Mason's Parochial Survey, 1814-19

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Union of Kilmanaheen, Kilasbuglenane, Kilmacreehy, Kileilagh and Kilmoon

II. Mines, Minerals, &c.

Mines and minerals must certainly exist in this union from the appearance of the ground, particularly iron and coal mines. It abounds with hills, and at the foot of almost every hill there is a strong chalybeate spa. To the south-east of the Signal Tower, at the distance of about a mile and a half inland, is a large well of strong chalybeate water, that is reputed to have, by frequent application, effected a cure on sores, and particularly on sore eyes.

Spa
The parish of Kilmoon, in a part called Listoonvarna, has a noted spa, which was analysed by Doctor Lucas, and pronounced by him the most powerful spa he ever met for removing obstructions, particularly from the liver. He declared it contained more of the quality of Lapis Hibernicus, than any spa he could ever find out in Ireland. It is resorted to very much in the season, is allowed by those who use it to be very powerful; and all acknowledge to receive very great benefit from it. It would be much more resorted to than it is, if the accommodations were better.

Coals
At the south-west part of the parish of Kilmanaheen, and not far from the sea, Mr. Edward Fitz Gerald, father to one of our representatives in Parliament, sunk a pit exploring for coal. He sunk some feet below the surface of the sea, and found only colum that would not defray the expense of raising it. The surface of the ground for some miles inland, to the south-east from this point, resembles exactly the surface of the colliery near Castlecomer. It may be presumed, therefore, they did not sink deep enough to find the coal. To the due north of this point, at the opposite side of the bay of Liscannor, Mr. Fitz Gerald sunk a similar pit with no better success. There are no quarries worth mentioning.

Natural Manures
The natural manures consist of the floating sea-weed, which is thrown in, in great abundance at every storm, and of sea sand every where near the shore. Beside these, the productions of the shore consist of shell-fish, such as lympins and perriwinkles, and also lobsters and crabs.

Fish
On this coast there is an abundance of fish, among which there is a good supply of turbot in the summer season; cod, haddock, ling, &c. in winter season. All are caught with spillers without the aid of trouls, as they have in Dublin bay, or even of fishing-boats, for want of a quay that would afford them shelter and security. Trout and salmon in the season come from the sea, as far as the cascade of Ennistymon river; these are also found in Ballingaddy river from June to October.

Plants
There are wild plants in great abundance all over the union. Such as choose to take trouble of rearing plants in their gardens may have then in great abundance and very luxuriantly, with the help of the sea sand. This can be asserted from experience. In the Archdeacon’s garden there is a great variety of plants, such as balm, sage, thyme, pennyroyal, rosemary, camomile, horehound, &c.

Sea Weed
The sea weeds are of different kinds; one is a short weed that grows out of the rocks, it is cut every third year, and produces the best kind of kelp; sometimes the floating weed is mixed with this in burning, and the kelp made of the two jointly is reckoned of inferior quality. There is another weed called long sea grass, which when boiled is eatable: another kind of short sea-grass, with shells sticking to the rocks, is very good when properly dressed. There is another sea weed called slouk, which grows out of the rocks, and its delicious. This weed is of a very fine texture, begins to grow in November and ceases to grow the latter end of March.

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