An Irish Village

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Pre-Famine Dunlavin

The following description of Dunlavin on the eve of the Famine is taken from The parliamentary gazetteer of Ireland, adapted to the new poor-law, franchise, municipal and ecclesiastical arrangements, and compiled with a special reference to the lines of railroad and canal communication, as existing in 1844-45; illustrated by a series of maps and other plates and presenting the results, in detail, of the census of 1841, compared with that of 1831, ii, (3 vols, Dublin, 1846) p. 146.

Dunlavan, a market and post town in the above parish, stands at the intersection of the road from Ballymore Eustace to Castledermot with that from Kilcullenbridge to Donard, 5 miles south by east of Kilcullenbridge and 26.5 south-southwest of Dublin. The Tynte family are still proprietors of a large circumjacent estate that belonged to their ancestors; and they have of late years very much improved the town. The market house, constructed of neatly cut mountain granite, and occupying a commanding site, is remarkable for the classical elegance of its architecture, and for being surmounted by a fine dome: it was built at the close of the16th century [sic] by Robert Tynte Esq. [sic], and restored in 1836 at a cost of £500, and under the superintendence of Mr. Cross of Athy, by Lady Tynte. Fairs are held on May 20, the first Friday of July, old style, August 21 and the third Tuesday of October. The Dunlavin dispensary is within the Baltinglass poor law union, and serves a district of 38,000 acres, with a population in 1831 of 7,911, and in 1839-40 it expended £109 12s 10d, and administered to 2,318 patients. On the road to Ballytore, and about two miles from Dunlavin, is the demesne of Rathsallagh; and in the vicinity is the seat of Lady Tynte. Area of the town 41 acres. Population in 1831 1,069; in 1841, 990. Houses 143. Families employed chiefly in agriculture 56, in manufacturing and trade 87 and in other pursuits 54. Families dependant chiefly on property and professions 15; on the directing of labour 85; on their own manual labour 81 and on means not specified 16.