A telegraph station, and distant 25½ miles from Dublin. A little to the left of the line is the Curragh Race Course, the “Newmarket” of Ireland.
The next station arrived at is Kildare, the junction of the lines to Carlow and Kilkenny.
The capital of a county of the same name, and a cathedral town, near the Barrow, with a population of about 2,666. It belongs to the Fitzgeralds, represented by the Duke of Leinster.
Kildare to Carlow, Kilkenny, & Waterford
Passing Athy, on the Barrow, where there is an old castle, built by Lord Kildare in 1506, and has Markets on Tuesday and Saturday, and Fairs March 17th, April 25th, June 9th, July 10th, October 11th, and Dec., we then proceed to Mageney, and enter Carlow.
Carlow, the capital town of the county, with a population of about 9,940, who are employed in the grain and butter trade, is built of the east bank of the river Barrow.
Passing Milford, we soon reach Bagnalstown, close to which is the seat of J. Newtown. Esq., and then proceed to Gowran, where there are ruins of a castle built by the Ormondes, and burnt in 1650; and an early English church, with a font, and monuments of the Butlers: and Fairs are held March 8th, May 9th, August 10th, October 6th, and December 8th.
The branch to Wexford turns off here to the left and runs through Borris to Ballywilliam, the extent of the present opening of the line in that direction. This portion of the line is at present closed.
Leaving Bagenalstown, we now enter the county of Kilkenny.
This old capital of the “Pale.” or limit of English authority, was founded by Strongbow 1172, and is now the chief town of Kilkenny county, on the river Nore, which is crossed by two bridges uniting it to Irishtown on the east side.
The country becomes more hilly both up and down the Nore, towards its head, north and west of Kilkenny.
Dunmore Park and caves, belonging to the Ormondes; Tullaroan old church, near Courtown Castle, once the seat of the powerful Grace family, descended from Raymond le Gros. Ballyspellan Spa, near Johnstown, and the collieries in the Dysart Hills (the highest is 1,028 feet high), round Castle Comer. Here the Kilkenny or anthracite coal is quarried, in thin dirty seams; it burns without flame or smoke.
Passing Upper John Street and Bennett’s Bridge, where there are some large flour mills, and at which Fairs are held on February 24th, August 26th, September 19th, and December 21st, we proceed down the Nore, and come to Thomastown and Innistroge Castle, with Mount Brandon, a granite peak 1,696 feet high, to the left, overlooking the Barrow; beyond which are Blackstairs and Leinster mountains, the latter on the Wexford borders, 2,600 feet high. Then passing Ballyhale, we proceed to Mullinavatt, where Fairs are held March 29th, September 2nd, October 3rd, and 28th, December 9th, and soon after reach Kilmacow, and then enter the county of Waterford.
The capital of Waterford county, and a parliamentary borough, port, &c., in the south of Ireland.
Kildare to Cork
We now return to Kildare, the point of deviation to Carlow, &c, and soon reach Monasterevan, where are ruins of a monastery, built in the 7th century, rebuilt in the 8th, and refounded in the 12th, by the O’Dempseys. There is a Market here on Saturdays, and Fairs on March 28th, May 29th, July 31st, and December 8th. We now enter King’s County.
Portarlington, returns one member, was formerly called Coltodry, and given by Charles II. to Lord Arlington, who sold it to Sir P. Kout, who forfeited it.
Geashill. – Here is O’Dempsey’s Castle; Fairs are held on May 1st, October 6th, and December 26th.
Here are the ruins of Sragh Castle, near those of Ballycowan. The population of the town is employed in the linen trade.
Great Southern and Western Main Line continued
This place has a population of 3,673, engaged in the flax trade, and contains remains of an old castle, founded in 1560, ruins of an old church, and raths.
We then proceed to Mountrath, where Markets are held on Saturdays, and Fairs, February 17th, May 8th, June 20th, August 10th, September 19th, and November 6th.
Contains a population of about 9,690, engaged in the coarse woollen factories, and has ruins of a castle built by King John in 1213.
Ballybrophy to Limerick
Returning to the junction at Roscrea, we pass on to Templemore, which is situated on the river Suir, under the Devil Bit Mountains, and contains large infantry barracks, capable of holding 1,500 men. Close at hand are the Priory, the seat of the Cardens, ruins of the Knights Templar’s Castle, and Lloydsborough, J. Lloyd, Esq. We soon after reach
Here the Danes and English were defeated in the 10th century, by O’Brien, who built the Castle, Carmelite Monastery, and Knights Templar’s preceptory.
Here is another Branch Line to Limerick, running via the stations of Oola, Pallas, Dromkeen, Boher, and Killonan, to Limerick a distance of 21¾ miles from the Junction. This route may be continued in a north-westerly direction, under the control of the Limerick and Ennis Company. The Stations are Longpavement, 4 miles, Cratloe, 5¾, Six Mile Bridge, 3¼, for the town of Tulla, Ballycar, 3½, Ardsollus, to
Clare Castle, on the river Fergus, a tributary of the Shannon, and navigable to this point. Here are also the remains of a monastery, built in 1190 by the O’Briens. A mile and three quarters further brings us to the county and market town of
Ennis the terminus of the line, also situated on the River Fergus. It is a telegraph station, has a small trade in butter and grain, and a population of about 10,000.
Great Southern and Western Main Line continued
From Limerick Junction the line again turns off to the left for Clonmel and Waterford, a description of which latter town will be found here.
Again taking our seats at the Junction we pass on about 9 miles further and enter the county of Limerick.
Immediately on entering this county we stop at the station of Knocklong, which contains ruins of the O’Hurleys’, the Lowes’ and Clangibbon’s Castles, and where fairs are held, May 23, and October 1, we proceed to
Here are the ruins of a Dominican Friary, founded in 1201, and dismantled by Cromwell. The church, partly in ruins, contains a bell tower, and tombs of the Fitzgeralds.
About 4 miles further brings us to the county of Cork The next station we come to is
Charleville, a telegraph station, close to which is Charleville Castle, the seat of the Earl of Charleville. This station forms the junction of the
Charleville to Limerick
Returning once more to Charleville, we take the direct southerly direction to
Called by Spenser “gentle Mulla,” where there are remains of a priory founded in 1290 by the Barrys, Earls of Barrymore.
This place contains a population of about 9,975, who return one member, and are engaged in the tan and saltworks.
A city, port, and capital of county Cork, and Munster province, on the river Lee. It has a population of about 86,485, engaged in the glass, cutlery, and glove manufactories.
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