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

GILAVOWER, or KILGEVER, a parish, in the barony of MURRISK, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 11 miles (W.S.W.) from Westport, on Clew bar ; containing, with the islands of Innisboffin, Clare, Innistgilavower kilgeverurk, Innishark, and Innisdogal, 11,900 inhabitants.

It comprises 50,036 statute acres, as applotted under the tithes act, and valued at £4294 per annum; and contains a large quantity of mountain and bog. Fairs, and a weekly market, are held at Lewisburgh.

It is a rectory and vicarage, and perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Tuam ; the rectory is appropriate to the chapter of the cathedral of Tuam, the vicarage forms part of the union of Aughaval, and the perpetual curacy is called Lewisburgh, and is in the patronage of the vicar;

  • the tithes amount to £240, of which £60 is payable to the chapter, and £180 to the vicar.
  • The church is a neat building at Lewisburgh.
  • There is a glebe-house and a glebe.

In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms two districts, one consisting of Clare Island and Innisturk, and the remainder forming the district of Lewisburgh; there are two chapels, one at Goulagh, the other at Lewisburgh.

About 750 children are educated in eleven public and about 130 in three private schools; there is also a Sunday school.

The mountain of Croagh Patrick, which is 2666 feet above the level of the sea, is traditionally stated to have been the spot on which St. Patrick assembled all the venomous reptiles to banish them from Ireland, and is a celebrated place of pilgrimage; on the summit, which commands a fine view, is St. Patrick's chapel, built of loose stones, and there are several small piles of stones that are used as altars.


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

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