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Ireland Gazeteer

County Cork in 1837

CORK, a maritime county of the province of Munster in Ireland, bounded on the north by the counties of Limerick and Tipperary, on the east by the county of Waterford, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the county of Kerry.

It lies nearly under the same parallels with South Wales, and is by much the largest county in Ireland.

Its greatest length from Youghall on the east to the mouth of the Kenmare river on the west, is 93 Irish or 110 English miles; and its greatest breadth from the Old Head of Kinsale upon the south to Charleville on the north, is 44 Irish or 36 English miles.

The area is estimated at 2,654 square statute miles, or 1,698,882 English acres; but this estimate is not to be depended on for accuracy: the indentations of the coast from Youghall to Kenmare give a coast-line of about 200 miles.

Population in 1821, 629,786; in 1831, 703,716.

The chief mountain groups, which with bogs and unprofitable lands occupy upwards of two-ninths of the entire surface, may be considered as offsets of the main ridge which separates Cork from Kerry. This ridge, the southern extremity of which separates Bantry Bay from the river of Kenmare, runs N.N.E. and S.S.W., and on the side towards Cork sends off numerous lateral elevations.

Of these the two chief are the ranges north and south of the valley of the Lee, which river divides the county into two nearly equal portions. The northern range, which is by much the more extensive, consists of the almost continuous groups of the Muskerry, Boggra, and Nagles mountains, and stretches in a uniform direction from the Kerry boundary on one side of the county, to within a few miles of the borders of Waterford on the other.

The Shehy group, which forms the southern boundary of the basin of the Lee, runs a much shorter distance from the main ridge; but the upland country of Kinalmeaky, into which it subsides, prolongs the elevation in a line parallel to the direction of the Boggra range across the entire extent of the county, from Dunmanway on the west to the high grounds above Cork and Passage on the east.

North and south of this central valley are the districts which form the basins of the Blackwater and the Bandon; the former inluded between the mountains of Limerick and Tipperary, and the Boggra groups; and the latter between the Shehy range and those elevations which rise southwards towards the sea-coast.

These three principal valleys are nearly symmetrically situated, and their respective rivers run very nearly parallel to one another, their general course being from west to east: all have their rise among the eastern declivities of the Kerry ridge, and each, as it approaches the termination of its course, takes a southward direction for some miles before entering the sea.

In like manner each is naturally navigable throughout this latter portion of its course, as the Blackwater from Youghall at its mouth to Cappoquin; the Lee from the sea to Cork; and the Bandon from Kinsale at its mouth to Inishonan.

The Blackwater is by much the largest river of the three, and drains a proportionately greater extent of country.

The bogs and wastelands lie among the mountain groups described; the remainder of the county is well tilled and productive, particularly along the banks of the rivers enumerated, and in the districts included between their embouchures.

Beginning from the east, the harbour of Youghall has a tolerable anchorage in six fathoms water without the bar, where vessels may wait the tide, which gives twenty feet of water on the bar at neaps.

Three leagues south is a good anchorage and fishing ground, in five to twelve fathoms water at Ring Point.

From this the coast is rocky with the exception of the extensive strand of Ballycotton Bay, to the entrance of Cork harbour four leagues farther west. This harbour is so commodious, says Smith, that it will admit the largest vessels at any time of the tide without striking sail, and has a land-locked anchorage in ten fathoms water in some places, and in seven fathoms water within a cable's length of the shore.

On the shoalest of the bar are thirty feet water at ebb-tide. From this westward to Kinsale harbour the coast is rocky and dangerous.

The harbour of Kinsale has thirty feet of water on the bar, and anchorage within in seven fathoms; but it is not so capacious as that of Cork. There is also good anchorage in any depth of water on both sides of the promontory to the west called the Old Head of Kinsale.

The bay of Courtmasherry, next west, is fit for vessels of 200 tons, but exposed. Cloghnakilty harbour is encumbered with a bar, on which are only two fathoms' water at full sea, and vessels embayed here are in considerable danger. The harbour of Glandore has fourteen to thirty feet of water in its channel, and a land-locked anchorage. Castlehaven Creek has safe anchorage in fourteen feet; and Baltimore Bay pretty good in six fathoms.

Baltimore is situated on the eastern side of an extensive bay, bounded on the east by Cape Clear Island, and on the west by Mizen Head: it contains the several minor bays of Baltimore, Roaring Water, Crookhaven, and Inisherkin, in all of which merchant vessels may find anchorage.

