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Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845



A parish, containing a village of the same name, in the barony of Upper Bunratty, co. Clare, Munster. Length, south-west by westward, 5 miles; extreme breadth, 3; area, 9,584 acres, 3 roods, 31 perches, of which, 232 acres, 1 rood, 32 perches are in Lough Cullaunyheeda, and 72 acres, 3 roods, 37 perches are in small lakes. Pop., in 1831, 2,918; in 1841, 3,634. Houses 569. The surface descends to within 2 miles of the head of the estuary of the Fergus, and is watered nearly through the centre by the river Rine. Lough Cullaunyheeda lies on the eastern boundary. The land comprises a large proportion of bog and natural pasture; yet consists, to a considerable extent, of good arable ground. In the southern district are several caves; and on the estate of Quinville in the north-west, are valuable lead mines, opened in 1835. The seats are Ballykilty, Abbeyview, Rathluby-house, Dangan-house, Knockpogue-castle, Coogaan-house, and Quinville-abbey, the last the residence of John Singleton, Esq.; the chief antiquities are a cromlech, Quin-abbey, Quin-church, the ruins of five castles, Shankill-church, and the ruins of Earl's-house; and the principal hamlets are Ballyhannan, Keevagh, and Carrowroe. The road from Killaloe to Ennis, the road from Newmarket to Crusheen, and the direct road from Limerick to Kilfenora, pass through the interior.

The lead and silver mines of Kilbricken, situated within the adjoining parish of Doora, 2 miles north-west of the village of Quin, may be noticed in this place. "In the year 1833, attention was awakened by the circumstance of the accidental discovery of lead ore, by persons in his employment, on the estate of John M'Donnell, Esq., of New Hall, near Ennis. The first specimens were found by persons while cutting the new line of road between Moriesk and the new town of Clare; after which more important discoveries were made on the farm of Moniuve, by the tenant, John Egan, while cutting a drain through his bog. The specimens and description of soil and calcareous spar, in which these stones of ore were discovered, having been submitted to the inspection of Mr. Taylor, in London, he determined on sending agents to examine the district, and in consequence of their report, some experienced miners were despatched from England, through whose exertions about twenty-five tons of lead ore were raised and shipped, which sold at a very high price, being found to assay for lead 76 per cent., and for silver 120 ounces per ton. At this time, however, the rush of water from the surrounding bogs was found to be an insuperable obstacle to further progress, without the aid of machinery, and it was then determined to stay the proceedings until a steam-engine of sufficient power to contend against the difficulty should be despatched from England. This engine was erected and put to work in 1837; operations are now going on upon an extensive scale, and great hopes are entertained of a successful result, but it is too soon to form an accurate opinion upon this point."

The village of Quin stands on the road from Newmarket to Crusheen, and on the right bank of the river Rine, 3 miles east of Clare, and 3 north by east of Newmarket-on-Fergus. Area, 19 acres. Pop., in 1831, 173; in 1841, 173. Houses 30. Fairs are held on July 7 and Nov. 1. A dispensary here is within the Ennis Poor-law union, and serves for a district containing a pop. of 10,650; and, in 1839-40, it received 122 11s., and expended 146 3s. The village itself is a wretched collection of poor cabins; but it contains the modern and substantial though plain church and Roman Catholic chapel of the parish, the ruins of the old church, and the unroofed but otherwise well-preserved pile of Quin-abbey, one of the most perfect and imposing old monastic edifices in Ireland. The abbey is a beautiful, strong building of black marble, erected in 1402, repaired in 1604, and surmounted by a lofty square tower; and it is described in the following terms by Bishop Pococke: "Quin is one of the finest and most entire monasteries that I have seen in Ireland; it is situated on a fine stream, with an ascent of several steps to the church; at the entrance one is surprised with the view of the high altar entire, and of an altar on each side of the arch of the chancel. To the south is a chapel with three or four altars in it, and a very Gothic figure in relief of some saint; on the north side of the chancel is a fine monument of the family of the Macnamaras of Rance, erected by the founder; on a stone by the altar the name of Kennedye appears in large letters; in the middle, between the body and the chancel, is a fine tower built on the gable ends. The cloister is in the usual form, with couplets of pillars, but is particular in having buttresses round it by way of ornament; there are apartments on three sides of it,-the refectory, the dormitory, and another grand room to the north of the chancel, with a vaulted room under them all; to the north of the large room is a closet, which leads through a private way to a very strong round tower, the walls of which are near ten feet thick. In the front of the monastery is a building, which, seems to have been an apartment for strangers, and to the south-west are two other buildings." Mr. Dutton, in his statistical survey of the county, published in 1808, states that the abbey remained nearly in the same state as when described by Bishop Pococke, but greatly disfigured by the custom of burying within its walls; and Mr. Trotter, who visited it in 1817, says, "We were astonished at beholding it. Quin-abbey is one of the most perfect ruins in Ireland, and of wonderful beauty. Its tower, cloisters, and aisles deserve great attention. There we saw an incredible quantity of bones and skulls, long blanched by Time's resistless hand-they were piled in great quantities in the abbey." The south end is much superior in neatness of execution to the adjoining parts; and a curious representation of the crucifixion occurs in stucco, on the wall near the high altar, but seems to have escaped the observation of most writers of Irish books of travels. The original abbey, or some ecclesiastical foundation on its site, is alleged to have been built at an early period, and was destroyed by fire in 1278; and the present structure was erected in 1402, by Mac-Cam-Dall MacNamara, lord of Glancoilean, and was granted in Dec. 1583, with its manors and advowsons of Dareunwall, Ichanee, Downagour, and various other possessions, to Sir Turlough O'Brien of Ennistymon.

Quin parish is a rectory and a vicarage, in the dio. of Killaloe. The rectory is part of the sinecure benefice of OGASHIN. Tithe composition, 71 1s. 6d. The vicarage, jointly with the vicarages of CLONEY and DOWRY, constitutes the benefice of Quin. Vicarial tithe composition of the parish of Quin, 81 4s. 7d. A proportion of tithes called the prebendal, and amounting, in compounded value, to 23 1s. 6 d., in each parish of the benefice, is appropriated to the prebend of Tulloh. Length and breadth of the parochial union of Quin, each 7 miles. Pop., in 1831, 8,548. Gross income, 302 3s. 10d.; nett, 268 6s. 7d. Patron, the Earl of Egremont. The church was built about the year 1792, by means of a gift of 461 10s. 9d. from the late Board of First Fruits. Sittings 200; attendance 55. The Roman Catholic chapels of Quin, Cloney, and Dowry, have an attendance of respectively 650, 500, and 300; and, in the Roman Catholic parochial arrangement, are mutually united. In 1834, the Protestants of the parish amounted to 40, and the Roman Catholics to 3,093; the Protestants of the union, inclusive of 8 dissenters, to 84, and the Roman Catholics to 9,094; 2 daily schools in the parish, one of which was in connection with the Kildare Place Society,-had on their books 95 boys and 42 girls; and 4 daily schools in the union had on their books 225 boys and 104 girls.

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

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