Owning Retirement Homes. Formerly Sue Ryder Homes
A sea of yellow rapeseed. Rich growth of April May
Continuation of Parish History
Often the course of rivers form the boundaries between parish districts within the larger parish or between distinct parish entities. For instance Brennan's river which rises in the townland of Templeorum, in Mara's bogs, near Ashtown, divides Templeorum from Piltown Catholic parish at the top of the Avenue, at Ballynametagh. Harristown river divides Templeorum from the Catholic parish of Mullinavat at Harristown bridge. The Glenbower/Kilmanahin river divides Owning parish from Templeorum at Kilmanahin bridge, dividing off the townland of Jamestown from that of Kilmanahin.
Templeorum district is a rural district whose main activity continues to be agriculture, with a history of human civilization reaching back over 6,000 years. The first people to come to Ireland, when the ice had melted, were hunter-gatherer people, having crossed from Scandinavia to Britain in circa 6000 BC or earlier, moving firstly into Antrim and Wicklow. We know little about these middle-stone age or mesolithic people. At Coleraine they lived in round huts with a central hearth. We do not know how they disposed of their dead. The people whose funerary monuments are portal tombs, court-tombs, wedge-tombs and passage tombs, the remains of which dot the countryside, belong to the neolithic or new stone age of some 6000 years ago, 4000 BC. It is believed that these were Ireland's first farmers. What kind of homes they lived in, or what language they spoken remains a mystery? They may have come from the Middle East to Continental Europe, then to Britain and Ireland.
The landscape of Templeorum district, along with neighbouring Owning, is rich in neolithic funerary remains such as the impressive portal tomb at Harristown, and the smaller one on O'Shea's hill in Raheen. In Owning district there is the portal tomb on Owning hill, in Carraiganaug wood, at Ballyhenebry and at Kilionerry.
The Celts came to Ireland from Central Europe in circa 600 to 300 BC. Celtic is a term which describes groups of people who spoke one of the languages dervived from the Indo-European culture, one such language is Gaelic. A sophesticated farming people, with a rich oral and artistic culture, whose religious beliefs were incorporated into early Irish Christianity, giving it the definition Celtic Irish Christianity.The Gaelic or Irish language was spoken by pockets of people in the Templeorum, Owning and Piltown districts into the early part of the 20th century as seen from a reading of the 1901 Census of Population for County Kilkenny. South Kilkenny in general was especially rich in the oral tradition, even strong farmers spoke Irish in the early years after the 1846-51 Famine.
The early Christian period dating from the 5th century AD is well represented by the monastery and church of St. Mogue at Kilmogue, now obliterated and the early Christian site of Muckalee with its church ruin and garveyard on the border of Miltown and Garrygaug.
Templeorum lies at the heart of the Walsh Mountain. A name it acquired some time after the Anglo-Norman invasion. The date for the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the Suir Valley, of which this district forms part, is 1185, when Prince John, King Henry II's son arrived with an army into Waterford, from where he proceeded to Tybrougney, where a moate-and-bailey was built, (demolished since the 1960s), near the graveyard, adjoining the railway on Dowley's land.
The Walshs were the principal Anglo-Norman family here along with the Datons or Daltons of Kildalton and Jamestown. Orum Walsh had his circular building, known as his "Court" at Oldcourt, not far behind the old school here. It was a principal ruling seat for a time. Castlehale, where Hale Walsh lived was the principal ruling seat of the Walshs of "The Walsh Mountain" for centuries. There was a Walsh Castle at Harristown and tradition says at Garrygaug. Robert Walsh was the principal Anglo-Norman lord in the locality, who forfeited his territory after Cromwell's arrival in the latter part of the 17th century.
