Lewis Directory 1837
BALLINGARRY, or GARE, a parish, in the barony of SLIEVARDAGH county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (E. by N.) from Killenaule; containing 5872 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the southern portion of the great coal field of Slievardagh, and is the property of Matthew Pennefather, Esq., comprises 13,325 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and chiefly in pasture; there is neither bog nor waste land. The village has arisen within the last 20 years, and consists of nearly 100 neatly built houses inhabited principally by persons connected with the adjacent collieries. Fairs are held on Whit-Monday, July 23rd,Nov. 11th, and Dec. 12th, and are well supplied with cattle and pigs. There is a constabulary police station in the village.
The principal seats are Coal Brook, that of H. Langley, Esq., a handsome residence; Harley Park, of J. P. Poe, Esq., pleasantly situated in a richly planted demesne; and Ballyphilip, of Ambrose Going, Esq., the demesne of which is tastefully laid out. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cashel, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the Rev. —Hayden; the tithes amount to £738. 9. 2 ¾, of which £492. 6. 1 ¾. is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. The church, a neat plain edifice with a tower, was erected by aid of a gift of £470 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1811. The glebe-house was built by a gift of £350 and a loan of £450 from the same Board, in 1814: the glebe comprises 17 ½ acres, subject to a rent.
The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church: the chapel, which is situated in the village, is a handsome and spacious edifice, erected in 1828 on a site of about two acres of land given by the late Colonel Pennefather; in the chapelyard is a school-house. A school-house under the trustees of Erasmus Smith’s foundation was erected at an expense of £300, and two acres of land were assigned to it by the late Colonel Pennefather; and there are three other schools, supported by private subscription. These schools afford instruction to about 250 boys, and 120 girls; and there are also six pay schools, in which are about 270 boys and 170 girls.
The coal field, of which a considerable portion is within this parish, extends 7 miles in length and 3 miles in breadth: the coal is found in three distinct seams of 12, 18, and 24 inches in thickness, lying above each other at intervening distances varying from 90 to 140 feet, dipping to a common centre, and appearing at the surface on all sides: the extreme depth of the lowest seam is about 700 feet. The coal beds lie about 1800 feet over a mass of limestone rock of great thickness, which shews itself at the surface all round on an average within two miles of the pits. The coal field is divided 115 among various proprietors in portions varying from 1000 to 1500 acres, each of whom is the owner of the coal upon his own land. Some of the mines have been drained and worked by the proprietors, by means of day levels or adits, for which the undulation of the surface is extremely favourable; and of late years several of the collieries have been let on lease to the Mining Company of Ireland, who have erected steam-engines for raising the water from the deeper parts of the mines, and made various other improvements for working them to greater advantage. The collieries on the estate of Coalbrook had been worked upon a judicious plan and with great success by the late proprietor, Charles Langley, Esq., for the last 30 years, and are still carried on in a similar manner by the present proprietor.
On the estate of Kilballygalvin, also in this parish, and the property of the Earl of Carrick, are mines under lease to the Mining Company, which are now being opened; and on the estate of Boulintlea, belonging to Edward Cooke, Esq., are others under lease to the same Company, which are now in operation, and for working which, on a more extensive scale, preparations are now in progress. The mines on the estate of Ballyphilip are very extensive, and the coal is of good quality; they have not latterly been worked to advantage, but arrangements are now in progress for opening them to a greater extent and working them upon a more improved plan. The average price of large coal at the pit is 15s. per ton, and of culm, 7s. The coal, which is of the non-flaming kind, is in great request with malsters and millers for drying corn; and is also esteemed very profitable for culinary uses, for which it is carried to a great distance. About three-fourths of the produce of the mines is culm, which is used chiefly for burning lime. The entire produce of the coal field at present is valued at about £25,000 per annum; but the returns are likely to be much augmented by the more extensive working of the mines and the increased demand arising from the progressive improvements in agriculture.