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Ballinakill, Queens County

Historical Description

BALLINAKILL, a market and post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough), in the parish of DYSARTGALLEN, barony of CULLINAGH, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 10 miles (S. S. E.) from Maryborough, and 50 miles (S. W.) from Dublin; containing 1927 inhabitsnts. This is a place of some antiquity, but was not made a market-town till the year 1606, when a grant of a market and fair was made to Sir T. Coatch, proprietor of the manor of Galline. In 1612 it was incorporated by Jas. I., and was invested with considerable privileges, to foster the plantation made here by Sir T. Ridgway, Bart. The castle, of which there are still some remains, fell into the possession of the R. C. party during the insurrection of 1641, and when Cromwell's troops overran the island, being bravely defended by its garrison, it was cannonaded from the Warren-Hill, adjoining Heywood demesne, by Gen. Fairfax, and the garrison was at length compelled to surrender. The town is situated in a fertile district, the soil of which is principally composed of a deep clay adapted both for the dairy and for tillage. To the east is Heywood, the seat of Major-Gen. Sir F. W. Trench, in a richly varied demesne ornamented with plantations and artificial sheets of water. The manufacture of woollen stuffs, formerly more extensive, is still carried on to a limited degree; and a brewery has been established more than 50 years by the present proprietor, Mr. Comerford. The market is on Saturday, and has somewhat declined since the establishment of a market on the same day at Abbeyleix, a few years since: there is a good market for butter on Tuesday. The market-house is kept in repair by Earl Stanhope, the lord of the manor. Fairs are held on the 16th of Jan. and Feb., 22nd of March and April, 13th of May, first Thursday after Whit-Sunday, 13th of June and July, 12th of Aug., and 16th of Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.; that in Nov. is a large fair for bullocks. Here is a station of the constabulary police.

Under the charter of Jas. I. The corporation consisted of a sovereign, twelve burgesses, and an unlimited number of freemen, and returned two members to the Irish parliament until the Union. Quarter and petty sessions were formerly held in the town, but have been removed to Abbeyleix, about three miles distant. The parish church, situated in the town, is a handsome edifice with a tower and spire; the east window which is of stained glass and very handsome, was purchased on the Continent and presented by the late Fras. Trench, Esq. Ballinakill is the head of a R. C. district, comprising the parish of Dysartgallen and parts of Abbeyleix and Ballyroan, and containing chapels at Ballinakill (a spacious edifice) and Knockardigur. Here are a national school and a dispensary.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis

Civil Registration

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Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ballinakill from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Queen's is available to browse.