Originally there was no surname such as Walsh, they were soldiers from Wales who helped in the Norman conquest of Ireland, they were given the name Walsh. Ordinary people in the middle-ages were not important enough to have surnames in many cases. The surname Walsh predominates in the districts of Templeorum, Owning and Piltown. Nicknames were given in order to distinguish the different familes of Walsh in the area such as the Scoffal Walshs, the Boy Walshs, and Johnny Long Stocking Walsh, who lived in the house of Corcorans at the end of the lane opposite the present scaristy. For instance in a list of Baptisms in the the parish of Templeorum Register from 1800 to 1914, the number of occurrences of the surname Walsh is 962.
In 1637 the Castlehale or Walsh Mountain estate extended from Kilmoganny to Skeart in Clonassey, from Ballyglassoon to Bessborough Demesne to the eastern border of Smithstown in the parish of Rosbercon. Also included were the townlands of Owning, Ballyhenebry, Fanningstown and Kilmanahin until 1614, along with Tullahought and most of the Marquis of Ormond's estate in the civil parish of Killamery. Castlebanny and Ballyhale, even Castlejohn in County Tipperary, bordering County Kilkenny is said to have been Walsh property.
The Datons had a castle at Jamestown. Tradition says it stood where the late Pa O'Shea's haybarn stands on the left leading to Templeorum village or at the end of Maggie Jack's lane, on the road to Kilmanahin, near where Margaret Costello lives. Jamestown was a medieval village, straddling each side of the narrow road opposite the cross. A standing stone stands in one of the fields where the village stood, dating from the Bronze age. Tradition says that a bloody battle was fought here in medieval times between the adjoining villages of Templeorum and Kilmanahin. This is known as "The Battle of Jamestown." Datons had the lease of Kildalton and Jamestown from the Butlers of Ormonde, a branch of whom lived in the castle and manor of Granagh. A tradition says that Jamestown is named after a James Butler. The Butlers did own townlands in Owning and Templeorum for periods before 1653. In both Kilkenny and Tipperary the Butlers controlled large tracts of land.
Cromwell arrived in Ireland in 1649, the aftermath of his arrival was to change the Irish landscape for good. Sir John Ponsonby and his brother from Crofton, Cumberland, were officers in his army, they were involved in the attack on Carrick-on-Suir. In 1653 the Datons forfeited Kildalton. Sir John Ponsonby whose first wife was Dorothy Brisccoe, acquired the Daton and most of the Walsh territory in the Templeorum, Owning and Piltown districts. He built Bessborough House in 1744. His second wife was Bess ffliott, a rich heiress, after whom he named his new estate, Bessborough, dropping the name Kildalton. Belline House, was built by Peter Walsh from Fanningstown, he became Lord Bessborough's estate agent. The age of the landlord had arrived. The Besoroughs were fair landlords who dealt with people humanely.
The original village of Templeorum, the medieval one, was situated three fields under the present church, near Danny O'Brien's bog. The old road originating at Jamestown cross, joined the old village. As part of the Famine public relief works in 1847, the present road leading to the village was built. Family names such as Daniels, Fahy, Butler, and O'Shea are associated with the old village. In essence a village of farmholdings of varying sizes. There is a double ditch travelling for about a mile, which divides the townlands of Templeorum, Oldcourt and Raheen, and a standing stone in O'Brien's bog, to the east of the medieval village.
Some mystery surrounds the origin of the name Templeorum. It is likely to be called after an early Christian saint called Odran or Otteran, Teampaill Odhrain, who is connected to Waterford, his veneration was brought over by the Vikings in the 10th century. Or perhaps St. Odran could have visited the general area in early Christian times. Townland names changed with the coming of the Normans and many old townland names have been lost. For instance Oldcourt is Anglo-Norman related. So Templeorum may not have always been called Templeorum. If so the tradition of it being called after the Anglo-Norman Orum Walsh who was either an Anglo-Norman lord or the blacksmith Orum Walsh could hold. However the existence of an early Christian site in the 5th or 6th century is probably certain.
