"CASTLE-ISLAND, a town and parish, in the barony of TRUGHENACKMY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 8 miles (S.E. by E.) from Tralee; containing 6161 inhabitants, of which number, 1570 are in the town. This place derives its name from the "Castle of the Island of Kerry", erected by Geoffrey de Marisco in 1226, and which, in 1345, was taken by Sir Ralph Ufford, lord-justiciary of Ireland from Sir Eustace de la Poer and other knights, who held it for the Earl of Desmond, and on being captured were immediately executed.
The town is situated on the river Maine, and at the junction of the mail coach roads from Tralee and Killarney to Limerick; and on the completion of the new Government road from King-William's-town, it will be also on the direct road from Tralee to Cork. It consists chiefly of one long street extending nearly east and west, with a market-house at the western extremity, from which the road to Tralee branches off on the north-west; it had formerly a market and a daily post. The new Government road has opened a line for a new street, which will diverge at right angles from the south side of the main street towards King-William's-town.
This was once the capital of the county, and the assizes were formerly held here; but since Tralee became the county town, the place has declined very much, and its market has been discontinued.
The parish comprises 32,577 statute acres, as aplotted under the tithe act; the soil is various. Part of it is within the seigniory of Castle-island which belongs to Lord Headley, and consequently participates in the extensive and beneficial improvements in 1823 in this previously barren and unprofitable district. Among these are branch roads constructed at his expense from the new Government road between Castle-island and Abfeale, extending nearly 10 miles, and affording a facility of communication with every farm. "
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]
"About eight miles to the east of tralee stands Castle Island, formerly called the Castle of the Island of Kerry. This castle is said to have been erected by Geffry Maurice, or de Mauriscis, Lord Justice of Ireland, in 1226, during the reign of King Henry III, the ruins of which castle are still remaining. Round the walls the River Mang, being put here but an inconsiderable stream, flowed in a kind of ditch, over which were formerly draw-bridges, portcullices, etc.
In Castle Island are a decent parish church, a good parsonage house, a foot barrack, a session and market house, with a handsome assembly room for dancing.
This town being well warered, and fuel very cheap, is a proper place for linen and other manufactures, who by settling therein, may be assured of meeting with all due encouragement."
[From The Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry by Charles Smith (1756)]
Note: The Civil Parish of Castleisland ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced.
Castleisland is now contained in five DEDs:
The Roman Catholic parish of Castleisland was formed from the Civil
Parishes of Ballincuslane, Brosna and Castleisland in the early nineteenth century.
In 1868 the parish was split into the parishes of Brosna and Castleisland. The Knocknagoshel area was included in Brosna parish. In 1916 Knocknagoshel was created a parish in its own right.
The modern Castleisland Catholic parish is served by churches at Castleisland and Scartaglin. There is a third church at Cordal, in the former parish of Ballincuslane.
Knocknagoshel parish has a church at Knocknagoshel.
The Church of Ireland parish registers for baptisms date from 1835 and marriages from 1836
The Castleisland Catholic Registers start in 1823 for marriages and 1822 for
The Registers for Brosna date from the creation of the seperate parish in 1868.
The registers remain in the custody of the parish priest, although microfilm copies are at the National Archives of Ireland. Written permission from the Bishop of Kerry is required to view these records.
From 1863 Castleisland was part of the Tralee Registration District.
See the Registration Districts page.
The District Electoral Divisions listed above are used for civil registration.