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Local Studies Department

Lewis's Topographical Dictionary 1837

Towns & Villages
KILCOCK

KILCOCK, a market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of IKEATHY and OUGHTERANY, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 10½ miles (S.E. by S.) from Trim, and 14½ miles (W.) from Dublin, on the road to Galway; containing 2235 inhabitants, of which number, 1730 are in the town. This place, which is said to have derived its name from an ancient church or monastery, dedicated to St. Cocha, is situated on a stream called the Rye Water, which here forms the boundary of the county. The town consists of several small streets diverging from the market-square, and in 1831 contained 330 houses irregularly built, several of which are of handsome appearance. The inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from springs, and coal is brought down the Royal Canal, which passes by the town.

Races are annually held on the common for three or four days, and are well attended. A large distillery and brewery have been established here. The market, which is toll-free, is on Wednesday, and is abundantly supplied with corn and potatoes, of which great quantities are purchased and sent by the canal to Dublin. The fairs, which are chiefly for cattle, sheep, and pigs, are on March 25th, May 11th, Aug. 11th, and Sept. 29th; and additional fairs have been recently established on Feb. 4th, July 14th, Oct. 22nd, Nov. 24th, and Dec.13th. Here is a constabulary police station. The parish is chiefly rich pasture land, appropriated for the fattening of stock for the Dublin market, and for exportation; what little is under tillage is well cultivated on the improved system and is very productive. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and within the parish are Courtown, the seat of John Aylmer, Esq., and Laragh, of James Gannon, Esq., both situated in demesnes richly wooded. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Kildare, episcopally united in 1811 to the vicarages of Hortland and Cloncurry and the rectory of Downings, forming the union of Kilcock, in the patronage of the Crown; the rectory is impropriate in Lord Cloncurry. The tithes amount to £168, of which £56 is payable to the impropriator, and £112 to the vicar.

The church is a very old edifice in indifferent repair. The glebe comprises 13 acres, but there is no glebe-house. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Cloncurry, Hortland, and Clonshamboe; there is a chapel in the town, and also one at Newtown, in the parish of Hortland. About 220 children are taught in two public schools, one of which is aided by a donation from Mr. Gannon; and there are also two private schools, in which are about 40 children, and a dispensary.

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