West from Mizen Head the bay of Dunmanus runs inland twelve miles in a north-east direction, with ten to thirty fathoms of water throughout, and no bar; but it is little frequented, in consequence of the contiguity of Bantry Bay, from which it is separated by the narrow mountainous promontory terminating in Minteroana or Sneep's Head.

Bantry Bay is forty fathoms deep at the mouth, twenty-six miles long, and from three to five miles broad. Bear Island at its entrance protects it from the south-westerly swell, and affords the land-locked anchorage of Bearhaven in ten to sixteen fathoms water, for an unlimited number of vessels.

Further up, Whiddy Island incloses the minor bays of Bantry and Glengariff, the latter much celebrated for the magnificence of its scenery: it is calculated that all the shipping of Europe could ride secure in this noble harbour.

Bearhaven has been proposed as a station for packet-ships to North America, in connexion with the projected south-western line of rail-road from Dublin.

Facilities for water-carriage are confined to the coast: the inland navigation of the Bandon is very inconsiderable; that portion of the Blackwater which is navigable lies in the county of Waterford; and the traffic between Cork and the sea is more a harbour than a river navigation.

It has been proposed to render the Bandon navigable, from Dunmanway, near its source, to Inishonan; also the Blackwater, from Mallow to Cappoquin; but neither design has been practically attempted.

The only lakes in the county are two small but very picturesque sheets of water, near the source of the Lee. and some pools on the coast.

The road to Dublin, carried over the eastern flank of the Nagles mountains by Rathcormack, unites the valleys of the Lee and the Blackwater from Cork to Fermoy.

The road from Cork to Mallow, carried over the western flank of the same range, forms another line of communication between these valleys, and is used as the post-line to Limerick.

Westward from Mallow to Millstreet, a distance of nearly eighteen miles, the range of the Boggra mountains formed an impassable barrier, until, in 1823, permission was obtained from government to make a road through the centre of this group at an expense of about £10,000, one-half to be levied by county presentments, and the other half to be defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund.

This road has now been open for several years, and saves the inhabitants of the valley of the Blackwater a distance of fully twenty miles Irish on every journey to and from the Cork market. It also supplies an easy means of transit for fuel to the low countries, both north and south.

Before this road was opened, the only means of procuring fuel from the upland bogs was on the backs of small horses, or of men and women.

Other new roads have been made at the public expense within the county in the neighbourhoods of Cloghnakilty, Bandon, Skibbereen and Courtmasherry.

Prior to the year 1829, a great part of the north western district of the county was almost inaccessible. This district formed part of a tract of 970 square miles, comprised between the Shannon and the Blackwater, which up to the year 1822 had contained no road passable for horsemen in wet weather. ‘The entire district must have remained neglected by the hand of civilization from the period at which its ancient proprietors, the later Earls of Desmond, had been dispossessed of it in the reign of Elizabeth.' (Report on the Crown Lands of Poble O'Keefe, 22 March, 1831.)

The whole district contained but two resident landed proprietors, whose houses were distant 38 miles from one another.

The inhabitants were poor and ignorant, and the inaccessible nature of the country made it the asylum of smugglers and outlaws.

Through the northern parts of this district seventy-five miles of good road were made by government in the years 1823-9. The consequences were an immediate increase of industry and produce, and a very rapid improvement in morals and intelligence.

Still there remained the southern portion of the district, comprising 128,000 acres in the north-west of Cork through which no road had yet been carried. To open up this tract, a road was projected in 1829, from Castle Island in the county of Kerry east-ward, so as to meet the lately-constructed Boggra road at its terminus on the Blackwater, by which a communication would be opened between Castle Island and Mallow, which would shorten the distance from the former town to Cork by twenty-two miles.

A second line, connecting this road with the post-line from Cork to Killarney, was also projected, by means of which Killarney would have a direct communication through Mallow with Waterford. About the same a tract of 9,000 acres in the heart of the unopened district escheated to the crown.

Possession being obtained of 5,000 acres, the attention of government was, in January, 1831, directed to the best means of improving the wretched tenantry found occupying the estate. It was found that the projected road from Castle Island would cross the head of the Blackwater within the estate, and that the vicinity of the ridge would be an eligible site for a village.

The village of King William's Town has accordingly been built under the superintendence of Mr. Griffith: it consists of a carman's inn, a model farm-house, a few suitable houses for shopkeepers, artisans, and labourers, and a large school-house.

