Killucan in olden times
An extract from a Topographical Dictionary of c.1837
KILLUCAN a post-town and parish in the barony of FARBILL, county of WESTMEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 31 miles (E.) from Mullingar and 33 miles (W. By N.) from Dublin, on the road to Sligo and Galway containing 5989 inhabitants, of which number, 206 are in the town.
This place, which is also called Killuquin, appears to have derived
its name from an abbey founded here by St. Lucian, which subsequently
became the parish church.
A railroad has been recently laid down at Griffinstown, by Mr. Fetherston-Haugh, for draining the bog on that estate. There are some very fine quarries of black flag-stone, from which were taken materials for the custom-house docks of Dublin; and on Sion Hill is a quarry having the appearance of slate, but it has not been yet worked.
The principal seats are Lotown, the residence of William Dopping, Esq., situated in richly wooded demense; Griffinstown House, of J. Fetherston-Haugh, Esq.; Hyde Park, of J. D'Arcy Esq. Wardinstown, of T. M. Webb, Esq. Curristown, of G. Purdon, Esq.; Lisnabin, of E. Purdon, Esq., a hand-some castellated mansion recently erected; Huntington of R. Purdon, Esq.; Joristown, of P. Purdon, Esq.; Grangemore, of E. Briscoe, Esq., a handsome house in a well-planted demesne; Riverdale, of W. T. Briscoe,: Esq.; Craddenstowrn, of L. Ramage, Esq.; Corbets-town, of J. D'Arcy, Esq.; and Derrymore, the property of T. J. Fetherston-Haugh, Esq., of Bracklyn Castle on the demesne of Joristown is the hill of Knockshiban, a conspicuous landmark, commanding a very extensive prospect over a richly diversified tract of country.
The Royal Canal passes through the parish, there are several very
small lakes, and to the west are some dry limestone tracts, curiously
interspersed with patches of bog. At Thomastown, a small hamlet on
the canal, a market is held on Tuesday, where large quan-tities of
corn are purchased and shipped.
About 220 children are taught in four public schools, of which one is supported by the Trustees of Erasmus Smith's fund, who allow the master £30 per annum, with a house and garden rent-free; and two by Lord and Lady Longford. There are also three private schools, In which are about 120 children.
A flax society for spinning and weaving linen has been established, which affords employment to about 100 poor women; and there is also a dispensary. In the old parish church there are several chapels or chantries, of which the largest was dedicated to St. Mary; and at Clonfad, on the southern confines of the parish, was a very ancient religious establishment, of which St. Etchen, who died in 577, was bishop: there are still some remains of the church.
Numerous raths exist in the parish; and on a hill near Lisnabin are the remains of some works called Pakenham's Fort, commanding an extensive prospect. At Rateen are the remains of 3 castle in which the lord-lieutenant, who in 1450 had been made prisoner, was confined for some time. Many silver coins of the reign of Elizabeth, Jas. I., Chas. I, and the protectorates were found in two tin vessels in ploughing near Griffinstown.