1st January 1837
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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).

FUERTY, a parish, in the barony of ATHLONE, county of ROSCOMMON, and province of CONNAUGHT, 3.50 miles (w. by s.) from Roscommon; containing 5611 inhabitants.

It is intersected from north to south by the river Suck, which is crossed by a long causeway bridge at Castlestrange and another at Castlecoote, and comprises 8989 statute acres, of which 8782 are applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £6705 per annum; about 800 acres are bag, and 130 woodlands; the remainder is arable and pasture. There are quarries of limestone, which is abundant; and an excellent quarry of grit-stone of peculiar solidity and hardness. At Castlecoote are extensive flour-mills, producing 10,000 bags annually, and employing more than 40 men; and there is a nursery of forest and fruit trees. Fairs are held on Aug. 4th and Nov 21st, for the sale of live stock, linen, frieze, &c.

The principal seats are:

  • Castle-strange, the residence of E. Mitchell, Esq. ;
  • Rockley Park, of D. Merry, Esq.;
  • Caolmeen, of J. Mitchell, Esq,;
  • Emla, of Edward Harrisan, Esq. ;
  • Cloverhill, of J. Hurst, Esq. ; and
  • Castlecoote the property of Sir C. H. Coote, Bart and in the occupation of Bernard Dowall, Esq. and 
  • Mount Prospect, the property of Sir C. H. Coote, Bart.

It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Elphin, forming part of the union of Athleague; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Essex. The tithes amount to £240, of which £156. 18s 5.50d., is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar.

  • The glebe house was built, in 1827, by a gift of £400, and a loan of £50, from the late Board of First Fruits: there is a glebe of 18 acres, 6 of which are good arable, the remainder being very inferior land.
  • The church is a neat building with a square tower in an unfinished state, in good repair; it contains some handsome monuments to the Mitchell family.

The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and contains a chapel on the townland of Creevemully (now Creemully), a neat building in good repair.

Here are five public schools under the Elphin Diocesan society and the London and Ladies' Hibernian societies, aided also by annual donations from Lady Coote, the Rev. Mr Clever, and others, in which are about 370 children: there are also five private schools in which about 260 children are instructed.

About a mile north-west of Athleague, on the side of the vale of the Suck, are the ruins of a large old mansion, with tall chimneys and gables, having a round tower at one of the angles.

There are several Danish raths, one of which, called 'Lisadaghearlagh,' or the"Fort of the two Earls;. is traditionally said to have been contended for by two Earls, who at length consented to divide it between them by a trench, which still appears diametrically drawn across it.

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