The following is an extract from Samuel Lewis’ entries for the town of Clare or Claremorris, and the parish of Kilcoleman [sic], published in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland in 1837: 1
CLARE, or CLAREMORRIS, a market and post-town, in the parish of KILCOLEMAN, barony of CLANMORRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 14 miles (S.E. by S.) from Castlebar, and 117-1/2 (W. by N.) from Dublin; containing 1476 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Ballinrobe to Castlerea, and consists of one long street, containing about 300 houses, principally slated. The market is on Wednesday; and fairs are held on May 24th, June 22nd, Aug. 17th, Sept. 27th, and Nov. 23rd. It is a chief station of the constabulary and revenue police, the latter having subordinate stations at Castlebar, Newport-Pratt, and Oughterard. Quarter sessions are held twice in the year at the court-house, which is a large building, about a quarter of a mile from the town, and petty sessions every Wednesday. The parochial church, a handsome building of ancient English architecture, with a light steeple, was erected by aid of a gift, in 1828, of £831, and a loan of £923 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The R.C. chapel, a spacious slated building is in the town, and there is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. About two miles from the town are the ruins of the castle of Marneen.—See KILCOLEMAN.
KILCOLEMAN, a parish, in the barony of CLANMORRIS, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, on the road from Ballinrobe to Castlerea; containing, with the market and post-town of Clare, 8388 inhabitants. A Carmelite friary was founded here in the 13th century by the Prendergast family, which at the dissolution was granted to Sir John King. The parish comprises 22,886 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £6930 per annum; above one-third is arable, one-fourth pasture, and the remainder waste and bog; limestone is plentiful. Here is Claremount, the seat of J. Browne, Esq. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Tuam, and in the gift of the Archbishop: the tithes amount to £304. 12. 3-3/4. The church is in Clare, and there is a glebe-house and glebe. The R.C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; there are chapels at Clare and Barnycarrol, and in the ancient abbey of Ballinasmale are a few monks, who perform divine service regularly. There is a meeting-house for Wesleyan Methodists in Clare. About 200 children are educated in three public schools, to one of which Mrs. Browne contributes £10, and to another the Rev. M. Havern £4. 4., annually; and about 350 are taught in nine private schools.—See CLARE or CLARE-MORRIS.
Source citation for this page: — Kilpatrick, Alison. “Claremorris and the parish of Kilcolman in Samuel Lewis’ ‘A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland,’ published in 1837.” Digital copy online at Internet Archive (accessed 2021-01-30). Transcripts by Alison Kilpatrick (2015). Online at Arborealis, arborealis.ca/local-history/ireland/kilcolman/lewis-1837/, accessed [insert date of access].
Image credit: — Top of title page in Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary — see citation below. Edited by Alison Kilpatrick (2021).