Griffiths Notes
County Kerry

Notes from Griffiths Valuation

for Brusnagh (Brosna), Castleisland, Currauns, Killeentierna and Nohaval

These notes on select civil parishes are extracted from the "General Value of Rateable Property in Ireland (Griffiths Valuation) (1848-1858), Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Dublin, 1860."

Ray Marshall transcribed the text from a copy of the document at the Library of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. He relates, "These are generally referred to as "Griffiths Notes" taken by the various field surveyors and "census" takers. The numbers on the left probably refer to drawings or other exhibits."

234- The Parish Of Currauns


This Parish is in the Barony of Trughanacmy and is bounded on the North by the Parishes of Nohaval and Ballymacelligot, on the East by the Parish of Killeentierna, on the South by Molahiff and on the West by that of Kiltalagh.


Is in Irish Na Corrain, by which the people understand the "reaping hooks" but it would appear to me that Corran when applied opographically is a dim. of Cor, a round hill.

There are no antiquities in this Parish except a few earthen forts and the ruins of a small church built in 1740, but these are of no interest whatever to the architectural antiquary.

235 - The church stands in the Townland of Ardcrone to the left of the road as you go from Killarney to Castleisland three miles to the West of the latter; it is fourteen paces in length and five and a half in breadth and its walls are two feet four inches thick and about twelve feet in height. The East window is large and semicircular headed and its arch formed of brick, and the side walls are lighted by six windows (three on each side) about eight feet in height and five in width and rudely formed of hammered stones. There is a rude doorway on the West gable formed of hammered stones, and there is a single-arched belfry on the same gable formed of brick.

The site of a Castle is shewn in the North of the Townland of Meanus near Currans House, but it is doubtful to me that there was ever a castle there.

John O'Donovan
September 9, 1841
At Castle Island


236 - The Parish Of Novahal


The Parish of Nohaval is situated in the South side of the Barony of Trughanacmy, and is bounded on the North by the Parishes of Ballymacelligot and Castleisland, on the East by Castleisland and Dysart, on the South by Killeentierna and Currans and on the West by Ballymacelligot.


The meaning of this name has been so often discussed before (viz. at Navan in Meath, Faughanvale in Derry, and Nohaval in Westmeath) that it is unnecessary to say a word here on the subject. The local Irish pronunciation is Uachobhail, and, An Uachobhail.

237 - The old Church of this Parish is situated in a small grave yard three miles West and by North of Castleisland. It is one oblong house measuring on the inside fifty one feet in length and seventeen feet six inches in Breadth; its walls three feet three inches in thickness, and the side walls originally about nine feet in height and built of lime stone and sand cement. The side walls are nearly destroyed, but a part of the East gable and nearly the entire of the West gable are standing. All its features are destroyed except the East window, but even this is so disfigured and veiled in ivy that its dimensions cannot be given or characteristics described. This Church is only a few centuries old. No well near this church nor Patron Saint remembered.

There are no other remains of the olden times in this Parish except a few earthen forts which are not worth description, as being all similarly formed.

John O'Donovan
September 9th, 1841
At Castleisland


238 - The Parish Of Killeentierna


This Parish which is of very irregular form, is in the Barony of Trughanacmy, and extends in length from the Parish of Kilcummin Northwards to that of Nohaval, and in breadth from the Parish of Molahiff to the Southern part of that of Castleisland.


Is in Irish CilLin Tighearnaigh, meaning the little Cell or Church of Saint Tiernach.

There are no ecclesiastical antiquities in this Parish; the site of the old Killeen is occupied by a modern Protestant Church. The site of another Church is pointed out in the South end of the Townland of Kilfelim, but no part of its walls remain; nothing in fact remains of it but a remarkably green spot still bearing the name of the Church.

In the South East end of the Townland of Ranaleen there is a remarkable stone fort called Caher, with a cave; this may be the Teamhair Luachra of the ancient Irish writers. See Beal Atha an Teamhrach in the Parish of Dysart. [no signature/date]


239 - The Parish Of Brusnagh


This Parish is situated in the North East of the County of Kerry in the Barony of Trughanacmy, and is bounded on the North and East by the County of Limerick, on the South by the Parish of Ballycuslaun, and on the West by the Parish of Castle-Island.


