UK Genealogy Archives logo
DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission.

Kilcoleman, Kerry

Historical Description

KILCOLEMAN, a parish, partly in the barony of MAGONIHY, but chiefly in that of TRUGHENACKMY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, on the mail road to Cahirciveen; containing, with the post-town of Milltown, 4970 inhabitants. In the reign of Hen. III., Geoffry de Mauriscis founded a priory at Killagh, for Canons Regular of the order of St. Augustine, which was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin: the abbot was a lord of parliament. It was endowed with large possessions in several parts of the county, which, together with the site, were at the dissolution granted to Capt. Spring, but were forfeited by him after the wars of 1641. The abbey now forms part of the estate of Sir J. Godfrey, Bart., to whose ancestor, Major Godfrey, the lands of Kilcoleman and the contiguous parishes of Killorglin, Kiltalla, and Kilgarrilander, were granted by Chas. II. on his restoration, when several English families settled here, some of whose descendants still remain. The parish, which is bounded on the north by the river Maine, and on the west by the harbour of Castlemaine, comprises 7589½ statute acres, of which 6634½ consist of arable and pasture land, 745 of bog, and 210 of woodland. The soil is mostly a heavy clay; it produces good crops of grain and potatoes, and the state of agriculture is gradually improving. The principal seat is Kilcoleman Abbey, the residence of Sir J. Godfrey, which has been lately remodelled in the Elizabethan style, and is surrounded by an extensive and finely wooded demesne. Attached to the demesne is a neat cottage, called Fort Agnes, built on the edge of a circular hollow surrounded by a Danish moat or rath, and thickly planted. The glebe-house, a substantial mansion, is the residence of the Rev. R. Hewson. The living is a perpetual cure, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and in the patronage of the representatives of Lord Glandore; the rectory is impropriate in the Hon. and Rev. F. Mullins, to whose lessees the tithes, amounting to £323. 1. 6., are entirely payable, and who allows a stipend to the curate. The church, at Milltown, is a neat edifice, with a lofty square tower, surmounted by octangular pinnacles; it was erected in 1822, on a site presented by Sir John Godfrey, by aid of two loans of £900 and £100 from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe-house was built about the same period, for which the Board granted £450 as a gift, and £50 as a loan: the glebe comprises eight acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Milltown, where the principal chapel is situated. In the public school at Milltown about 120 children are educated; and about 70 are taught in two private schools. Of the abbey, which was a building of considerable size and strength, and constructed of a kind of dark marble, the walls and the noble east window are still nearly entire, and, from the style of the architecture, appears to be of a more recent date than that of its original foundation. Near the abbey are the ruins of the old church, with a burial-ground attached, which is still used. Besides the fort already mentioned there are several others, commonly called "Danish" forts. See MILLTOWN.

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

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kilcoleman from the following:

Land and Property

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