CROGHAN townland

Killukin BoyleCounty Roscommon

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Cruachán

Cruachán aka CROGHAN (Boyle, Co. Roscommon) derives its name from Croghan Hill. This ancient Gaelic placename for a small round hill (located on the northern approach to the village, on the road to Boyle) was applied to the village and townland in which it sits. Technically it belongs to the civil parish of KILLUKIN (Boyle).   

In terms of ancient ringforts, it has only one small one, and should not be confused with the ancient seat of Cruachán Ai aka Rathcroghan [par. Elphin, bar. Roscommon]. The placename "Croghan" can also be found in counties Mayo, Offaly, Tipperary, and Louth.  

"Croghan, Co. Roscommon" - as an ancestral place of origin - does not necessarily mean the village of Croghan itself. It was the nearest post town for a much wider community.

Croghan Village (7 km north of Elphin; 10 km west of Carrick-on-Shannon) was was a population centre for the civil parishes of ESTERSNOW, KILLUKIN, KILLUMMOD, and parts of KILCOLAGH East and TUMNA South.  It was the electoral district (Census DED) for some townlands within those parishes, and also served as nearest market town and Petty Court. ​​

The Catholic Parish of Croghan (aka Killucan and Killummod aka Croghan and Ballinameen) was formed in 1858 to reflect the above. 

17th CENTURY CROGHAN

Before Cromwell, Croghan was no more than a townland with one ringfort.  In 1641, it was the Catholic-owned property of Liam Ó Maolaodha of Uachtar Tíre aka  William O'Mulloy “the great O'Mulloy, of Ughterhera, Co. Roscommon, knight of the shire and governor of that county.”

Between 1641 and 1653 Ireland was devastated by Oliver Cromwell's English reconquest of the island. Consequently, Croghan was awarded to Capt. Owen Lloyd of Co. Leitrim (d.1664) for his services to the crown.

While Killappoge and Enagh are recorded in Petty's Map of 1657, Croghan is not. By the time of the Census of 1659, the townland of Croghan had a total of 16 inhabitants - all English. 

18th CENTURY CROGHAN

It wasn't until the Lloyds of Norfolk inherited the estate that the development of Croghan began. At first, the Lloyds built 3 smaller Georgian gentlemen's residences: the manor of Croghan (near where the GAA Club Rooms now stand) Fairview and the Hermitage.  

By the time of the Elphin Census of 1749, Croghan townland was home to 12 households (10 of which were Catholic).  A merchant (PM Donnellan, Papist) had set up shop nearby (on the site of St. Michael's Church) and a weaver (WM Goodfellow, Protestant) was also trading in Croghan at this time. Weaving was the chief trade for men during this time; the women spinning flax. The linens manufactured in Croghan were mostly of the coarse and narrow kinds; drugget, frieze, and flannel.  [see Flaxgrower's List 1796]. Croghan had no market. 

Farming here were two additional Donnellan households. Croghan's cottier households (all Catholic) numbered 7, most of whom would have been labouring for J. Lloyd ("spinster"?) who was residing at Croghan manor with 8 children and 7 servants.

In 1796, as Penal Laws relaxed for Catholics, Donnellan's shop (a thatched building) changed use to Croghan RC Chapel.

Croghan Households 1749 [Census of Elphin]​

Protestant landed gentry: Ms. J Lloyd  of Croghan House

Protestant Weavers: WM Goodfellow

Wealthier Catholics: Je Donnellan (farmer); JC Donnellan (farmer); PM Donnellan (merchant)

Catholics cottiers/ cottagers: BM Cloghran; PP Connellan / ConlonJC Dillon; JJ McSharry; WM Rogers; C Tanist. 

19th CENTURY CROGHAN

By 1816, Croghan had a parish school (Hibernian Sunday School Society) and its own bi-annual cattle fairs (June and October). Croghan Fair was much celebrated, drawing crowds from across the west for its Croghan Shorthorn. At this time, Pat Browne Esq. resided at the manor of Croghan.

In 1826, Croghan Dispensary was established. By then, Croghan also had its own constabulary police station, and a small courtroom where petty sessions were held every Tuesday. 

By 1830 an estate mansion, Croghan House, had been built as a residence for Guy Lloyd Esq. (1803-1860) Croghan village consisted of 20 houses all on one side of the road (facing east towards the big house). The reason the village was designed in this way was that Lloyd didn't want the smell from their outhouses and other activities wafting anywhere near his fine residence. Lloyd also encouraged improvements along the roadside of other townlands leading into the village. 

"If" said Mr Weld in 1832, "a position be taken on an eminence near the village, which extends an extensive view, on looking eastward along the road leading to the Shannon, the whole country as far as the eye can reach in that direction appears studded with whitened cottages. These are the erection of Mr. Lloyd: in other words, he insists upon improvements being made by his tenants and grants a considerable allowance for the purpose out of their rents."

In 1833 a loan fund was established by Mr. Lloyd, with a capital of £500. Under the encouragement of Guy Lloyd, Croghan quickly became a progressive agricultural centre.

In 1837, Croghan was mapped by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland for the first time and Samuel Lewis described Croghan in his Topographical Survey of Ireland. 

In 1845, Great Famine hit Croghan badly as it did most everywhere in Co. Roscommon and by 1850 the Catholic Clergy had turned on Lloyd

In 1858, the Catholic Parish of Croghan was formed (amalgamating the parishes of Tumna South, Killukin, Killummod and the eastern parts of Kilcola and Eastersnow). Guy Lloyd laid the foundation stone for Croghan's St Michael's RC Church in 1859. The Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, near Croghan House, followed in 1861. 

In 1889, Croghan's GAA Club was formed. In 1898, Croghan was one of the first to see a Co-operative creamery established.

TODAY

Croghan today, with all of its original village buildings still intact and in active use, is certainly worth a visit. It has an abundance of local historians, such as Tom Mullaney, and Croghan's Tidy Towns committee, committed to conservation, has a high level of community participation.  

Check out the old pound, old painted agriculture machinery (and a cartwheel), and the restored pumps at both ends of the village. The churches of St. Michael's [RC] and Holy Trinity [CofI] are also well-maintained.   An engaging community centre stands on the site of the old creamery, and the Shannon Gaels GAA Club (on the site of Croghan Demesne) is also very active here. 

Croghan is flourishing again, as it continues to serve its growing community: among its most recent additions are three new housing estates, a newly-constructed 6-teacher primary school.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Croghan 1832 [Weld's Survey] p.187 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Townland of Croghan residents 1835 [TA] Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Croghan 1837 [Lewis' Survey] Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Townland of Croghan residents 1858 [GV] Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Village of Croghan residents 1858 [GV] Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Townland of Croghan residents 1901 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
!NOT ONLINE! Townland of Croghan 1911 Census Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Croghan ORIENTATION Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Croghan PLACENAME archive Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Croghan Folklore (Duchas collection) 1830s-1930s Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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