed with slate, but the greater number are small thatched dwellings; it has a constabulary police station, and fairs for live stock are held on Whit-Monday and Sept. 4th. On one side of the village green is a vast mass of clay-slate, called the rock of Kilcoole, interspersed with broad white veins of quartz, presenting a singular appearance; and near its base are the ruins of an ancient church, overspread with ivy, and surrounded by a cemetery, in which are many memorials of the Coolans and O'Byrnes.
The parish comprises 6406 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, comprehending the Downs Hill, where are the ruins of an ancient church and burialground within the demesne of Arthur Hume, Esq., who resides in a beautiful cottage here. The soil varies greatly, and though in some parts rough and stony, is well adapted for tillage, and produces good crops, and some of the earliest potatoes brought into the market of Dublin are raised here. Towards the sea are large tracts of bog, affording excellent fuel.
Numerous streams descending from the mountains intersect the parish, the largest of which is called the Three Trouts' River. Clay-slate and marl are found in great quantities; the former is used for repairing the roads, and the latter as manure. Among the gentlemen's seats is Altidore, the residence of the Rev. L.W. Hepenstal, situated in a long but narrow demesne of pleasing character, to which have been added the adjoining grounds of Hermitage, formerly the seat of Col. Carey, which has been recently taken down; the whole forming an interesting and truly picturesque demesne; a deep glen penetrates the hill and is embellished with various kinds of timber, some of which has attained a remarkable growth, and watered by a mountain stream that forms numerous cascades, above which is a grotto of shells of great variety and beauty.
The other seats are Kilquade House, the residence of Hunter O'Reilly, Esq.; Spring Farm, of R. Hudson, Esq.; Darragh Villa, of G.Newton, Esq.; Ballygannon, the property of J. I. Scott, Esq., but now the residence of T. B. St. George, Esq.; Bromley, of Lady Harriet Daly; Bellefield, of J. Dick, Esq.; Tinny Park, of Myles Staunton, Esq.; Holywell, of the Rev. L. R. Delamere; Kilquade Rectory, of the Rev. C. B. Stennett; Seaview, of Mrs. Barry; Ballyronane, of Lieut.-Colonel Obins; and Dromin, of R. Murphy, Esq., all beautifully situated in tastefully disposed grounds, and commanding fine views of the sea and mountain scenery.
Four fairs are held in the village of the Downs, chiefly for live stock. The parish is in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, and is a rectory and vicarage, forming part of the union of Delgany: the tithes amount to £269. 0. 4. The ruins of the old church and cemetery are enclosed with a stone wall, and part has been converted into a mausoleum for the family of Mr. Scott, of Ballygannon. In the R. C. divisions it is the head of a union or district called Kilquade and Kilmurry, comprising also the parishes of Newcastle and Delgany, with parts of those of Bray and Powerscourt; there are two chapels, situated respectively at Kilquade and Kilmurry, the former a handsome edifice of modern erection, and one dedicated to St. Patrick and the other to St. Catharine. About 300 children are taught in the public schools, of which two were built by Lady Harriet Daly, and are supported by Miss Daly, and one by Mr. Scott. In the village of the Downs are the remains of an old church, and also on the farm of Ballyhorsey; great numbers of human bones and skeletons have been dug up in the vicinity. On the demesne of Holywell is a spring, the water of which is considered efficacious in ague and palsy.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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