The estate, which, on its reversion, 'was saturated with water, and covered with thick matted beds of moss, rushes, and heath, the growth of ages,' unfenced, unmanured, and inaccessible, is now to a great extent drained and divided into well fenced farms for grazing and tillage, to which the newly-opened road affords a ready supply of lime for manure, as well as a convenient means for carriage of produce to market.

The condition of the tenantry is rapidly improving, and there is every prospect of complete success attending those benevolent exertions of the government. Up to the 12th February, 1833, the amount granted by the Treasury for the improvement of these estates was £6,500. The estimate for the Castle Island and Mallow, and Killarney and Mallow roads, was £23,812, 1 shilling, 2 pence: of this amount government defrayed £I7,000.

A sum has also been advanced by the present Board of Works, for the construction of a new road from Glengariff to Killarney, across the ridge of the Bantry mountains. The remaining roads of the county are under the control of the Grand Jury.

A railroad has been projected from Cork to Passage, where there is a much frequented ferry between the mainland and Cove.

The climate is moist but genial in the south and east. The annual average of rain at Cork for the eleven years preceding 1748 was 38.26 inches. The wind blows between south and north-west for more than three-fourths of the year.

From the east of Limerick and south of Tipperary the limestone field extends towards the Blackwater, which it skirts for a part of its course on both sides between Mallow and Fermoy, until overlaid by the shale and sandstone beds of the Munster coal district, which occupy the whole extent of the uncultivated country described above.

The limestone again occurs in stripes along the valley of the Lee, and occupies the basin on which the city of Cork is built, from which it stretches eastward in two parallel belts across the low sandstone country to the banks of the Blackwater.

The Boggra and Nagles ranges consist of sandstone, which rock prevails throughout the district watered by the Lee. South of the Lee, the slate clay, on which the sandstone rests, crops out in longitudinal strata that have a uniform direction from N.N.E. to S.S.W. and a prevalent dip to the S.E.

This rock, varying from the hardest grit to clayey rubble, constitutes the whole of the southern portion of the county from the mouth of the Lee to the mountains of Bear and Bantry, where its elevations attain an altitude of above 2,500 feet.

Among these are some peaks of quartz formation, of which the most remarkable is Sugarloaf-hill, which rises over the bay of Glengariff.

The veins, which occupy many of the fissures of this rock, abound in ores of iron, copper, lead, and manganese.

The soil of the coal district on the north-west is cold, stiff, and moory. In the north-east, where limestone abounds, it is warm and friable. Along the valley of the Lee is a red, crumbly, and heavy soil, which requires considerable manuring with lime or sea sand.

Throughout the schistose formations, south of the valley of the Lee, the earth is generally dry and sandy, requiring much dung to make it bear corn.

Marl, fullers' earth, and clay for brick kilns and potteries, are found in considerable abundance. The best cultivated parts of the county are the eastern portions of the basins of the Blackwater and the Lee, and the low district included between their embouchures. The system of agriculture in these districts is good. There is a large resident proprietary, and every evidence of wealth and comfort.

The remainder of the county, except in the neighbourhood of towns and gentlemen's demesnes, presents a strong contrast. The extreme west is barren from one extremity of the boundary line to the other. The transverse ranges of moorland and bog are totally unreclaimed, and the population on their borders are poor and ignorant. The county is, nevertheless, improving: this improvement is mainly attributable to the construction of roads by the government.

The county comprehends 22 baronies, one county of a city, and sundry corporate districts. Duhallow, Orrery and Kilmore, Fermoy, Condons and Clongibbons, occupy the district of the Blackwater, enumerating from west to east. West Muskerry, East Muskerry, Barretts, Barrymore, Kilnatalloon, and Imokilly, occupy the district of the Lee in the same order. Bear, Bantry, West Carberry, west and east divisions. East Carberry, west and east divisions; Ibaune and Barryroe, Courcies, Kinnalmeaky, Kinnalea, Kinsale, and Kerrycurrihy, occupy the remainder of the county in like manner on the south.

To these are to be added the county of the city of Cork, and the liberties of Youghall and Mallow. Other corporate towns have liberties, but not extensive enough to come under this division.

Cork county lies within the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne, Ross, and, to a small extent, in Ardfert and Aghadoe, and contained, in 1792, 269 parishes and 105 churches.

The county was formerly represented by 26 members in the Irish parliament, of whom two were returned by the county, and a like number by the city of Cork and each of the following boroughs: Kinsale, Youghall, Bandon, Mallow, Doneraile, Rathcormack, Middleton, Charleville, Castlemartyr, Baltimore and Cloghnakilty.

These, with the exception of Doneraile and Rathcormack, still possess charters of incorporation, and are governed by corporate authorities.

