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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Clonlea (a)

The Parish of Clonlea in the eastern part of the Co. of Clare and Barony of Tulla Lower, is bounded on the north by the Parish of Tulla; on the south by the Parishes of Troogh, St. Munchin’s and Kilfeenaghta; on the east by Kilsealy and Killuran and on the west by Quin, Kilmurry and Kilfeenaghta. See Name Book.

The Irish name of this Parish is Cluain Laogh, i.e., the Cloon of the Calves. Of the founder or Patron of this Parish we have no historical account but there is a holy well still resorted to for the performance of Stations by some persons, tho’ prohibited by the Catholic clergymen of the district, opposite the old Church on the east of the lake in the Townland of Kill-an-Aonaigh (Kilanena) dedicated to St. Senanus which may afford some ground to suppose that the Church was dedicated to him but he is not remembered in the Parish.

There is a Clonlaogh mentioned in the Irish Calendar at the 24th of March, but whether it be the present place or a place of the same name near Lifford, in the Co. Donegal, I have no means of deciding.

The old ruined Church of Clonlea stands about half a mile east of the Village of Kilkishen over a handsome lake to which it gives name; the walls are in good preservation excepting a small breach in the lower part of the north wall near the east gable. It measures forty two feet in length and eighteen feet nine inches in breadth. There is a window in the west gable but so thickly covered with ivy that its form could not be seen through it. At the distance of sixteen feet five inches from this gable, in the south wall, is a semicircular doorway measuring eight feet in height and four feet in breadth inside, and seven feet in height and two feet seven and three-quarter inches in breadth outside, built with cut stones through and through, the arch stones on the inside extending to the outer circle, say two feet one inch deep; the stones in the inner jamb on the left as you go in appear in material and workmanship to be much older than the other parts of the door. At the distance of thirteen feet four inches from the door to the east is a window measuring three feet six inches in breadth on the inside, but so thickly covered with ivy at the top and front that its form or further dimensions could not at the time be seen.

The window in the east gable is so thickly covered with ivy at top that I could not discover its precise form. It measures four feet seven inches in breadth and about eight feet in height on the inside, where it is built up with handsomely cut red grit stone; on the outside it is three feet eleven inches high and five and a half inches wide at top and six and a half inches at bottom, curvilineally pointed and built of the same kind of stone as the inside, rabbit cut all around the edge. The walls are three feet thick, no part of them appearing to me to be of any great antiquity but the stones already mentioned as placed in the left hand side of the doorway as you go in, and these appear to have belonged to an older edifice. There is a large burying ground attached to the ruin.

There is a small burying ground for children called Glanogawlagh, proper Gleann-na-Garlach, i.e., the Valley or Pit of the Infants, in the Townland of Enagh, proper Aonach-O’Floinn.

There is another place of the same description in a field called Park-na-Kille, in the Townland of Mountallon, proper Maidhm-Talmhan.

There was a small burying ground in the Demesne of Kilkishen House, but it was levelled down several years ago.

The old Castle of Kilkishen remains in good preservation in that Townland.
The old Castle of Mountallon in the Townland of that name is nearly all down.
The butt of a Castle stands in the Townland of Aonach-O’Floinn.
The above three Castles are mentioned in the College List, thus:-

1. Kilkissin,

owner Rory Mc Mahoun.

2. Moymtallone,

    “ John Mcnemara’s sons.
3. Enaghhowline     “ John Mc Mahoun.

The following places mentioned in Hardiman’s Irish Deeds No. 15, are to be found in this Parish, which according to that document was situated in the Chieftainry called Tuath-O’Floinn, viz.:-

  1. Aonach Murchadha bhric Aonach Ó’bhFloín.
  2. Moymtallone.
  3. Tir-O’-n-Aodha.
  4. Baile-Ui-Mhuireagain.