Is in Irish Brosnach, which is also the name of a famous river on the South West of ancient Meath, of which there is a legendary explanation given in the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, but its true meaning is still unknown. Many rivers have their source in this Parish and it is highly probable that the name has reference to that circumstances.

240 - There are no antiquities in this Parish; the site of the old church is to be seen near the little hamlet of Brusna in the Townland of Brusna West, but no part of it remains. It appears that the patron saint of this Parish was the celebrated St. Moling Luachra as there is a holy well called after him in the vicinity of the church yard. He was a native of Sliabh Luachra in this neighborhood. The River Maing, now generally Anglicised Maine, has its source in this Parish.

John Donovan
September 9th, 1841
At Castle-Island


241 - The Parish Of Castle-Island


This Parish is in the Barony of Trughanacmy and is bounded on the North by the County of Limerick and the Parishes of Brusnagh and Dooah, on the East by Brusna and Ballycuslaun, on the South by Dysart and Killeentierna, and on the West by the Parishes of Nohaval and Ballymaceligot.


This Parish is called in Irish Oilean Ciarraighe, i.e. the Island of Kerry.

242 - A small portion of the original Church of Castle-Island still remains attached to the West end of the modern Church, but it is impossible to tell what part of it, it is. It measures on the inside sixteen feet seven inches from East to West and twenty one feet two and a half inches in the other direction and its walls are fourteen feet high, and two feet six inches in thickness and built of lime stone and lime and mortar. Its West gable is surmounted with a small belfry of two circular arches, in the more northern of which the modern bell is suspended. Under this Belfry is a window which is divided on the outside into four lights formed out of cut lime stone. There is a pointed doorway on the South wall recently repaired, and there is a quadrangular window on the same wall.

In the Townland of Ballymacadam in this Parish about a mile and a half to the East of Castle-Island Town are the ruins of a square Castle; it measures on the inside fifteen feet nine inches from East to West and thirteen feet two inches from North to South. A spiral stair case led to the top at the South East angle, but it is now entirely destroyed. The second and fourth floors rested on stone arches of which but very small fragments remain. The walls are four feet nine inches in thickness. Its East side is down to the very foundations, as is also the greater part of the North wall. All the windows are disfigured except one narrow rectangular one on the South wall which lighted the first floor and one on the West wall which lighted the fourth one.

243 - In the Townland of Kilbannivaun near this Castle, there is an old Church from which the Townland took its name. Only fragments of the North and South walls remain. Its length can not be determined as the two gables have entirely disappeared; its breadth in the clear is seventeen feet ten inches and the walls are two feet ten inches thick and at present about seven feet high. The doorway is on the South wall; it is pointed and formed of cut lime stone, and measures on the outside four feet nine inches in height from the present level of the ground which is considerably raised, and three feet two inches in width.

In the Townland of Kealgorm in this Parish and about a half a mile to the West of the Town of Castle-Island there is a part of an old Church called Cil Fionain, i.e. the Church of Saint Finan. No part of it is now traceable but the East gable with its window but from this the original breadth of the building cannot be ascertained. The window forms a semicircular arch on the in side where it measures seven feet six inches in height and four feet one inch in width but on the outside it is pointed and formed of cut lime stone, and measures five feet in height and eight inches in width. This gable is built of large and small stones and lime and sand cement. It is three feet in thickness.

244 - The old castle at Castle Island was a very extensive one, but it is now very difficult to determine its original form and characteristics. One square tower is stil (sic) in tolerable preservation and also the gateway over which there is another square tower not unlike the one at Kilmallock. The spot of land on which this castle stands is called by the natives Oilean Ciarraighe i.e. the Island of Kerry. The castle is said to have been erected by Geoffry de Marisco, Lord Justice of Ireland, in the year 1226. The River Mang or Maine was conducted round the walls in a ditch, over which were formerly drawbridges, portcullises etc. For the History of this place see Smith's History of Kerry p. 168 and 169.

245, 246 - The gateway tower had two floors over the gate, and is lighted by several small windows formed of cut lime stone. Its walls are four feet two inches thick. West of this and originally connected with it by a wal now destroyed, is a small portion of the ruins of a large castle, the wals of which are nine feet in thickness. One vault only remains at present measuring on the inside sixteen feet from North to South and nine feet eleven inches from East to West. This was an important fortress.

John O'Donovan
September .0, 1841 [sic]

Thanks Ray.

This information contibuted in August, 2000 to


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