Crossmolina, County Mayo, Ireland: A Description of its Development and Characteristics

The market town of Crossmolina is incorporated into the Townlands of Cartrongilbert, Crossmolina and Knockalegan, in Crossmolina Civil Parish of Tirawley Barony. Like many of the other County Mayo major market towns with a river or seaport access, Crossmolina is located on the River Deel. Ballina another major market town is only 6 1/2 miles away.

Lord Dillon applied for and obtained a patent for a market and fair as early as 1633. Almost a century later George Gore applied for a patent in 1729 for two three-day fairs. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 87).

When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Crossmolina wasn't listed among the towns with a market for grain, but it did have a market for cattle. Fairs were held May 24, September 13 and December 17. (McParlan, 1802;2007, p. 37,45, 47-51). Samuel Lewis mentioned an additional fair for Crossmolina on October 26 in his 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." (Lewis, 1837;2005, p. 438).

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Crossmolina Civil Parish, the portion of the Town of Crossmolina within the Townland of Cartrongilbert was home to the Petty Sessions Court House, a Dispensary and the Roman Catholic Chapel. The portion of the Town of Crossmolina within the Townland of Crossmolina was home to a National Female School, National Male School, Church Education Society Schoolhouse, a Church (unknown denomination), a Graveyard, a Methodist Meeting House, Ruins, Forge and a Pound. The Portion of Crossmolina within the Townland of Knockalegan had the Constabulary Barracks and the Revenue Police Barracks. Interestingly enough, the Fairgreens and Tolls of Customs and Fairs for Crossmolina Civil Parish were in the Townland of Lecarrow and not the Town of Crossmolina where the primary commercial activity appears to be. Lecarrow; however, is just west of Crossmolina. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossmolina).

Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" mentions a quarry of very fine stone just outside of Town and another item of interest, 6 hedge schools in the vicinity of Crossmolina. (Lewis, 1837;2005, p. 438).

Sir W Roger Palmer Bt was the predominant Landlord in Crossmolina within the Townland of Cartrongilbert, both Sir W Roger Palmer Bt and George Orme in the Townland of Crossmolina and Sir W. Roger Palmer Bt in the portion of Crossmolina within Knockalegan. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossmolina). Sir W. Roger Palmer Palmer Bt was one of the major Landowners of County Mayo as of 1878. According to "The Landowners of Ireland." he held 80,990 acres in County Mayo and held acreage in Dublin and County Sligo as well. (Deburgh, 1878; 2007, p. 361).

The Market Town of Crossmolina, like County Mayo's other dominant market towns, probably owes some of its success to its location within Mayo's central corridor, its easy access to ports and other major market towns.