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Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim

Historical Description

CARRICK-on-SHANNON, a market and post-town, (formerly a parliamentary borough), partly in the parish of KILLUKEN, barony of BOYLE, county of ROSCOMMON, but chiefly in the parish of KILTOGHART, barony and county of LEITRIM, and in the province of CONNAUGHT, 27 miles (S. E. by S.) from Sligo, and 77 (W. N. W) from Dublin; containing 1870 inhabitants. This town is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Sligo, and on the north-eastern bank of the Shannon, over which is a bridge to a small suburb in the county of Roscommon, the tolls of which were granted, in 1684, to Sir George St. George, on condition of his keeping it in repair: the present structure, consisting of eleven arches, was built in 1718. It contains 321 houses, and is badly paved and not lighted. A small trade is carried on in coarse linen, druggets, frieze, and coarse flannel; and it is the chief market for grain and provisions in Leitrim, but is principally supplied from Roscommon. Great quantities of butter are sent to the Dublin and Newry markets, and a considerable quantity of yarn is sold. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on Jan. 18th, March 20th, May 12th, June 6th, Aug. 11th, Sept. 14th, Oct. 22nd, Nov. 21st, and Dec. 16th, and are the principal fairs in Leitrim for cattle. An enclosed market-place, with considerable accommodation, was erected by Mr. St. George, who is the owner in fee of the site of the town, but it is not much frequented. Great facilities for trade are afforded by the Shannon, which has lately been rendered navigable up to Lough Allen, by which this town is placed on one of the most important lines of communication in the island. A constabulary police force has been stationed here; and there are infantry barracks, which are unoccupied, although this is the only military station in the county.

This place was incorporated by Jas. I., in 1613, under the title of "The Provost, Free Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Carrigdrumruske;" and the corporation was composed of a provost, 12 free burgesses, and an indefinite number of freemen. The provost was elected on the 24th of June by the provost and burgesses, and was sworn in on the 29th of September. The free burgesses were elected by the provost and burgesses; no freemen have existed for a very long period, and the only officer appointed by the corporation was the weighmaster, who receives a compensation under the butter act, 10th of Geo. IV., c. 41. The borough sent two members to the Irish parliament, elected under the charter by the provost and free burgesses. On the abolition of its franchise, at the time of the Union, the £15,000 awarded as compensation was given to the Earl of Leitrim. No provost has been elected since 1826, and the corporation is virtually extinct. Under the charter a court of record was established, but it has not been held for many years; and there is no manor court within the borough, but a petty session is held every alternate Monday. This town being the capital of the county of Leitrim, the assizes are held here, as also the quarter sessions for the southern division of the county in January and July. The county court-house, bridewell, and gaol are situated in the town; the gaol is built in a polygonal form, having 10 wards with separate sleeping-cells for each prisoner, and a good tread-mill: the prisoners are taught reading and writing by the master and matron. The parish church of Kiltoghart, which, prior to 1698, was at a distance, was removed in that year by act of parliament into the town, and was erected on a plot of ground given by Sir George St. George, Bart.: it was rebuilt in 1829, by a loan of £2000 from the late Board of First Fruits, and is a handsome structure with a spire and a clock, which was given by C. Manners St. George, Esq.: this gentleman also presented, in 1857, a fine painting of the Nativity, by Plagemann, The R. C. chapel occupies a site given, with a plot of ground in the rear, in 1807, by Mr. St. George, who expended a considerable sum in finishing the interior, and built a gallery at his own expense. There are also places of worship for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and parochial schools. The county infirmary situated here is a good building, erected in 1800: attached to it is a dispensary. The number of infirmary patients is about 300, and of dispensary patients about 4000, annually. A loan fund has also been established, with a capital amounting to £2000. -See KILLUKEN and KILTOGHART.

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 Carrick-on-Shannon from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Leitrim is available to browse.