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.

TOWMORE, or TUYMORE, a parish, in the barony of GALLEN, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, on the new mail coach road from Swinford to Ballina, and on the river Moy; containing, with the market and post-town of Foxford (which see), 3576 inhabitants.

This parish comprises 1927 statute acres of fertile land under tillage, though there are extensive mountainous and rocky tracts, and it is for the most part surrounded by a chain of high mountains, rendering it remarkable salubrious.

Iron-works were formerly carried on here, but when the fuel failed they were abandoned; and here are very superior quarries of flagstone, which is used for roofing houses.

The river Moy is here particularly beautiful, receiving in its serpentine course the waters of other streams, which are discharged into the sea at Ballina.

The gentlemen's seats are:

  • Dove Hall, the residence of S. Strogin, Esq.,
  • Carrick, of P. Davis, Esq., and
  • Clongee, of T. Moore, Esq.,

It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Achonry, forming part of the union of Strade or Templemore; the rectory is impropriate in W. J. Bourke, Esq.

  • The tithes amount to £208. 15. 8., equally divided between the impropriator and the vicar.
  • The church, which is one of two in the union, is a plain modern building in the town of Foxford, erected in 1801 by parochial assessment, at an expense of about £400; a tower and gallery were added to it in 1826, by the aid of a loan of £300 from the late Board of First Fruits.

In the R.C. divisions, the parish is a separate benefice; the chapel is a large slated building at Foxford.

About 230 children are educated in three public schools, of which those at Laragan and Foxford are under the National Board, and the other is aided by subscriptions.

Here is an old burial-ground, with the ruins of a church and the remains of an ancient monument, on which is an inscription now illegible; it is held in great veneration by the country people.

In a garden at Foxford, a brass coin or medal was found in 1835; it represents a bishop and a church, with a defaced motto, and on the reverse, the words 'Floreat Rex' with a crown and a harp, and a pope at his devotions, looking up to the crown.


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

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