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.

ROSS, a parish, in the barony of ROSS, county of GALWAY, and province of CONNAUGHT, 3 miles (W. by N.) from Cong, on the road to Connemara and the sea at Killery bay; containing 4361 inhabitants.

This parish, which was formerly known also by the name of Faghery, together with the adjoining parish of Cong, forms the narrow isthmus which separates the extensive loughs Corrib and Mask, and comprises 44,062 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £3923 per annum.

About two-fifths of the land are rough mountain pasture, all of which by judicious treatment could be reclaimed and rendered available for agricultural purposes, one-fifth waste, one-fifth bog, and the remainder, with the exception of about 500 acres of wood, good arable land in a profitable state of cultivation.

  • Great quantities of oats raised here are sold at Clonlur, in this parish, where a market is held on Saturday,
  • and fairs for general farming stock on Feb. 1st, March 17th, July 1st, and Sept. 1st.
  • A small market for corn is also held at Fairhill during the season.
  • A few of the inhabitants are employed in spinning flax and woollen yarn for their own use.
  • Lumber boats are employed on Lough Mask in carrying turf, timber, grain, and other agricultural produce of the parish to Galway, and a communication with the sea and the Killery harbours affords great facility of conveyance.
  • In the mountain of Glanlosh is a slate quarry, the property of Thomas Martin, Esq., but not worked at present.

The only seats are:

At the head of Lough Corrib, which is navigable to the neighbourhood of Galway, is the Corrib hotel, situated at Maam, among the mountains, at the foot of Noneen More, at the entrance of Joyces' country and the Killeries, and commanding a beautiful view of the picturesque scenery in this very romantic district.

It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Tuam, forming part of the union of Kilmolara;

In the R. C. divisions, it is the head of a union or district, comprising also part of the parish of Cong; this union is also called Feara, and contains three chapels, two at Ross and one at Cong.

About 240 children are taught in two public schools, one of which is in connection with the Kildare-place Society and the other with the Board of National Education; and there is a private school at Fairhill, in which are about 50 children.

A monastery for Conventual Franciscans was founded here in 1431, which was reformed by the Observantines in 1470.

There are some remains of Castle Kirk, on the island of that name in Lough Corrib.

Near the house of Ross-hill are the ruins of an ancient church and a burial-ground, called by the people in the neighbourhood Russ the Faghery to distinguish it from the abbey of Ross near Headford, which is called Russ Rela.


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

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