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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


County Carlow
Barony of Idrone East in the Parish of Clonygoose

Map of Borris c 1846

Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis 1837


Borris, or Borris-Idrone, a village, in the parish of CLONAGOOSE, barony of IDRONE EAST, county of CARLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (S. E.) from Goresbridge; containing 671 inhabitants. This place is situated near the river Barrow, on the road from Carlow to Ross: it has a patent for a market on Friday, which is not held, and a penny post to Goresbridge.

Borris House, the noble seat of the late T. Kavanagh, Esq., is situated in an extensive and richly wooded demesne, and commands fine views terminated on the south-east by the imposing range of the Blackstairs mountains. This mansion, which externally exhibits the appearance of an English baronial residence of the 16th century, while every advantage of convenience and splendour is secured within, has been for ages the chief residence of the posterity of Donald Kavanagh, natural son of Mac Murrough, last King of Leinster, whose name and authority he subsequently assumed. In 1642, being garrisoned by the parliamentarians, it was besieged by the Irish, and with difficulty the garrison was relieved and reinforced by Sir C. Coote.

In the disturbances of 1798 it sustained two attacks; first, on May 24th, when the insurgents were repulsed by Capt. Kavanagh's yeomanry corps, with the loss of 50 killed and wounded; and afterwards on June 12th, from a detachment sent against it from Vinegar Hill, on which occasion it was defended with great bravery by a party of the Donegal militia, who compelled the assailants, after burning the out-offices and destroying some houses in Borris, to retire with considerable loss.

At Kilcamney, in the vicinity, an action was also fought, in which the insurgents were routed with the loss of their stores by the king's forces under Sir C. Asgill. Petty sessions are held here every alternate Thursday, and road sessions occasionally: the court-house was lately erected by Mr. Kavanagh. This is a chief constabulary police station; and there is a small barrack for the accommodation of about 30 men. Fairs for cattle, sheep, pigs, &c., are held on Jan. 1st, Feb. 5th, May 1st, July 2nd, Aug. 15th, Oct. 4th, and Nov. 14th, and four more fairs have been lately obtained; that in July is a considerable fair for wool. Attached to Borris House is a very handsome private chapel, erected by the late Mr. Kavanagh, and open to the inhabitants.

In the R. C. divisions this place is the head of a union or district comprising parts of the parishes of Clonagoose, Ullard (county of Kilkenny), St. Mullins, and Ballyellin, and the whole of that of Kiltennel: the parochial chapel is a handsome edifice, lately built at an expense of 2000. There is a school, in which 150 boys and 90 girls are taught: the school-house is a commodious building, erected and fitted up by local contributions amounting to 274. 5. 6., and a grant of 97. 5. 6. from the National Board.

A dispensary is maintained in the customary manner; and there is an institution called the Borris Benevolent Society, established about eight years, to which the payment of one shilling monthly entitles each member, in case of sickness, to a weekly allowance of 5s. for the first three months, and of 2s. 6d. afterwards so long as he shall continue sick. At Borris House is preserved the "Figeen," a curious ornament of silver and tin, found on the demesne; and an ancient horn and a casket, called the Liath-Mersicith, esteemed among the most valuable curiosities in the museum of Trinity College, Dublin, are relics which formerly belonged to the Kavanaghs.

The church and school, Borris, Co. Carlow
The school has a high lantern tower as if it were a church.
Image by Humphrey Bolton
Source of image at:

Sacred Heart Church, Borris & St. Fortchern Church, Rathana

Some of the images (below) were taken in September 2005 by Bob Walsh on his visit to Carlow from the USA.

His comments:

There is a plaque in Sacred Heart Church, Borris that states: "This church was built AD 1820 J Walsh PP. Enlarged and remodelled AD 1836 J Beauchamp PP". Also read that the church was remodelled in 1896.

St. Fortchern Church, Rathana was built in 1885 adjacent to an earlier church, St. Anne. The belfrey of St. Anne is still in use. St Fortchern was a disciple of St Patrick.

Believe that the information about the 1896 remodel and the information about St. Fortchern church came from "The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD" by McEvoy.

St. Anne's Belfry. Rathana
St. Fortchern Church. Rathana

St. Fortchern Church, Rathana was built in 1885 adjacent to an earlier church, St. Anne. The belfry of St. Anne is still in use. St Fortchern was a disciple of St Patrick.

Source of info: "The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD" by McEvoy.

Sent by Bob Walsh Feb 2007

Borris History

House of Lords Journal Volume 62

22 June 1830

Petition from Borris for Repeal of Vestry Act, (Ireland,)

Upon reading the Petition of the Roman Catholic Inhabitants of the Parish of Borris, County of Carlow, Ireland, whose Names are thereunto subscribed; praying their Lordships "to repeal the Vestry Act, Ireland, and by so doing remove the Cause of angry Strife and perpetual Contention from amongst the Roman Catholics and their Protestant Brethren:"

It is Ordered, That the said Petition do lie on the Table.

From: British History Online Source: House of Lords Journal Volume 62: 22 June 1830. Journal of the House of Lords: volume 62, (). URL: Date: 15/03/2005 Copyright 2003-2005 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

House of Commons Journal Volume 85

15 June 1830

Petitions against Assimilation of Duties (Ireland.)

A Petition of the Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Corporation of Weavers or Guild of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dublin;-of the Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Corporation of Barbers and Surgeons or Guild of Saint Mary Magdalen, in the city of Dublin;- and, of Inhabitants of Borris, in the county of Carlow, -were presented, and read; setting forth,

That the Petitioners respectfully approach the House for the purpose of expressing the deep concern and serious alarm excited by the proposed measure of assimilating taxation in Ireland with that of England, and other measures connected with it, which the Petitioners feel well assured are fraught with ruin not only to the little that now remains to their impoverished country, of manufacture and commerce, but likewise to its agricultural interests; and praying the House not to impose additional burthens upon their afflicted country.

And the said Petitions were ordered to lie upon the Table; and to be printed.

From: British History Online Source: House of Commons Journal Volume 85: 15 June 1830. Journal of the House of Commons: volume 85, (). URL: Date: 15/03/2005 Copyright 2003-2005 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

[ Borris Images ] [ Saw Mill Bridge ] [ Borris House ] [ Borris Railway ] [ Michael O'Shea ] [ Succession of Pastors ]

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