Four chapels predated the present 1810-14 church. One in the front of the graveyard to the south of the present church, the other two at the upper end as you go in the main entrance and lastly a thatched chapel in the field across the road from the present one. Templeorum holy well was in this field. The present road cuts through the graveyard, the remainder of which was in the aforementioned field. It is interesting to note that the chapel or church located at the south side of the graveyard, the graveyard of which the present road cuts through, with its tall presbytery called the "castle" attached, housed a minor order of monks attached to the monastery at Fiddown, this was a chapel of ease of the church at Fiddown and very ancient, another indication that Templeorum had not to wait until the 12th and the arrival of the Anglo-Normans to acquire a church and embrace Christianity.
Templeorum Holy Well was sited roughly some hundreds of yards west of Walsh's large house, whose back looks out onto the Church field. No trace of it is to be seen now with the extent of overgrowth. The pattern of the Well of St. Canice, which originally was associated with Muckalee graveyard, was transferred by a crafty publican named keeravan in around 1780 to Templeorum village and the Church field there. The pattern was held on the Sunday after St. Canice's day, being the 11th of October. It was atttended by crowds of people until about 1835.
Like Piltown, Fiddown, Harristown and Owning, Templeorum is a Bessborough Estate village built in the latter part of the 18th into the early 19th century.
The point must be made here that most of what we refer to as the village of Templeorum is situated geographically in the townland of Oldcourt. Even the present church is sited in Oldcourt. Only the former shop and impressive blue pebble dash dwelling of Walshs stands in Templeorum village. The townland of Templeorum comprises 252 statute acres.
In the 19th century the village of Templeorum had a butcher's shop of Walshs, for about one generation, later it became a shoe repair shop of Corcorans, which later became the grocery and post office of Brodericks, which closed in 1974. The original post-office was at the upper end of Margaret Corcoran's house, run by Dick Daniels. There was a dispensary here also. Doolins the tailors lived in the house across the road from the present curate's bungalow. Johnsons had a house and grocery shop near the church wall where Harts live. The house where Harts live was the R.I.C. barracks. It became the residence of the Templeorum curate in 1923. The Irish police force lived for a time in the house in Ashtown where Kellys now live until the barracks was opened in 1928, being the house where Daltons and Mayes now live. A man named Landy had a grocery shop near where Walshs set up their shop in the mid 1860s, in an old national school building, built in 1833. The national school that is the parish Hall since 1974 was built in 1861. Templeorum had at least four pubs, Johnsons, Daniels, Keervan in the 18th century and Walshs as well as a shebeen or two. Walsh's pub, later the former's teacher's house, at the upper end of the lane opposite the church sacristy was the last pub, it closed in about the 1870s or so. Tradition says that Templeorum was a very roudy village, with faction fiights and drunken behaviour. Lord Bessborough in conjunction with the priest had the last pub closed down. Some oral tradition suggest that there may have been a man murdered or manslaughtered in the pub in question. Most of the information on the village reconstruction is oral history, along with some facts gleamed from a reading of the Griffith Valuation of 1850-51 and Templeorum national school registers of 1851-56.
There was a forge in a disused presbytery in the 19th century, Flavins forge did not open until about 1910 when Nicholas Flavin from Fenor who was married to Brigit Aylward of Harristown moved into their County Council house. Flavin's forge closed finally on Perri's death in January 1990. Truly the end of an era and of a craft going back thousands of years. Other forges in the district were Jack Aylward's forge at Harristown, an Aylward forge at Mullinbeg, the remains of which is to be seen above Mullinbeg cross, on the way to upper Mullinbeg and Booleyglass, an Aylward forge at Red Acres, in the Mullinavat district, adjoining Harristown, an Aylward forge at Miltown, adjoining Knockbackgeldon, a sub-division of the townland of Garrygaug, Tyler's forge at Killinaspic, on the border with Lickawn, on the Flag road, Connolly's forge at Raheen, Holden's forge at Ballygown and Kennington's forge at the Avenue, Ballyglassoon which closed in 1975.