With the exception of Cork, Bandon, and Youghall, these boroughs, at the time of the Union, lost their privilege of representation.

The representation in the imperial parliament is now confined to two members for the county, two for the city of Cork, one for Bandon, and one for Youghall. The total amount of Union compensations was £150,000.

The other places of importance in the county are Bantry (population 4,275); Cove (pop. 6,966); Dunmanway (pop. 2,738); Skibbereen (pop. 4,430); Mitchelstown (pop. 3,545); Fermoy (pop. 2,557); Kanturk (pop. 1,349); Newmarket (pop. 1,437); Cloyne (pop. 2,227); Millstreet (pop. 1,935); Macroom (pop. 2,058); Buttevant (pop. 1,536).

The principal copper-mines in Ireland are situated at Allahies, about ten miles west of Skibbereen. They were first worked in 1814, and now give employment to about 1,500 people. The ore contains from 55 to 65 per cent, of copper. In the same neighbourhood the ashes of a bog impregnated with copper yielded a considerable return until burned out.

A deposit of manganese is worked with good profit on the same coast. Veins of sulphate of barytes occur in the neighbourhood of Bantry, and specimens of asbestos have been procured at Bearhaven.

The coal of the district of the Blackwater is anthracite or blind coal. The chief workings are at Clonbannon and Dromagh, near the crown estate, where there is a good home consumption at the distilleries in the neighbourhood. The district is, however, still too inaccessible to encourage extensive operations.

There is abundance of iron ore, if coal could be had for smelting. While the county was well wooded iron-works were carried on to a considerable extent. The East India Company had iron works on the Bandon in 1612, and paid £7,000 for a tract of wood for their furnaces. About the year 1632, the Earl of Cork had in his various bloomeries l,000 tons of bar and 20,000 tons of pig iron; beside 200 tons drawn out and faggotted into rods. Bar-iron was at that time worth £18 per ton.

The export of produce is the principal trade: 30,000 firkins of butter, value about £50,000, are annually brought to market from the western district; but a considerable part of this is supplied from the borders of Kerry and Limerick. The following abstract exhibits the qualities of grain sold at some of the principal market towns in the year 1835:—

Barrels of wheat of 20 stone

Barrels of barley of 16 stone

Barrels of oats of 14 stone





































No returns from Skibereen, Cloghnakilty, Bandon, Mallow, Charleville, and Youghall.

The linen and woollen manufactures at one time flourished in several towns of this county; but trade in these branches has for many years back been languishing.

Cork is the assize town. The county gaol, about three-quarters of a mile from the city, is considered the most perfect institution of the kind in Ireland. There are seventeen bridewells in the other principal towns.

Quarter sessions are held twice a year at Bandon, and once at Skibbereen and Bantry respectively.

The number of the constabulary in the county of Cork, on the 1st January, 1836, was 15 chief constables, 85 constables, 426 subconstables, and 17 horse : total expense for 1835, £19,807, 15*. 15 shillings, 5 pence, of which £9,334, 12 shillings was chargeable against the county.

Before the coming of the English, Cork was a separate kingdom, of which the princes were the Mac-Carthys. The ancient kingdom of Cork included, besides the present county, a considerable tract in Kerry and Limerick.

It was divided into Desmond, or South Munster, on the west; Muskerry, a part of Ormond, or West Munster, on the north-east, and Carbery on the south-west. In all these districts the Mac-Carthys were the most powerful. The native families next in importance were, in Desmond, the O'Sullivans; in Carbery. the O'Donovans, and O'Driscols; and in Muskerry, the O'Learys on the south-west; the O'Lehans (from whom Castle Lyons) on the south-east, the Mac-Donohgs on the north-west, and the O'Keefes on the north-east.

In 1172 Dermod Mac-Carthy, king of Cork, swore fealty to King Henry II, but he broke his engagements ten years afterwards by falling on the English under Raymond Le Gross by land, while his ally, Gilbert, son of Targesius. with a fleet of 35 sail from Cork, attacked Earl Strongbow by sea at Dungarvan.

His kingdom, thus forfeited, was bestowed by King Henry, in 1177, on Robert Fitz-Stephen and Milo de Cogan. The city of Cork with the cantred adjoining was reserved to the king.

Of the thirty-one cantreds conveyed by the king's grant, Cogan and Fitz-Stephen obtained possession of seven, lying near the city, which they divided, the three eastward cantreds falling to Fitz-Stepnen's lot and the four westward to Cogan's.

