1st January 1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, 1837. (The information collected here was submitted by members of the local gentry and clergy of the time).

CONNAUGHT (OLD), a parish, in the half-barony of RATHDOWN, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER ; containing, with part of the town of Bray, 1947 inhabitants. This parish, which is commonly called Old Conna or Connagh, is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Bray and Newtown-Mount-Kennedy. Besides the village of Old Connaught, it contains Little Bray, which forms the northern portion of the town of Bray, within the manor of which this parish is included. It is bounded on the east by the sea, and on the south by the Dargle river, over which there is a bridge that connects the counties of Wicklow and Dublin, and near which is a common of about 14 acres, that is used as a race-course. The parish most of which belongs to Miss Roberts, contains 4050 statute acres, and is remarkable for salubrity of climate, beauty of sea and mountain prospect, and convenience of sea-bathing. The land is chiefly laid out in villas and ornamental plantations, and the part that is under tillage is occupied by substantial farmers. From its proximity to the sea, the Wicklow mountains, and the metropolis, with other natural advantages, this is a favourite place of residence.

The principal seats are

  • Old Connaught, the residence of the Rt. Hon. Lord Plunket ;
  • Palermo, of the Rev. Sir S. S. Hutchinson, Bart.;
  • Cork Abbey, of the Hon. Col. Wingfield ;
  • Woodbrook, of Sir J. Ribton, Bart. ;
  • Old Connagh Hill, of Miss Roberts ;
  • Thornhill, of F. Leigh, Esq. ;
  • Jubilee, of Miss Ryan ;
  • Oaklawn, of W. Garde, Esq. ;
  • Ravenswell, of I. Weld, Esq. ;
  • Beauchamp, of Capt. Lovelace Stamer ;.
  • Woodlawn, of W. Magan, Esq. ;
  • Moatfield Cottage, of Capt. C. Johnstone ;
  • Bray Lodge, of W. C. W. Newberry, Esq.;
  • Crinlin Lodge, of J. Cahill, Esq. ; and
  • Wilfort, of Messrs. Toole.

At the entrance to Little Bray, through which the coaches from Dublin to Wexford pass, are three handsome houses, occupied by the physician to the dispeanary, the Rev. W. Purcell, and Mrs Galway.

The village of Old Connaught is small and pleasant, having a flourishing plantation of horse chestnut trees in its centre : it contains several neat cottages, and the handsome residence of R. Morrison, Esq. the architect.

It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin and forms part of the union of Bray : the tithes amount to £240. Prior to 1758, the rectorial tithes formed part of the Archbishop of Dublin's mensal, but in that year, the tithes of this parish and of several others were annexed to their respective incumbencies it having cure of souls.

In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Kingstown, and a has a chapel at Crinkin. There are two schools, one for boys, aided by a collection at the church, and the other for girls, supported by voluntary subscriptions, in which are educated 100 girls and 87 boys. The poor enjoy a share of the rents of an estate in the county of Longford, bequeathed by F. Adair, Esq., to the unions of to Delgany and Bray, and the parish of Powerscourt.

In the grounds of Moatfield, or Wilfort, is an old rath and in those of Ballyman are the ruins of a church, in a curiously detached churchyard. The ruins of the parish church also form a picturesque object.

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Some buildings associated with these communities