Being primarily an agricultural community, the creamery was an important feature of rural life. Private creameries such as the one on the Miltown/Harristown border existed between 1893-95. The co-op creameries were set up in 1900, the one at Piltown, which had branches at Mullinbeg, Clogga and Ballinurra outside Carrick-On-Suir, opened in 1900. Its branch of Mullinbeg opened in 1914. Harristown creamery which was a branch of Mullinavat creamery opened in circa 1905. In 1973 Piltown Agriculural and Dairy Co-operative Society joined with Avonmore, in 1988 Avonmore became a P.L.C. and in 1998 it joined with Waterford, under the new name Glanbia.
Like many rural areas the population of Templeorum district has declined. This began post-Famine 1846-51 due to a combination of death by fever and emigration from the smaller holdings of land. Farms became larger in post famine Ireland. Templeorum as a district was not affected by mass starvation, the landlord, Lord Bessborough was exceptionally good. He wrote off rents and generally did not evict tenants. Some landlords who had sub-leases from the larger landlord took the opportunity to clear small holders off their lands in many parts of the country.
I will give a few population figures here for the 19th century.
The village of Lickawn had a population of 78 males and 69 females in 1841. Because of the burning of the Four Courts in Dublin at the beginning of the Irish Civil War 1922/23, many historical documents were lost including the census of 1821, 1831, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, except for extracts. The 1901 ans 1911 census are extant for the County of Kilkenny.
In the Griffith Valuation of 1850/51( this was a survey done to establish the amount of rates each householder and property owner would pay for the upkeep of roads and dispensaries etc. Rates were finally abolished in 1977) the number of families in the following townlands is as follows:
Jamestown 18, Mullenbeg 17, Oldcourt 27, Raheen 29, Templeorum 31, Tobernabrone 46, Kilmogue 20, and Harristown 22.
For the latter part of the 20th century, taking a leap of one hundred and forty years to 1991, the decline is noticable except in Oldcourt. In the 1991 Census of Population the figures are as follows for the same townlands:
Jamestown 15 families, Mullenbeg 9 families, Oldcourt 26 families, Raheen 11 families, Templeorum 10 families, Tobernabrone 13 families, Kilmogue 7 families, and Harristown 14 families.
In the 1930s, 40s and 1950s large numbers of people emigrated to England in search of work. Virtually whole families emigrated. A few examples - two families of Murphys of Raheen, Walshs of Ballygown, Larkins and Cuddihys of Ballygown and Keevers of Templeorum.
For instance Templeorum National School whose catchment area did not include Harristown, Garrygaug or Tobernabrone until 1973 had almost a 100 pupils in 1934, in 1973 before amalgamation it had about 16 pupils.
Here are some surnames which have disappeared down the decades. Doolin or Dowling, Shanahan, Reddy, Lacy, Nugent, Pines, Furniss, Coughlan, Mara, Gorman, Brazil, Cormick, Quinlan, Bowe, Broderick, Lynott, Greehan, Gilmartin, Gaghan, Morrissey, Sutton, Ryall, Cummins, Lannan, Brownwigg, Gall, Burke, Cleary, Tobin, Blackmore, Rfater and Collins. These names occur in the Parish registers of 1800 to 1864, on old tombstones, and in the Griffith Valuation of 1850-51.
This year 1999 marks the hundred and fortieth anniversary of the death of the 3rd Marquis of Waterford, Henry Beresford on 29th of March 1859 at Corbally. His family estate was Curraghmore, adjoining the village of Portlaw in the County of Waterford. Originally a le Poer or Power estate, in 1717 the surname changed to Beresford when Catherine Power married Marcus Beresford. He was out hunting on Corbally hill, riding his horse "Mayboy" rather recklessly when he was thrown to the ground and sustained a broken neck. At approximately 4 O'Clock in the afternoon he was transported by horse and cart with a shawl thrown over the body, back to Curraghmore. Tradition says that a curse was put on seven generations of Lord Waterfords when one lord chastised a widow's son by having him hung from the shafts of a cart. The present Celtic cross to his memory was erected in about the 1920s.