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County Clare: A History and Topography 1837 by Samuel Lewis


A parish, in the barony of Corcomroe, county of Clare, and province of Munster, 4 miles (W.) from Ennistymon, on the north side of Liscanor bay on the western coast ; containing 3343 inhabitants. Within its limits is the headland called Hag’s Head, a lofty basaltic promontory situated in lat. 52 16’ 40", and lon. 9 25’ 20" ; from this point the cliffs gradually ascend to Moher, where they attain their greatest elevation, and are estimated to be about 600 feet above the level of the sea. The waves here break with tremendous force against the rocks ; part of the Spanish Armada was, in 1588, wrecked on the shore. On the most elevated point of these stupendous cliffs an ornamental building in the castellated style is now being erected by Cornelius O’Brien, Esq., for the accommodation of visiters to this bold and iron-bound coast, from which is obtained a magnificent view embracing nearly the whole line of coast from Loop Head to the northern extremity of the bay of Galway, together with the Arran Isles and a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Puffins are taken here by persons who are suspended over the lofty precipices, in the cavities of which these birds deposit their young. The parish comprises 5492 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which a considerable portion consists of mountain pasture : the arable land is generally manured with sea weed and sand, and the state of agriculture is generally improving. The gentlemen’s seats are Birchfield, the residence of Cornelius O’Brien, Esq., who has much improved his estate and the condition of his tenantry by the erection of neat slated cottages and farm-buildings, and by other judicious arrangements ; and Moher, of J. MacNamara, Esq. The parish is in the diocese of Kilfenora : the rectory forms part of the corps of the archdeaconry, and the vicarage part of the union of Kilmanaheen, in the gift of the Bishop. The tithes amount to 230. 15. 53/4., and there is a glebe of 21/2 acres. In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Liscanor, which also includes the parish of Killaspuglenane ; the chapel is at Liscanor, and there is also a chapel for the rural district : near the former is a school. The ruins of the ancient church retain several fine specimens of arches and mouldings now imbedded in the walls. At Dough and Liscanor are the ruined castles respectively so called ; and near Birchfield is a holy well, dedicated to St. Bridget, and much resorted to by the peasantry, which, at Mr. O’Brien’s expense, has been surrounded by tasteful plantations and rustic seats, and at the entrance is a neat lodge. -See Liscanor.

County Clare A History and Topography by Samuel Lewis
Courtesy of Clare Local Studies Project

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