Cassell’s Gazetteer, 1900

Published between 1899 and 1900 Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland is a complete Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom.  Published in six volumes, the collection as a whole contains more than 3,000 pages, 60 coloured maps and many hundreds of illustrations throughout the text.  It was believed by the publishers that their gazetteer and topographical dictionary met a need that had until that time not been met by any publisher and the scope of the six volumes was detailed in the following terms:

The Gazetteer contains an alphabetical list of all of the counties, together with geographical features and river systems, Parliamentary Divisions, Baronies, Parishes - including acreage and soil - Townships, Cities, Boroughs, Towns, Seaports, Hamlets and Villages in the United Kingdom.  Provided at the foot of each page is the population for each denomination as enumerated in the 1891 Census of Great Britain and Ireland and its distance from its nearest railway station and London or Dublin.

Physical features are also recorded in the Gazetteer and these include Mountains and Hills - with their altitude - Rivers, Waterfalls, Capes, Lakes, Islands, Rocks and Shoals.  Also described are Remarkable Antiquities, Earthworks, Ecclesiastical Ruins and Historic Houses.  For each parish entry the acreage and nature of the soil is provided, the name of the parish church or churches, their dedication, architectural features and monuments; also recorded are other places of worship, schools, public buildings, historic events associated with the parish, eminent inhabitants, antiquities, natural features, trades and gentlemen's seats.

Cassell's is one of the principal topographical resources for Briatin and Ireland and an essential reference work.

Ardbraccan, parish and village, Lower Navan barony, Co. Meath.  The soil is mostly calcareous and marly, limestone and gravel occurring generally.  The church, erected largely by the exertions of Bishop Maxwell, was long considered one of the finest in Ireland.  The Bishop's Palace was also founded by Bishop Maxwell (1786), and its grounds contain some of the finest timber in the kingdom.  The ancient abbey, founded by St. Braccan, was long used as the parish church.  The graveyard contains the monuments of Bishops Montgomery and Pococke. There are small manufactories of linen and cotton.  Ruins of numerous churches are within the parish.

Ardsallagh, parish, on the west bank of the Boyne, and on the railway between Navan and Kilmessan, Lower Navan barony, Co. Meath, acerage 1,738.  The soil, which overlies limestone, is fairly productive.  A monastery is said to have been founded here by St. Finnan, but no traces of it remain. Ardsallagh House is the seat of Earl Russell.

Athlumney, parish and villlage, Skreen barony, Co. Meath, acerage 2,453.  A cultivated tract, it is bounded by the Boyne, here crossed by two bridges.  The old church is in ruins, but the Roman Catholic chapel is a neat little building.  The parish contains part of Navan and the village of Little Furze. The remains of Athlumney Castle is crumbling to decay; it was formerly the seat of the Dowdells, who are said to have destroyed it to prevent it falling into the hands of Cromwell's troops.  The village is sometimes known as Factory.

Bective, parish on the Boyne, Upper Navan barony, Co. Meath, 8 miles south of Navan; acerage 3,385, fertile and well cultivated; limestone is the prevailing rock, and is quarried.  The ground is well wooded and the scenery pleasing.  An abbey was founded here before 1150, the abbot being, ex officio, a lord of Parliament; it was very richly endowed.  There are also the ruins of an ancient church.  The castle, no traces of which now remain, is traditionally said to have been the oldest stone building in the country, the round towers excepted.  It was conferred by Charles 1 on Lord Chancellor Bolton, and gives one of his titles to the Marquis of Headfort. Headfort House is a seat.

Bective Bridge, villlage on the Boyne, parish of Balsoon. Co. Meath.  The river is here crossed by a stone bridge.  Two annual cattle fairs are held.

Churchtown, parish, Lower Navan barony, Co. Meath,  3 miles south west of Navan; acerage. 1,830; soil moderately fertile, resting on carboniferous limestone. Churchtown Castle, Churchtown House, and Phipotstown are seats.

Donaghmore, parish, (containing the county town of Navan) on the Boyne and Blackwater, Lower Navan barony; acerage 3,955; soil generally excellent, overlying carboniferous limestone.  Here is a fine round tower, 100 foot high, with sculptures over the doorway, and the vestiges of an ancient abbey.  A number of seats are in this parish, mostly amid well wooded grounds.

Donaghpatrick, parish, on the Blackwater, Lower Navan and Upper Kells baronies County Meath, 5 miles north west of Navan; acerage 4,027; soil fair, overlying carboniferous limestone.  The parish church has an ancient tower, and there are several schools.  A thriving town, now represented by a few houses only, once stood here.  An abbey was founded, but was destroyed by the Scandinavian sea rovers in 994. There are remains of an old fort and the foundations of an ancient castle.

Dowdstown, parish on the Boyne, Skreen barony County Meath; acerage 809.  House is a seat.

Dunmoe, parish, Morgallion barony, County Meath, 3 miles north esst of Navan; acerage 975.  The castle, a large oblong structure with towers at the angles, was originally built by Hugh de Lacy; but a large portion was rebuilt in the 17th century.

Follistown, parish, Skreen barony, 3 miles south east of Navan; acerage 653.

Kentstown, parish, Lower Duleek barony, County Meath, 5 miles south of Slane; acerage. 2,521; soil rich loam, with good grazing land. T he church is a plain structure. Somerville, the seat of Lord Athlumney, is a fine mansion surrounded by an extensive demesne.

Kilberry, parish and villlage, Morgallion barony, County Meath, 5 miles west of Kells; acerage 4,818.  The surface consists of fair pasture land, and the parish is traversed by the Navan and Kingscourt Railway and by the main road between these towns.  The parish had formerly a church, which included a perpetual chantry of two chaplains.  North of the village is Demailestown Fort, a Danish rath.

