1st January 1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described by Samuel Lewis in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" 1837.

RATHREA, a parish, in the barony of TYRAWLEY, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 5 miles (W.) from Killala, on the road from Ballina to Crossmolina; containing 1851 inhabitants.

It is bounded by the river Owenmore, and comprises 4119 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £1790 per annum.

The land is mostly under tillage, and the state of agriculture is improving, though much of the old system is still adhered to: there is but little bog, and abundance of limestone.

Fairs are held on March 17th, the Thursday after Trinity-Sunday, June 24th, Sept. 29th, and Dec. 26th, for cows, horses, and sheep, but they are not much frequented.

The most remarkable seats are:

  • Farm Hill, the residence of Major Gardiner;
  • Courthill, of John Gardiner, Esq.;
  • Spring Hill, of Thomas Goodwin, Esq.; and
  • Smithstown, of Arthur Pugh, Esq.

It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Killala: the rectory is partly appropriate to the precentor and archdeacon of Killala, and partly to the vicars choral of the cathedral of Christ-Church and St. Patrick's, Dublin; the vicarage forms part of the union of Ballisakeery.

  • The tithes amount to £160, of which £38. 15. is payable to the vicars choral, £38. 15. to the precentor, £2. 10. to the archdeacon, and £80 to the vicar.

In the R. C. divisions, it is part of the union or district of Kilfian.

There are two public schools, of which the parochial school is aided by the rector; they afford instruction to 133 children.

An old burial-ground on the land of Major Gardiner is still used as a cemetery.

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

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