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Templenoe or New Church, Kerry

Historical Description

TEMPLENOE, or NEW CHURCH, a parish, in the barony of DUNKERRON, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from Kenmare, on the road to Sneem; containing 3882 inhabitants. It is situated on the northern shore of the estuary or bay of Kenmare, from which it extends towards the base of the mountains of Mangerton and Mac Gillicuddy's Reeks, and is bounded on the east by the river Finihy, and on the west by the Blackwater, both flowing into Kenmare bay. Near the shore are the ruins of the ancient castle of Dunkerron (once the chief seat of the O'Sullivan Mores), which gives name to the barony and also to the manor into which the possessions of the Earl of Shelburne were erected by patent in 1721, on the petition of that nobleman, for the purpose of establishing a legal course of justice in this part of the country, which he declared, on account of its remoteness, had never before existed. The patent granted to the earl and his heirs courts baron, with special power to take cognizance and hold pleas in all actions for debt, trespass, &c., not exceeding £20: the jurisdiction of this court, which is generally held every third week at Kenmare, extends over parts of the baronies of Dunkerron, Iveragh, and Glanerough. The parish consists chiefly of mountain and bog: about one-sixth of it only is under tillage; two-sixths are irreclaimable rocky mountain, affording, however, coarse pasturage; and the remaining three-sixths are capable of reclamation: there are about 130 acres of woodland. Limestone exists on the islands of Cappanacoss and Dunkerron, and on the contiguous shore, and indications of copper are to be seen at Gortamullen: sea-weed collected in the bay is generally used for manure. Some of the inhabitants are employed in fishing and dredging for lobsters. The Spaniards are said to have formerly carried on an extensive fishery in this bay, and there still exist on the opposite shore the remains of several long, low buildings erected by them and bearing the name of "fish palaces." The salmonhauling at the mouth of the Blackwater is noticed in the article on the village of that name. The principal seat is Dromore, the residence of the Rev. Denis Mahony, a noble edifice in the Gothic castellated style, lately erected on the shore of the bay, in the scenery of which it forms a striking feature; it commands a splendid and extensive prospect of the bay and of the bold and picturesque group of mountains on its southern shore; the demesne, which extends a considerable distance along the margin of the bay and the eastern bank of the Blackwater, has been much improved and extensively planted by the present proprietor: within it are the ruins of Cappanacoss castle, formerly belonging to a branch of the O'Sullivans; and adjoining the ruined castle of Dunkerron is the seat of that name, the residence of Dr. Taylor, formerly lecturer at the Royal Cork Institu-tion, a gentleman well known to the scientific world from his publications on botany, mineralogy, &c. The castles of Dunkerron and Cappanacoss are traditionally said to have been defended by their respective owners and founders, when attacked by Cromwell's forces. Merino Lodge is the residence of Edw. McSweeney, Esq. At Cappanacoss is a station of the constabulary police; and petty sessions for the Blackwater district are held at Cloverfield on the first Wednesday in each month. The parish is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and is a rectory and vicarage, forming part of the union of Kilcrohane: the tithes amount to £122. 6. 1¾. The church, a small plain building, situated about three-quarters of a mile to the west of the ancient edifice, was erected in 1816, at an expense of £700, of which £100 was contributed by the late Mr. Mahony, of Dromore, who also gave the site, and the remaining £600 was a gift from the late Board of First Fruits: it is fitted up with teak wood from the wreck of a vessel. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Kenmare: the ruins of the old church have been converted into a chapel. At Templenoe is a school supported by the Rev. D. Mahony; at Reen is another, supported by G. Langford, Esq.; and a third is held in the chapel under the superintendence of the R. C. clergyman: in these schools collectively about 110 children are educated. At Dreendroch is a cromlech.

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 Templenoe or New Church from the following:

Land and Property

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