On the remaining 24 cantreds they levied rents from the native princes. Fitz-Stephen dying without issue, his grant went chiefly to the families of Barry and Roche. Cogan's share falling ultimately to co-heiresses, was divided among Robert de Carew, Patrick de Courcey, and Maurice Fitz Thomas (Fitz John Fitz Thomas Fitz-Gerald), who was created earl of Desmond in 1329.

The estates of this last family were further increased by large grants from Robert Fitz-Geoffrey Cogan, who had intruded on the portions of the Carews and De Courceys in 1438; so that the eighth earl of Desmond found himself in possession of almost the entire kingdom of Cork; but assuming to himself the right of levying separate exactions on the king's subjects, after the Irish manner, was attainted of treason and beheaded at Drogheda, 15th February, 1467.

Nevertheless his estates passed, and in the person of his descendant Gerald, the fifteenth and last earl, had grown to an amount unexampled in the history of private property in Ireland. They extended upwards of 150 miles throughout the counties of Waterford, Cork, Kerry, and Limerick, and comprehended an area of 574,628 acres, according to the rough estimate of these times, the calculation seeming to have reference only to profitable land.

Before the Desmond possessions had grown to this extent, the entire county of Cork had become Irish in language and habit.

Most of the old nobility of English descent had taken part with the defeated Yorkists in the latter end of the preceding century, and the Irish, on these noblemen leaving their estates to assist Simnel and Warbeck, had returned from their fortresses and over-run the new plantations.

The families of Carew, Barnwell, De Courcey, Balram, Mandeville, and Arundel, were thus expelled from the country, while their places were occupied by the descendants of the Irish clans above mentioned.

The reformation had made little progress in a country so indisposed for the reception of anything English, and on the breaking out of the northern rebellion in Elizabeth's time, Cork was considered the fittest place for an attempt in favour of the Catholic cause under the auspices of King Philip of Spain, to whom the country had been offered by Pope Gregory XIII.

The principal Irish agent in bringing about the invasion was James Fitz-Maurice, the brother of the 15th Earl. On his landing with some Italian troops, accompanied by Saunders, the pope's legate, 1st July, 1578, he was joined by his brother Sir John of Desmond, and by James Fitz-Gerald, the earl's brother.

The earl himself made some show of attacking them at first, and during the early part of the war which ensued took no active part against the queen; but having refused to yield up his castles and come in on the summons of the Lord Justice Sir William Pelham, he was, with all his family, proclaimed traitor, 1st November 1579.

On this he set up his standard at Ballyhowra in Cork, declared for the Catholic cause, and seized on Youghall. The war which ensued was predatory and sanguinary on both sides, and lasted till November 1583, when the unfortunate earl, after losing all his castles, and being driven to lurk for months together in the woods, was put to death by one Kelly, who found him in a wretched cabin, where he was hiding, in the county of Kerry.

The forfeited estates were divided into seigniories, and granted to English adventurers.

Upwards of 20,000 acres fell to Sir Walter Raleigh, who had been active in the suppression of the rebellion.

The other grantees in Cork were:— Sir Warham St. Leger, 6,000 acres; Hugh Cuffe, Esq., 6,000; Sir Thomas Norris, 6,000; Arthur Robins, Esq., 18,000; Sir Arthur Hyde, 5,574; Fane Beecher, Esq., 12,000; Hugh Worth, Esq., 12,000; Thomas Say, Esq., 5.775; Arthur Hyde, Esq., 11,766; Edmond Spenser, Esq., 3,028; Sir Richard Beacon (in Cork and Waterford), 6,000.

On the 7th December, 1602, Sir Walter Raleigh conveyed his proportion in Cork and Waterford for a small sum to Sir Richard Boyle, afterwards earl of Cork.

A large part of Beecher's seigniory was purchased by Sir Richard about the same time. On the latter he built the fortified town of Bandon, which he peopled with English settlers; and so stocked and planted his whole estate with British, that in 1611 his tenants on Raleigh's portion mustered 550 foot and 80 horsemen, and in 1622 on Beecher’s portion, 564 foot and 66 horse, the horse being mostly gentlemen and freeholders.

Before this settlement the country had been much distracted by the wars consequent on the landing of the Spaniards, 23rd September, 1601, in support of Hugh earl of Tyrone, then in rebellion in Ulster.

Tyrone had shortly before this raised James Fitz Thomas, the nephew of the late earl, to the title. He was known as the Sugaun or Straw Earl; and in his rebellion was joined by great numbers of the native Irish under Florence Mac Carthy, who had also been created Mac Carthy Moore by Tyrone, in place of Daniel, lately deposed from the chieftainship by the same authority.

