- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.