Mason's Parochial Survey, 1814-19

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Union of Kilrush, Killard, Kilfieragh, Moyferta, and Kilballyhone

II. Mines, Minerals, &c.

Mineral wells
There are no mines now open in the union, but strong indications of iron are to be found in many parts. At Ballykett, Monmore, Fierd, and many other places, are chalybeate wells of considerable strength; particularly at Monmore, which, a few years ago, was frequented in the Summer time by multitudes of invalids, many of whom were willing to ascribe the salutary effects of a morning’s walk, and a draught of good water to the overruling influences of some tutelary saint.

Manganese, Coal, Limestone
The following minerals were found here some time ago by Mr. Donald Stewart and others, who deposited specimens of them in the Museum of the Dublin Society, viz. manganese, from the Spa well of Fierd, on the sea shore, near Cross, the estate of Mr. Westby. Specimens of this ore were sent to Mr. Roe, at Ringsend, and others, who stated, that it was more free from iron, better than they had seen before, and very fit for making the bleaching liquid: it is formed by water on the rocks. Heavy porous iron manganese is found at Kilcredane point, near Carrigaholt Castle, the estate of the Honourable Colonel Burton. Coal, from a thin seam, in a stream dividing the estates of Lord Milton and the representatives of Lord Clare, near the sea shore, to the west of Carrigaholt Castle, where also are strong indications of the same mineral. Black limestone, from large stones, found within the high water mark on the shore of the Shannon, about two miles north of Carrigaholt Castle, on the estate of Mr. Macdonnel, of New Hall. The cliffs at the white strand of Moyarta contain a considerable quantity of loose limestones of a smaller size, some kilns of which were burned by the late Mr. Johnson, who had a bathing lodge near Carrigaholt; between which and the village of Cross, a great part of the road is almost paved with limestone. These are indications of the existence of limestone quarries, which, if once discovered, would prove a great source of wealth to the barony of Moyarta.

Potter’s Clay, Flag Quarries, Grit Stone
There are also in these parishes, and more particularly in Kilrush, valuable clays for potteries, and for the manufacture of brick; several kilns of which have been burned in the townland of Monmore. At Knockerry, is an excellent quarry of flags, and another at Tullagower, in the parish of Kilrush. These flags are of the grit kind, generally from four to eight feet long, and from two to four feet wide. The smaller kinds are often used for slating houses, but require a strong roof to support their weight. From their durability and roughness, these flags are considered better than limestone for footpaths, and the floors of shops, kitchens and cellars; and are therefore brought in great quantities to Limerick, Tarbert, Milltown, and other places. At Kilrush is the great grit stone quarry of Crag, impending over the town. Round the base of the hill in which this quarry lies, and in the areas of almost all the houses lately built here, are deep beds of excellent building sand. The adjoining bogs afford plenty of fuel to burn limestone, which, as before observed, may be brought from the neighbouring county of Limerick, by water carriage; and, by the same conveyance, an abundant supply of Killaloe and Broadford slates may be at all times had. From these rarely combined circumstances, with the frequent arrival of foreign timber at the port of Kilrush, it is evident, that as great facilities for building exist in it, as in any other part of Ireland.

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