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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).

CLONSILLAGH, a parish in the barony of CASTLE-KNOCK, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 7 miles (N. W.) from Dublin city centre; containing 954 inhabitants, and comprising 2943 statute acres, the whole of which is arable land. There are limestone quarries in the parish, and an extensive flour-mill on the river Liffey erected on the site of a very ancient one, called "the Devil's Mill," from its having been erected, according to tradition, in one night. The Royal Canal passes through the parish.

  • Woodlands, formerly called Luttrell's Town and the seat of the Earls of Carhampton, is now the property and residence of Col. T. White. The demesne includes above 648 statute acres, exceedingly picturesque; the mansion is a noble building, in the castellated style, and is said to contain a room in which king John slept : that monarch granted the estate to the Luttrell family. In a glen, a stream, which is supplied from a beautiful lake in the park, of 20 acres, rolls over a rocky bed and forms a cascade a out 30 feet high.

The other seats are

  • Coolmine, the residence of A. Fitzpatrick, Esq. ;
  • Clonsillagh, of R. H. French, Esq.;
  • Broomfield of the Rev. S. Thompson ;
  • Clonsillagh, of Ignatius Callaghan, Esq. ;
  • Hansfield, of T. Willan, Esq. ; and
  • Phibblestown, of Capt. R. H. Reid, R.N.

The parish formerly belonged to the prior of Malvern in Worcestershire. It is a rectory, in diocese of Dublin, and is part of the union of Castleknock : the tithes amount to £240. The church is a small neat building.

In the Roman Catholic divisions it also forms part of the union or district of Castleknock and has a neat chapel at Porterstown, built by the late L. White Esq., who also built a schoolhouse, with apartments for the master and mistress: the school is supported by subscription, and there is one on the lower road, near the Liffey; they afford instruction to about 90 children.

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