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Rattoo, Kerry

Historical Description

RATTOO, a parish, in the barony of CLANMAURICE, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 7 miles (W. by S.) from Listowel, on the road from Tralee to Ballybunnian, by Cashen ferry; containing 3117 inhabitants. In ancient writings this place is called "Rathtoy," and from the term "Burgess lands" being applied to designate some grounds in the vicinity, it is supposed that Rattoo was formerly a corporate town: it is also said to have had seven churches, and to have been once the seat of a bishoprick, a statement which its ancient round tower seems to countenance. An abbey of Canons Regular of St. Augustine (originally a preceptory belonging to the Knights Hospitallers) was founded here by one Friar William and confirmed by Miler Fitz Miler, in the reign of King John. It was subsequently occupied by Aroasian Canons, and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul; the abbot was a lord of parliament. In 1600 the buildings were fortified by the Irish, but burned on the approach of Sir Chas. Wilmot's forces, by whom the castle of Rattoo was taken and garrisoned. The parish is situated at the confluence of the rivers Feale and Brick, and comprises 7624 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4082 per annum. About two-thirds of the land are arable, and the remainder, with the exception of about 730 acres of bog, consists of coarse pasture. The surface is in some parts hilly, but the lower grounds are marshy, being generally inundated in winter, but made available by extensive drainage for tillage and pasture. About 100 acres have been embanked by T. A. Stoughton, Esq., and are now in a high state of cultivation; sea weed is generally used for manure, and the state of agriculture is progressively improving. There are several quarries of good brown stone, used for building, and a flag-stone quarry, which has not yet been much worked. Several boats and lighters are employed in fishing and in the conveyance of sea manure. Fairs and petty sessions are held at Benmare, which see. The seats are Ballyhorgan, the residence of T. A. Stoughton, Esq.; Rattoo Lodge, of W. T. Gun, Esq.; Bushmount, of Dominick Rice, Esq.; Millview, of Kerry Supple, Esq.; and Dromartin, of J. Creagh, Esq. The living is an impropriate cure, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe; the rectory is impropriate in T. A. Stoughton, Esq., who is patron of the curacy: the tithes amount to £285, the whole of which is payable to the impropriator, who allows £10 per ann. to the incumbent of Killury for discharging the clerical duties. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Killury or Causeway, and has a chapel at Ballyduff. About 150 children are educated in three private schools. There are no remains of the castle, but those of the abbey still exist, and, together with the adjoining lofty round tower which is still entire and clothed with ivy, form an interesting and picturesque group.

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 Rattoo from the following:

Land and Property

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