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Kilmelchedor or Kilmalkeader, Kerry

Historical Description

KILMELCHEDOR, or KILMALKEADER, a parish, in the barony of CORKAGUINEY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 2½ miles (N. N. W.) from Dingle, on the eastern side of Smerwick harbour; containing 2288 inhabitants. It comprises 11,129 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, which chiefly consist of mountain pasture and bog. From the improvement of the roads in this district, and the abundance of sea manure, the state of agriculture is gradually improving: some of the inhabitants are employed in the fishery of Smerwick harbour, and salmon is taken at the mouth of the Moorstown river, which runs into the harbour, and partly bounds the parish on the north. It is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe: the rectory is partly impropriate in Lord Ventry, and the remainder, with the vicarage, one-fifth of the rectory of Ardfert, and the entire rectory of Fenit, constituting the union and corps of the chancellorship of the cathedral of Ardfert, in the gift of the Bishop. The tithes amount to £83, of which £13 is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the incumbent; the entire tithes of the benefice amount to £222. 15. 4½. There is no church or glebe-house, but there is a glebe of about 11 acres. In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Keel or Terreter, which also comprises the parishes of Dunurlin, Donquin, Kilquane, and Marhyn, and the detached portion of South Cloghane called the Lateeves. There is a chapel at Carrig, near the village of Muriagh, in this parish; and another at Boulteens, in the parish of Dunurlin. The parochial school, established in 1834, is chiefly supported by the incumbent; and there is a school under the superintendence of the R. C. clergyman, in which about 120 children are educated. The parish is remarkable for its remains of antiquity, among which the most curious is one of the stone-roofed anchorite cells, supposed to be the most ancient description of buildings in Ireland, except the round towers. It is about 20 feet long, 10 wide, and 20 high, with a small door at one end and a neat window at the other, and is formed by a kind of parabolic arch entirely of stone, strongly jointed, but without mortar: it is still nearly perfect. Near it is the ancient castle of Gallerus, built by one of the Knights of Kerry. The church of Kilmelchedor, now in ruins, is one of the oldest in the county, and is said to have been built by the Spaniards: at the entrance. is a finely sculptured Norman arch. Some of the tombstones are inscribed with Ogham and other ancient characters, and in the churchyard is a curious ancient stone cross of considerable size. At Kill are the ruins of a friary, also supposed to have been founded by the Spaniards when they colonised this district; and in the vicinity are the remains of an old fortification, and another stone-roofed cell, but in a less perfect state than the preceding. The beautiful crystals called Kerry diamonds" are found on the rocky shore of this parish.

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 Kilmelchedor or Kilmalkeader from the following:


Land and Property

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

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