Kilcarn, parish, Skreen barony, County Meath, 2 miles south east of Navan; acerage 2,326.  The parish lies along the eastern bank of the Boyne, which is here crossed by a bridge, and the soil consists of fairly good pasture bond.  There were formerly extensive flour mills here, but they have not been working for some years and are fast becoming ruinous.

Kilshine, parish, Morgallion barony, County Meath, 7 miles north of Navan; acerage 1,543.  A small detached section of the parish lies 2 north of the main portion.

Kilmessan, parish and village near the Boyne, Lower Deece barony, County Meath, 4 miles east of Trim; acerage 3,326.  The surface consists of fair pasture land.  The parish church was rebuilt in 1748.  Swainstown is a seat.

Liscartan, parish Lower Navan barony Mid Co. Meath, Ir., 2 N.w. of Navan; acerage 1,303. The surface consists of prime grazing land lying along the west bank of the Blackwater.  Liscartan Castle is said to have been originally a monastery, afterwards fortified by strong outworks, of which a fine arched gateway is still standing.

Lismullin, parish, Skreen barony, County Meath, 5 miles south east of Navan; acerage 938.  The surface consists of excellent pasture land.  The parish church, known as Templekeiran church, was built in 1811.  An Augustinian friary was founded here in 1240, but very little of the ancient building is now in existence. Lismullin House is a seat; near is a decoy, now disused.

Martry, parish, Lower Navan barony, County Meath, 5 miles north west of Navan; acerage 3,890.  The surface consists of medium tillage and pasture land, with some bog in the south.  Remains exist of an ancient church in good preservation; there are some remains of raths and duns (stone built fortified settlement) in the parish.  Allenstown House is a seat.  In the demesne is the wooded hill of Faughan, and an extensive decoy.

Navan, parish, and market town and head of petty sessions division, Lower Navan  barony, County Meath, 16 miles south west of Drogheda; acerage of parish 3,344, of town 455.  The town, which extends into the parish of Donaghmore, is agreeably situated at the junction of the Boyne and Blackwater rivers, which are crossed by two stone bridges.  This was one of the first boroughs established by the English in the palatine of Meath; and the Baron of Navan about the close of the 12th century, founded an abbey here for Augustinian canons.  Navan was incorporated by charter of Edward IV, and sent two members to the Irish Parliament until the Legislative Union.

The Protestant church is a modern edifice with a fine pinnacled tower.  The handsome Catholic church, the convent, and the priest's residence form a highly ornamental group.  Within the town is St. Finian's Catholic Academy, founded in 1802, in which youths are prepared for the priesthood and the learned professions.  The school endowed by Alderman Preston, of Dublin, affords education of a superior order to Protestants.  There are national schools, besides that in the convent for girls.  Other public buildings and institutions are a county infirmary, a fever hospital, a dispensary, a court house, and a Union workhouse.  The corn and flour trade is very great in Navan, owing chiefly to the facilities afforded by the above named rivers an d the navigable cut to Drogheda.  These streams work numerous flour mills and a woollen mill. There is one tannery in the town, and an establishment for the making of farming implements.  Fairs are held monthly, and an extra one in April, September, and October.  Black Castle, on the banks of the Boyne and Blackwater, is a seat.

Navan, Lower, barony County Meath; acerage 25,835.  It is bounded on the south by Upper Navan barony; on the north by Upper Kells, Morgallion, and Upper Slane baronies; on the east by Skreen and Lower Deece baronies; and on the west by Lune barony.  It contains the town o f Navan.

Navan  Upper, barony County Meath; acerage 17,651.  It is bounded on the west by Lune barony, on the south by Lower Moyfenrath and Lower Deece baronies, (the latter also separating it from the rest of the county on the east), and on the north by Lower Navan barony.

Skreen, barony, County Meath; acerage 40,891.  It is bounded on the north by Navan and Upper Slane baronies, on the east by Upper and Lower Duleek baronies, and County Dublin on the south by Ratoath barony, and on the west by Navan and Lower Deece baronies.

Skreen parish and village, Skreen barony County Meath, 5 miles north east of Kilmessan station; acerage 4,520.  The village stands on the summit of Skreen Hill, which rises from the low surrounding country to a height of about 500 ft.

Tara parish and village, Skreen barony, County Meath, 5 miles south east of Navan; acerage 3,364. In the parish is the famed Hill of Tara (510 feet), rising from a rich and fertile plain, and commanding panoramic views; in connection with it there is much legendary history, but it is considered certain that it was from a very early period up to the 6th century, the principal seat of the monarchs of Ireland, with a palace and university with other buildings clustered around it, and the place of meeting of the Druids and musicians and for great ceremonies; the wisdom and greatness of Cormac, the most accomplished of Irish kings (A.D. 213), who maintained a splendid court, being the theme of the bards; Moore's ballad commencing "The harp that once through Tara's Halls” sometime after 1798. A triennial assembly was held here between the 2nd and 5th centuries.  The Danes were in 980 here signally defeated; English settlers held assemblies here 1173, and in much later times the rebels of 1798 (May 26) were routed, and later still, in 1843 (Aug. 15), one of the largest meetings was held here for the repeal of the Legislative Union, under Daniel O'Connell.  “Halls'' is well known, but of the "Halls" referred to there is no trace, only "raths or mounds" remaining to indicate their probable sites.  A pillar of stone standing 6 feet above ground, and reputed to be the "coronation stone" of the ancient kings, was placed in its present position some time after 1798.

Teltown, parish on the Blackwater, Upper Kells barony County Meath, 3 miles south east of Kells; acerage 4,267. Hurdlestown is a seat.

Tullahanoge, parish Upper Navan barony County Meath, 2 miles north west of Trim; acerage 1, 414.