This war was quited just before the arrival of the Spaniards by the capture of the two leaders. Mac Carthy was executed, and the Suguan Earl, being imprisoned in the tower of London, died there in 1608.

By the latter end of December, 1601, the rebellion was at an end; numbers of the chief rebels had fled to Spain, and after the exhibition of some discontents on the proclamation of King James, April, 1603, the country settled into tranquillity.

Sir Richard Boyle now began to regulate the various boroughs which he had enlarged or founded on his estates, procuring charters for Youghall, Bandon, Cloghnakilty, and Baltimore. His family preserving the same policy afterwards, raised Middleton, Doneraile, Castlemartyr, and Charleville, to the rank of corporate towns; so that the whole representation of the county ultimately rested in the various branches of the Boyle family.

The services of the British tenantry planted by this enterprising nobleman were soon called for, on the breaking out of the rebellion of 1641. The good conduct of the various bodies of this militia, under the command of lords Broghill, Kinalmeaky, Dungarvan, and Shannon, lord Cork's sons, materially conduced to the pacification of Munster.

Throughout the war the English were generally successful in retaining the walled towns and castles. Lord Castlehaven had some successes on the other side in 1645, taking Mitchelstown, Liscarrol, Mallow, Doneraile, and various castles north of the Blackwater in this county; but these places did not long remain in his hands.

The chief battles fought in Cork during this war were at Liscarrol, 3rd September, 1642, where Lord Inchiquin, accompanied by the sons of the earl of Cork, with a force of 2,000 foot and 400 horse, totally defeated the Irish under general Barry, who is said to have had 7,000 foot and 500 horse; and at Knockinoss, near Mallow, 13th November, 1647, where the same general, with 4,000 foot and 1,200 horse, routed the Irish, being 8,500 strong, under the command of lord Taaffe and Sir Alexander (son of the famous Colkitto) Macdonnel. Four thousand Irish fell on the field of battle; and for his good conduct on the occasion lord Inchiquin was voted a present of £1,000 by the parliament.

About 1657 lord Broghill began to agitate the question of the restoration, which event he was mainly instrumental in bringing about in 1660. He was now created lord Orrery, and advanced to the presidency of Munster, the affairs of which he managed with great prudence till 1668, when, falling into disfavour at court, he was deprived of his commission.

In the same year he successfully defended himself on an impeachment before the Commons; and being restored to the favour of the king, returned to his native country, where he died in 1679. The forfeitures consequent on this rebellion affected chiefly the estates of lords Ruche and Muskerry.

During the war of the Revolution, Cork was again the theatre of a desultory but sanguinary series of conflicts between the native Irish of the rural districts and the militia of British descent.

The chief sufferers by the forfeitures consequent on the war of the Revolution were Donogh lord Clancarty, Sir Richard Nagle, colonel Barrett, and the viscount Kenmare. The extent of land forfeited was 244,320 acres, valued at £32,133, 12 shillings, 6 pence per annum; or £417,737, 2 shillings, 6 pence at the then rate of purchase. This was by much the most extensive forfeiture in any one county. Among the numerous minor proprietors who suffered confiscation, the name of Hugolin Spencer, a descendant of the poet, occurs.

The antiquities are chiefly military, and comprise some of the finest buildings of the kind in Ireland.

The castle of Kanturk, built by Mac Donogh, prince of Duhallow, is a square of 120 feet by 80, and about 70 feet in height.

Lohort castle, built in king John's reign, is a massive keep, 80 feet high.

Liscarrol castle, of the same date, is an oblong of 120 by 240 feet. Blarney castle, built by Cormack Mac Carthy in 1449, is still a fine ruin, though only one fourth of the original building is now standing: the walls are 18 feet thick.

The other castles still standing in the county are very numerous, and of great historical interest.

The dioceses of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, with which the county is nearly co-extensive, rank respectively 19th, 25th. and 21st, among the 32 Irish dioceses in point of education The average of educated persons in the three dioceses is 6.8 per cent.

The amount of direct taxation levied by grand jury presentment on this county in 1810 was £66,849, 0 shillings, 7 pence, and in 1829, £72,969, 2 shillings, 7 pence; being on an average of the twenty years included. £65,570, 7 shillings, 11 pence. On a valuation made by order of the grand jury in 1829-30, the rent value has been estimated at £1,135,923, 16 shillings, 2 pence per annum.