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Local Studies Department

Lewis's Topographical Dictionary 1837

Towns & Villages
NARRAGHMORE

NARRAGHMORE, a parish, partly in the barony of KILKEA and MOONE, and partly in the barony of WEST, but chiefly in that of EAST, NARRAGH AND RHEBAN, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 2 miles (N.N.W.) from Ballitore; containing 3125 inhabitants, of which number, 173 are in the village. This place, which is of great antiquity, has been the scene of many historical events. According to Keating, a desperate battle was fought here in the third century between the men of South Leinster and Carmar Cas, King of Munster, in which the latter was defeated with great slaughter and pursued to Athbrodain, or "the bloody ford," where the town of Athy now stands. The Naasteighan, or assembly of the states of South Leinster, was held here on the "Hill of Carmen," consisting of a high rath, on the summit of which were sixteen conical mounds, upon which the elders sat in council; it is situated on the brow of a gently sloping eminence, about six miles from Athy. This rath was afterwards known by the name of the moat of Mullimast, or "the hill of decapitation," in consequence of the act of some English adventurers in the 16th century, who being resisted in their encroachments by some of the Irish chieftains, to whom the district belonged, having invited the latter to a conference on this hill on New Year's day, fell upon them unawares, slew them, and buried their bodies here.

The parish, which is situated on the river Griese, a branch of the Barrow, and on the road from Dublin to Castledermot, comprises 11,564 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The lands are chiefly under tillage and pasture; the soil is good, and the system of agriculture is improving; the chief crops are potatoes, oats, wheat and barley; there is no waste land, but a large tract of bog. The manor was originally granted to Robert Fitz-Richard, one of the earliest English settlers, who was created Lord of Narragh, and built the castle, in the reign of Hen. II. It formed for some time a palatine barony belonging to the Wellesley family; and at a later period became the property of the Keatings. During the disturbances of 1798, the mansion-house of Col. Keating, a modern building not then finished, was burnt by the king's troops in their operations against the insurgents. The manor is now the property of Robert Latouche, Esq., of Harristown: the house has never been rebuilt, and is in ruins; the demesne is very extensive and richly wooded. The village contains 23 houses. An extensive cotton manufacture is carried on at Inchiquin mills by Mr. Leonard Greenham, who of late years has greatly improved the concern, so as considerably to increase the number of persons employed in spinning and weaving by hand and power looms.

A fair is held in the village on the 28th of March, and a constabulary police station has been established there. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin, and in the patronage of the Archbishop: the tithes amount to £646. 3. 1. The glebe-house, built in 1818, by a gift of £100 and a loan of £1275 from the late Board of First Fruits, is a handsome modern house in tastefully disposed grounds; the glebe comprises 12 acres of cultivated land, near the church. The church is a small building, for the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £127. In the R.C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district comprising the parishes of Narraghmore and Davidstown, and parts of those of Fontstown and Dunlavin: there are two chapels, one at Crookstown and the other at Kilmead.

The parochial school, in which are about 100 children, is aided by private subscriptions; a school at Skerries is supported in connection with the Board of National Education, for which a school-house was built by Mr. Lappen, and there is another in connection with the same Board at Calverstown, for which a building was erected by Robert Borrowes, Esq. There is also a private school, in which are about 40 children.

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