LOOKING INTO LOCAL HISTORY
THE PARISH OF RAILSTOWN.
SITUATION. This small Parish is bounded on the west and northwest by the Parish of St. Patr1ck's Rock; on the northeast and east by the Parish of Kilconnell, and on the south by the Parish of Kilbrach.
NAME. This Parish derived its name from the Townland in which the original Parish Church was built and the Townland derived its from the family of Raile or Rahill.
The old Parish Church of Railestown was divided into nave and choir but the latter is now so much injured that its length could not be ascertained. Its breadth is fifteen feet six inches. The nave measures on the inside forty two feet in length and nineteen feet in breadth and its walls are three feet thick and thirteen feet high and built of small and large limestones irregularly laid.
There remains of the choir at present but twelve feet of the length of the south wall and four feet of that of the north one, both fragments attached to the middle gable. The choir arch is pointed and constructed in a rude style of thin flags hammered. It is eleven feet in height and eight feet in width.
At the distance of four feet from the middle gable there is the south wall of the nave a roundheaded window constructed of thin hammered stones in a rude style. It measures on the inside six feet in height and four feet In width, and on the outside four feet in height and six inches in width.
The doorway was placed on the south wall at the distance of fifteen feet from the west gable but its sides are now disfigured.
It appears however from the point of the arch remaining that it was built of hammered stones in a very rude style. There was another doorway opposite it on the north wall, but it is totally destroyed. There was a window on the west gable, which window is also destroyed. There is a breach on the north wall extending from within five feet of the middle gable twenty feet, so that there remains of the north wall but five feet attached to the middle gable and fifteen feet attached to the west one.
There is a graveyard attached to this Church not much in use.
In the Townland of Ballyduagh in this Parish is to be seen the site of another Church with a fragment of its west gable standing. (See Sketch). It can be ascertained from the foundations that this building was fifty feet in length and-twenty two feet in breadth, and that the walls were three and a half feet in thickness and built of hammered limestone of good size and cemented with lime and sand mortar. The windows of this
Church were constructed of cut limestones, of which several are to be seen scattered about the graveyard.
The graveyard attached to this Church is not enclosed by any wall or rampart and but seldom used as a cemetery at present.
There is no Patron Saint remembered either for this or the Church of Railestown. Both Churches are decidedly modern and perhaps erected since the Reformation.
The antiquities of this Parish were examined by Mr. A. Curry and his notes transcribed by me.
Sept. 17th 1840. -
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