Organisation : Waterford County Museum
Article Title : Lewis's Topographical Dictionary - Waterford County
Page Title : Stradbally
Page Number : 73
Publication Date : 15 March 2011
Expiry Date : Never Expires
Category : Home

Stradbally, a maritime parish, in the union of Dungarvan, barony of Decies-without-Drum, county of Waterford and province of Munster,7 miles (S. by W.) from Kilmacthomas; on the coach-road from Waterford to Cork, and on the river Tay; containing 4419 inhabitants, of whom 814 are in the village. The parish comprises 10,917 statute acres, of which 150 are waste land.

The village consists of one long street, with smaller ones diverging from it, the houses are well built, and command fine marine views: it is a place of some resort during the bathing season, but the accommodations are inconsiderable.

 Petty-sessions are held once a fortnight; and it is a constabulary police station. Here was formerly a productive salmon-fishery, which has totally declined. A new road from Stradbally to Kilmacthomas, shortening the distance one mile, has been lately made. South-west of the village. On a very steep cliff, a signal station-house was erected by the government during the late war, it is now a private residence:  the sea view is of almost boundless extent, and the cliff on which the house stands is nearly perpendicular, measuring 370 feet from the summit.

Near the shore is Woodhouse, a large and well built mansion, situated in a beautiful valley through which the river Tay winds its course; the proprietor's ancestor, in 1742, obtained a premium for having planted here no fewer than 152,640 trees, which form a noble wood, having flourished remarkably, though so near the sea. Woodhouse was anciently called Torc-Raith, or Tar Cora, and was the residence of a branch of the Geraldines.

The other seats are Fahagh, Glenview, and Carrickbarron. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Lismore, episcopally united in 1799, to the vicarages of Ballylaneen and Clonea, and in the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire, in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithe rent-charge of the parish is £596.8., of which £375 are payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the incumbent; the gross tithe of the benefice of the vicar is £495.18. The glebe in Clonea consists of two acres; there is no glebe-house.

The church is a neat structure with a tower and spire, built in 1786 by aid of £500 from the Board of First Fruits; a gallery was added in 1830: the churchyard is well planted and adorned by the ruins of the ancient abbey of Stradbally, which being overgrown with ivy, have a very picturesque appearance.

In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a district, comprising the parishes of Stradbally and Ballylaneen, and containing three chapels, two of which are in this parish of Stradbally and Fahagh, the latter built principally at the expense of the late James Barron Esq. The late Rev. P. Wall, P.P., left upwards of £100 to be distributed in clothing and other charities. On the estate of Fahagh are the remains of an ancient building which derives interest from having been the place of refuge of the Fitzgeralds. At Ballivoney, traces of an extensive building are visible, extending in length 180 feet, and in breadth 90, with an open wall in front; it is supposed to have belonged to the Knights Templars.

Two miles south-west of the village, on a very steep cliff, are the ruins of a castle (the Irish name of which signifies"the house of fortification") built by the Fitzgeralds, and defended on the land side by a deep trench, over which was a drawbridge. At Carrigahilla is a relic supposed to be Druidical, consisting of an oval inclosure, 182 yards long by 33 broad, having a large upright stone in the centre and several smaller ones around it. One of the brotherhood of the Augustine friars, ruins of whose abbey are in the churchyard, was called the "White Friars" and is the hero of many legendary tales.

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