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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, 1837. (The information collected here was submitted by members of the local gentry and clergy of the time).

BASLICK, a parish, in the barony of BALLINTOBBER, county of ROSCOMMON, and province of CONNAUGHT, 5 miles (N.E.) from Castlerea; containing 3574 inhabitants.

This parish, which was anciently called Baisleac-mor, is situated on the road from Elphin to Castlerea, and comprises 6560 statute acres. According to the Annals of the Four Masters and other authorities, here was an abbey in the time of St. Patrick, of which St. Sacell was abbot or bishop; and in the year 800, St. Cormac, its abbot, died here.

The state of agriculture is almost wholly unimproved; there is little woodland, except in the demesnes of the several seats; of the remainder of the parish, about three-fourths are arable and one-fourth pasture, or what is called "Bottom" land. There are several quarries of limestone, used only in constructing the fences.

The gentlemen's seats are

  • Rathmile House, that of Rich. Irwin, Esq.;
  • Milton, of Roderic O'Connor, Esq.;
  • Emla, of Rob. Irwin, Esq.;
  • Heathfield, of Nicholas Balfe, Esq.; and
  • Ballyglass, of R. Kelly, Esq.

Fairs are held at Castle-Plunkett on the first Thursday in May (O.S.) and on Aug. 18th and Oct. 11th. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Elphin, and forms part of the union of Ballintobber ; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Essex: the tithes amount to £350, payable in moieties to the impropriator and the vicar.

The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel is a small building on the townland of Kilmurry.

The remains of the old parish church are situated within a cemetery enclosed by iron railings and still used for interment.

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