Town of Clare Revision /Cancelled Book 1884-1896
The 1884-1896 revision /cancelled book gives testimony to the construction of new houses in Main Street and the Quay Road which form part of the familiar streetscape still in the village. A notation in the observations column includes the notation “revised the town 1890”. This appears to refer to realignment of house and garden boundaries in the village.
Patrick O’Brien (1831-1900)and his father Patrick senior (1800-1885) were major players in the economic development of the Port and were responsible for the construction s houses on Main Street and Quay Road which still survive today. O’Brien owned and operated a coal store and sawmills next to the Port. A fire destroyed the saw mill in December 1890 but Patrick rebuilt the business.
The three bay fronted houses in lots 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 are familiar to many in the village and for some time were the homes of the local parish clergy. The 1884-1896 revision cancelled book record the occupiers. George Vincent (1867-1958) is recalled in Clarecastle as the onetime owner of the punt guns. George married local Mary Callanan (1871-1937) in 1889. Mary was the eldest daughter of Ellen McGrath (1851-1923) and Sinan Callanan (1846-1878) who operated a public house and grocery business in the village (lot 33.18). George, Mary and their two daughters lived in Knocknamana and later at the new house on lot 5.4 before relocating to Dublin.
The seven houses at lots 5.8-5.14 Main Street were recorded as new houses with a rateable valuation of four pounds. A notation in the margin of house 5.9 suggests that this home rented for four shillings per week. The notations don’t give us the date of construction but it would appear to be in the early 1890s. The seven new houses at lots 1i-1o Quay Road appear to have been constructed prior to the Main St houses. A notation in 1889 in the observation column records “seven houses, well built. Rent thirteen shillings per month”.
Of note at the beginning of the 1884-1896 Town of Clare revision/cancelled book is a one page pencilled notation referring the construction of a new Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC barracks). The old barracks was located on lot 5.4 Main Street Clare Common and the new three level barracks was located in lot 61 Ennis Road Clare Commons. The three level barrack building was constructed adjacent to the new Royal Hotel by Patrick and Ellen McSherry (nee McGrath) who moved to the new hotel after a fire at their premises across the road (lot 33.18 Main St). The ground floor of the former barracks and the hotel buildings now accommodates the popular Castle Coffee House and Eatery.
Sadly, the 1891 census documents the continued decline in the population of the village with 624 people present on 5 April 1891 in 168 households. This represents a decline of 166 people or over 20% 1881-1891. The 1891 recorded 168 households in Claretown, an increase of ten compared with the 1881 census.
 Clare Journal 7 Dec. 1890.
 Irish Independent 25 Mar.1895.
 Clarecastle and Ballyea Land and people, (2014) p.184
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Cancelled Book 5 Town of Clare (Clarecastle) 1884-1896