RATHNEW, a parish and village, in the barony of NEWCASTLE, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, at the junction of the roads from Dublin, Rathdrum, and Bray to Wicklow; containing, with the post-town of Ashford and village of Bolinalea (both separately described), 3718 inhabitants, of which number, 544 are in the village of Rathnew. This place, called also Newrath, derives its name from an ancient rath, and is intersected by the river Vartrey, over which is a picturesque bridge. The village contains 107 houses; and at Newrath-bridge is a superior family hotel, kept by Messrs. Nolan, which has long been celebrated for the beauty of its situation and the excellence of its internal arrangements. A constabulary police force is stationed in the village, and petty sessions are held there on alternate Mondays. The parish comprises 4913 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the land is generally good, the system of agriculture improving, and there is neither waste land nor bog.
The principal seats are Rosanna, the residence of D. Tighe, Esq., beautifully situated in a rich demesne embellished with some remarkably fine timber, particularly the sweet chesnut tree; Clonmannon, of R. H. Truell, Esq., finely situated in tastefully disposed grounds, commanding some interesting sea views and mountain scenery; Clermont, of J. A. Leopard, Esq., from which is a fine view of the sea; Upper Tinakelly, of the Rev. Mr. Dixon, commanding an extensive view of the coast from Bray Head to Wicklow Head; Cronakiry, of J. Beddy, Esq.; Ballina Park, of H. W. Bryan, Esq., in the grounds of which is a rath; and Coolawinney, of R. Cotter, Esq. It is a rectory, in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, forming part of the union and corps of the prebend of Wicklow in the cathedral of St. Patrick, Dublin: the tithes amount to £377. 1. 6½. In the R. C. divisions it is also part of the union of Wicklow; there is a chapel at Ashford.
At Clonmannon is a school supported by,R. H. Truell, Esq. In the village of Rathnew are the ruins of the ancient church, to which is attached a burial-ground; and on the townland of Miltown are the ruins of a castle. Near the Cherry Orchard is a remarkably fine oak tree, which at three feet from the ground measures 21½ feet in girth. While on a visit at Rosanna the late Mrs. Tighe, aunt of the present proprietor, and eminently distinguished for her mental endowments and poetic talents, composed her celebrated poem of "Psyche;" she was also the author of several other admired poems, and died in 1810, aged 36.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.