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Extract from Topographical Dictionary of Ireland

Samuel Lewis  1837

ANNAGHDOWN or ENAGHDUNE, a parish,

in the barony of CLARE, county of GALWAY, and province

of CONNAUGHT, 7 1/2 miles (N.) from Galway on the road

from Galway to Headford; containing 6093 inhabitants.

This parish is bounded on the west by Lough Corrib,

and comprises 16,508 statute acres, as applotted under

the tithe act. It is a place of considerable antiquity,

and was formerly the seat of an independent bishoprick,

of which some notice will be found in the account of the

archiepiscopal see of Tuam, with which it has for centuries

been incorporated. St Brendan of Clonfert built a

nunnery here under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin,

for his sister Briga, which, in 1195, was confirmed by Pope

Celestine III, toghther with the town of Kelgel, to nuns

of the Arroasian order: at the suppression it was granted

to the Earl of Clanricarde. An abbey, dedicated to St.

Mary, and called the abbey of St. Mary de portu patrum,

was founded at an early period for White Premonstratensian

canons; and here was a Franciscan friary, the

head of a custody, to which the monasteries of Connaught

and Ulster were subordinate. There was also

another religious house called the College of St. Brendan,

in which four priests or vicars were supported, and

which was not subjected to royal inquisition until the

28th of Elizabeth; and at Kilcoonagh, in the vicinity,

was an abbey, which Tipraid, Prince of Hy Fiacria,

granted to St Colunb, who placed over it St Cuannan,

from whom it derived its name. The seats are Cregg

Castle, that of Fras. Blake, Esq., and Waterdale, of Jas.

Blake, Esq. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of

Tuam, to which those of Killascobe and Lackagh are

episcopally united, and in the patronage of the

Archbishop; the rectory is impropriate in John Kirwan, Eaq.

The tithes amount to £553.16.11 1/4., of which £139.9.3

is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the

incumbent; nad of the entire union, to £675.9.4 3/4.

The church is a small neat building, for the erection of

which the late Board of First Fruits gave £500, in 1798.

The glebe-house was also built by aid of a gift of £350

and a loan of £450, in 1818 from the same Board: the

glebe comprises 20 acres. The R.C. parish is co-extensive

with that of the Established Church: the

chapel is at Corondola, and divine service is also regularly

performed in a school-house at Woodpark. Schools at

Annaghdown and Woodpark were each endowed with

£100 late currency by the Rev. Redmond Hardagan, for

the gratuitous instruction of 30 children in each; about

160 children are at present taught in these schools.

There are also six hedge schools, in which are about

300 children; and a Sunday school is supported by

the vicar