Burriscarra in the 1830s

1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described by Samuel Lewis in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" 1837.

BURRISCARRA, a parish in the barony of CARRA, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 5.75 miles (N.N.W.) from Hollymount; containing 1535 inhabitants.

This place was distinguished at a very early period for its monastery of Carmelites or White Friars, which Pope John XXIII gave to Eremites of the Augustinian order in 1412; it existed until the general dissolution, and there are still some small remains of the ancient buildings, which appear to have been extensive and of elegant character.

The parish is situated upon Lough Carra, and within a mile and a half of the road from Castlebar to Dublin: it comprises 4510 statute acres as applotted under the tithe act; the land is of a slight sandy quality; there is but a small quantity of bog.

The principal seats are:

  • Moore Hall, that of G. Moore, Esq., beautifully situated on Lough Carra, in an extensive demesne richly planted;
  • Tower Hill, of Major Blake;
  • Carnacon, of J. McDonnell, Esq.;
  • Clogher of Crean Lynch, Esq.; and
  • Castlecarra of T. Lynch, Esq.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Tuam, episcopally united for more than 65 years to the rectories and vicarages of Ballyhane and Ballyovey, together forming the union of Burriscarra, in the patronage of the Archbishop:

  • the tithes amount to £65, and of the whole benefice to £368 14s. 9.50 d.
  • The church of the union is in Ballyhane; there is neither glebe-house nor glebe.

In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Ballintobber: the chapel, a good cruciform building, erected in 1835 at an expense of £2000, and decorated with a painting of the crucifixion, is situated at Carnacon.

A school of 60 boys and 20 girls is held in the chapel.

There are some remains of a nunnery and a very fine mineral spring.

SOURCE: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (pub 1837)

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