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Local Studies Department

Lewis's Topographical Dictionary 1837

Towns & Villages
LYONS

LYONS, a parish, in the barony of SOUTH SALT, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (S.) from Celbridge; containing 158 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the Grand Canal, comprises 1904 statute acres, of which about 160 are woodland, and the remainder divided in nearly equal portions between pasture and tillage. The soil is fertile and the system of agriculture improved, and there is a very small portion of waste land. Lyons Castle, the splendid seat of Lord Cloncurry, takes its name from an ancient town and castle which were destroyed in the war of 1641; of the former there are no traces, and of the latter, only one of the principal towers, which, with the remains of the ancient church, forms an interesting feature in his Lordship's demesne. The present structure is a castellated mansion of granite, consisting of a spacious centre connected by semicircular colonnades with a stately pavilion at each extremity; the interior contains many superb apartments, of which some are beautifully embellished in fresco by Gabrielli, an artist brought from Rome by his Lordship for that purpose; and in addition to the numerous antiques and choice works of art with which his lordship's collection is enriched, one of the pavilions is appropriated as a gallery of statuary and sculpture by the first masters, as a study for native artists. The demesne, which is very extensive and tastefully laid out, includes the hill of Castlewarden, on which are the remains of an ancient fortification; and nearly in the centre is a picturesque lake. A constabulary police force is stationed here.

The parish is in the diocese of Kildare, and is a rectory, forming part of the union of Kill; the tithes amount to £76. 16. 6. In the R. C. divisions it is part of the union or district of Kill and Lyons; the chapel, a neat plain building, erected in 1810, is embellished with a bronze crucifix, 2 ½ feet high, given by Pope Pius VII. to Lord Cloncurry , and together with an elegant font of white marble brought from Rome, presented by his Lordship to the chapel. There is a national school, in which about 90 children are taught, under the patronage of Lord Cloncurry.

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