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Local Studies Department

Thom's Trade Directories 1849

County of Kildare

KILDARE, an inland county in Leinster province.

Boundaries: N., Meath; E., Dublin and Wicklow; S., Carlow; W., Queen's, King's, and Westmeath. Greatest length, N. and S., 40 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 27 miles; comprising an area of 653 square miles, or 418,436 acres, of which 356,787 are arable, 51,854 uncultivated, 8,288 in plantations, 490 in towns, and 1,017 under water.

The subsoil is limestone and clay-slate; the surface level, with a few low hills interspersed. The river Liffey and Barrow pass through the county; the Boyne rises in its N. part. The Grand and Royal Canals traverse it, as also the Great Southern and Western Railway, passing through or near the towns of Naas, Newbridge, Kildare, Monasterevan, and Athy.

It contains 50,000 acres of bog; the common called the Curragh covers 5,000 acres. Large quantities of turf are sent to Dublin by the canals. Of the plantations there are 320 acres oak, 83 ash, 14 elm, 52 beech, 415 fir, 6,948 mixed timber, 456 fruit, besides 576,470 detached trees, equivalent to 3,603 acres of plantation; total, 11,891 acres.

The number of farms above 1 acre is 8,134, on which there was, in 1841, a stock of 13,772 horses and mules, 47,530 horned cattle, 75,427 sheep, 16,344 pigs, 159,423 head of poultry, and 2 878 asses; the estimated value of all which was 529,384.

The population in 1841 was 114,488; 104,090 in the rural, and 10,398 in the civic district. The occupations are chiefly agricultural, but there are some woollen, cotton, and paper factories.

The Excise duties of the district of Naas in 1834 amounted to 57,208; in 1838 to 52,005; and in 1845 to 51,941.

The number of children attending public schools in 1841 was, in rudimental schools, males, 4,228, females 3,898; in superior schools, males, 655, females; 129; total, 8,910. In September, 1847, there were 71 national schools in operation, attended by 7,845 children; 3,800 males; 4,045 females.

The county is divided into 14 baronies-Carbury, Clane, Connell, Ikeathy and Oughterany, Kilcullen, Kilkea and Moone, Naas N. and S. Narragh and Reban E. and W., Offaly E. and W., Salt N. and S., and contains 116 parishes.

The principal towns are Athy, population 4,698; Naas, 3,571; and Maynooth, 2,129; adjoining the last named is the Roman Catholic College of St. Patrick.

The county returns 2 members to Parliament; constituency, 1st February, 1848, 3,027. It is in the Home circuit. The Assizes are held at Athy and Naas alternately. There are two County Prisons, one at Naas, the other at Athy; the committals to both in 1847, 476. It is divided into four Quarter Sessions' divisions, viz. Naas, Kildare, Maynooth, and Athy-the former comprising the Baronies of Kilkea and Moone, E. and W. Narragh, and E. and W. Offaly; the latter, Carbery, Clane, Connell, Ikeathy, Kilcullen, N. and S. Naas, and N. and S. Salt. Petty Sessions are held in 13 places.

The County Infirmary is at Kildare; the District Lunatic Asylum, to which the county sends 52 patients, at Carlow. There are Fever Hospitals at Celbridge, Kilcullen, Naas, and Athy; and 16 Dispensaries in the county.

Savings' Banks are established at Athy, Ballytore, Celbridge, and Naas; total depositors in 1846, 1,131, amounting to 33,788. Loan Fund in Athy, the amount of its capital in 1847 was 600; amount circulated during the year, 4,000.

The Union Workhouses are at Athy, Celbridge, and Naas; the annual amount of property valued for the Poor-rate is 13,851; that of landed property, valued under 6 & 7 William IV., cap. 84, is 290,550. The Grand Jury Presentments for 1848 amounted to 18,152. The county is within the military district of Dublin; and there are Barrack stations at Athy, Naas, and Newbridge; and the staff of the County Militia is stationed at Johnstown, Naas. The head-quarters of the Constabulary force, consisting of 258 men, officers included, are at Naas; those of the 5 districts, comprising 45 stations, at Naas, Athy, Kildare, Robertstown, and Celbridge. A Resident Magistrate is stationed at Rathangan.