Kilmore Civil Parish Characteristics, County Mayo, Ireland

Kilmore Civil Parish falls within the Barony of Erris and is part of Kilmore-Erris Roman Catholic Parish. Kilmore Erris Catholic Parish was formed in 1860. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 89). A small portion of Kilcommon Civil Parish is also part of this Catholic Parish. There were 82 Townlands in Kilmore Civil Parish if you include the occupied, named Islands when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1855. I have seen reference to a Drumacappul Island in a variety of sources; however, it was not listed in Griffith's Valuation so it is not included in this compilation. A Catholic Chapel was present in the Village of Binghamstown (part of the Townland of Binghamstown), and there was a church of unknown affiliation noted in Griffith's Valuation in the Townland of Binghamstown as well. Graveyards were present in the Townlands of Binghamstown, Cross (Boyd) and Inishkea North. The Griffith's Valuation noted Burial Grounds in the Townlands of Fallmore, Moyrahan and Termoncarragh. Roman Catholic Parish records for Kilmore Civil Parish are available on LDS Microfilm number 1279205 Items 17 and 18 and covers the years 1860-1881.

Kilmore Civil Parish is located in one of the more remote areas of County Mayo, at its far northwestern tip. It borders the Atlantic Ocean and takes the brunt of the storms produced in the area. I didn't see any designated "Bog" parcels in the Griffith's Valuation for this parish, and only one lake, Cross Lough was noted.

From an economic standpoint, there was very little to speak of. There were no fair greens or Customs of Tolls and Fairs noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Kilmore Civil Parish. Binghamstown was a Townland in Kilmore Civil Parish and the Village of Binghamstown was within its borders. Denis Bingham was the dominant landlord in this Town when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1855 (Griffith, 1827-1864; 2003, Kilmore). As early as 1820, he obtained a patent for fairs to be held there. (Gillespie; Crawford; 1987, p. 85). Samuel Lewis describes fairs for livestock being held at Binghamstown on the first day of every month. He also mentions the Very Reverend J.P Lyons of Binghamstown as being heavily involved in the hiring of laborers to reclaim the land from bog areas in and around Binghamstown. Samuel Lewis goes on to mention the presence of a Constabulary Barrack and Petty Sessions taking place in Binghamstown. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 188). Neither of these was documented in Kilmore when the Valuation was conducted. The Griffith's Valuation showed Binghamstown, Termon and Corclogh each having a forge, and turbarys were present in the Townland of Ardmore Point and Cross East. The Guardians of the Poor of Belmullet Union had a Union Workhouse in the Townland of Tallagh, there was a Board of Customs Boat House and Coast Guard Station in Knocknalina, a Board of Customs Coast Guard Station House in Termoncarragh and the Ballast Board had a Light House Keepers House on Eagle Island. Herds Houses were present in the Townlands of Aughernagalliagh, Ballyglass, Ballymacsherron, Duvillaun More, Emlybeg (Kyle), Emlycass, Glenlara, Moyrahan, Pollacappul and Tallagh. This would seem to indicate that there was a significant amount of grazing, pasture area in this Civil Parish. The only other signs of viable economic activity that I noted in the Griffith's Valuation were a Pound in the Townland of Drum and a Farmhouse in Termon.

As far as Education goes, the Board of Education had National Schoolhouses in the Townlands of Corclogh, Lurgacloy, Termon, and the Village of Binghamstown (part of the Townland of Binghamstown). The Irish Church Mission Society had schoolhouses in the Townlands of Barrack South, Glebe, Knocknalina and the Village of Binghamstown. The Griffith's Valuation also noted a Schoolhouse on the Island of Inishkea South. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilmore Civil Parish).

The Bingham families were the representative Landlords for numerous Townlands in Kilmore Civil Parish. Dennis Bingham was the most prevalent landlord followed by William H Carter (in Chancery), Henry Bingham, John Walsh, John W. O. Richards and a smattering of others. Major Dennis Bingham established a home in Kilmore Civil Parish just before 1800. He was said to be a most oppressive landlord. Denis Bingham is noted as residing at Bingham Castle in Belmullet, County Mayo and holding 4,827 and some odd acres when the Local Government Board compiled their Return of Owners of Land of One Acre and Upwards for Ireland. Henry Bingham was listed as residing at Annagh House in Belmullet, County Mayo and held 9,471 acres in this compilation, William H Carter was not listed and John W. O. Richards resided at Baranagh House, Belmullet and held 2,228 acres in County Mayo. A John Cormack Walsh was listed as residing in Castlehill, Crossmolina, County Mayo holding 6,472 acres but I am not sure if this is the same John Walsh listed above. (Local Gov't Board, 1876; 1988, p. 307, 312).

Kilmore Civil Parish, like many other parishes in County Mayo saw a severe population decline during and after the peak famine. According to statistics gathered by Bernard O'Hara in May Aspects of Its Heritage, the population of Kilmore Civil Parish went from 9428 in 1841 to 7379 in 1851, 5327 in 1881 and as of 1979 the number had dropped to 2831. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).