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Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845


Milltown Malbay

A small town in the parish of Kilfarboy, barony of Ibrikane, co. Clare, Munster. It stands on the road from Ennistymon to Kilkee, 1 mile east of the head of a cove of Malbay, 6 south-south-west of Lehinch, 8 south-west by south of Ennistymon, 8 north-north-east of Doonbeg, 14 north-north-east of Kilkee, 15 west of Ennis, and 127 west-south-west of Dublin. The neighbouring sweep of coast, though not so bold and so continuously bluff as the stretch from Doonbeg to Loop Head, presents several ranges of lofty cliffs screened by low reefs of rocks, intersected or dissevered by sandy coves, and often sublimely at war with the infuriated billows of the Atlantic. The surrounding country is bleak and desolate, and consists of land of very diversified quality, all susceptible of much improvement. The roads also are bad; and the general economical interests of the district are broadly marred with the mischiefs of absenteeism. Yet in spite of so many and great disadvantages, Milltown-Malbay has become a favourite resort for summer sea-bathers, and is in a highly prosperous condition. Previous to the close of 1837, no fewer than 204 very fine lodges had been built for the accommodation of visitors. A large portion of the increase to the town, -however, including the main group of the lodges, and what is called the Atlantic hotel, -really constitute a new town, 1 mile west of the old one, and situated closely adjacent to the shore; and a race course has been laid out immediately south-east of the new town. The principal villas and lodges within 1 mile of either the old town or the new, are Prospect-lodge, Victoria-cottage, Millford-house Knockatanvally-house, Ballinphonta, Illaun-house, Berry-lodge, Emlagh-house, Quilty-house, Kildeema-house, Cahirrush-house, Cassino-lodge, Emmaville, Carraghduff-house, Sandhurst-cottage, Loo-cottage, Sandfield-cottage, Seaview, Billowville, Eyreville, Eller's-lodge, Baker's-lodge, Fara-house, Littleton-lodge, Milltown-house, Woodbine-cottage, Goodland-cottage, Wellington-cottage, Shepherd-hill-house, Westpark-house, Greenlawn, Cloonbony-house, Merville-house, Carrickpatrick-house, Bellmount, Mount-prospect, and Freagh-castle. Mr. Hely Dutton said, respecting Milltown-Malbay in 1808, "Milltown, through the exertions of the proprietor, Mr. Morony, is likely to become one of the best inhabited parts of the county. A few years since there was scarcely a house but his own; but now there may be seen in every direction a great number of neat lodges. Mr. Morony's gardens are amongst the best in the county; though close to the shore of the Atlantic, they produce the greatest abundance of the choicest kinds of fruits and vegetables; but any part of a tree, that rises above the wall, is immediately destroyed. A very handsome church has been lately built at Milltown; but, though it was ridiculed at first as too large, it is found now to be much too small for the great accession of genteel inhabitants. Mr Morony is now building at Spanish Point elegant and commodious hot and cold baths, and a hotel, capable of containing upwards of sixty single beds, with spacious assembly rooms, &c., &c. Races are often run here, as another amusement for the lodgers. A great natural curiosity may be seen near Mr. Hare's house, called the Puffing Hole; it spouts the water to a considerable height with great force, and, when the sun shines, forms at each emission of the water a beautiful iris." The church and the Roman Catholic chapel are situated at respectively the south end and the north end of the old town. Fairs are held on Feb. 1, March 9, May 4, June 20, Aug. 11, Sep. 10, Oct. 18, and Dec. 9. Courts of petty-sessions are held on Thursdays. The Milltown-Malbay dispensary is within the Ennistymon Poor-law union, serves for a district of 29,591 acres, with a pop. of 14,822; and, in 1839-40, it expended 98 4s., and made 3,543 dispensations of medicine. In 1841, the Milltown-Malbay Loan Fund had a capital of 668, circulated 3,413 in 1,564 loans, and cleared a nett profit of 21 9s. 6d. Area of the town, 32 acres. Pop., in 1831, 726; in 1841, 1,295. Houses 213. Families employed chiefly in agriculture, 70; in manufactures and trade, 164; in other pursuits, 40. Families dependent chiefly on property and professions, 15; on the directing of labour, 148; on their own manual labour, 99; on means not specified, 12.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, 1845
Courtesy of Clare Local Studies Project

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