Introduction to Land Valuation Records for Clareabbey

Clareabbey Townland Griffith's Map
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Clareabbey and Clareabbey Intake townlands 1855

Clareabbey and Clareabbey Intake townlands are located to the north of Clare Commons. It is uncertain why the Griffith Valuation recorded the eight acres of land in Clareabbey Intake separately but it may relate low lying land near the River Fergus which was prone to flooding.

Clareabbey gives its name to the civil parish of Clareabbey. The ruins of the Augustinian Monastery (Black Canons) founded in 1189 by Domhnaill Mór Ó Briain (d. 1194), king of Munster.[1] The monastery functioned until 1543 when the site and lands were granted to Domnall Ramhar O’Brien, 2nd earl of Thomond as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry viii’s 1534 Act of Supremacy.[2] The Monastic Ireland website records that Clareabbey continue to function until the defeat of the Jacobites (followers of James ii) during the Williamite Wars (1689-91).[3][4]

The townland of Clareabbey comprised 230 acres of farmland, two houses with two occupiers and the graveyard in 1855. Clareabbey Intake records show three occupiers of the eight acres of land in 1855. The website townlands.ie records that Clareabbey townland has 242.61 acres / 242 acres, 2 roods, 17 perches which suggests that the small amount of land from Clareabbey Intake is now included.[5]

The 1855 valuation does not record the presence of the historic brick pits excavated in separate digs as part of civil works for the N85 Ennis Western Relief Road and the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme, and recorded by Hull and Hurley (2020) and Shaw (2014).[6] This suggests that the brick pits had ceased operation by the time of the Griffith Valuation.

The Valuation Office revision/cancelled books for the townland were updated less frequently than those for the Town of Clare which reflects the rural nature of the townland in the period 1855-1910. Transcription in this series finishes in 1910 but will be updated when records can be obtained from the Valuation Office.

[1] (http://monastic.ie/history/clare-augustinian-abbey/ ) (28 Sep 2020)

[2] (https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Dissolution-of-the-Monasteries/) (28 Sep 2020)

[3] (http://monastic.ie/history/clare-augustinian-abbey/) (28 Sep 2020)

[4] (https://www.historyireland.com/penal-laws/the-williamite-war-1689-9111/) (28 Sep 2020)

[5] G. Hull and K. Hurley, ‘post-medieval brick making kilns near Clare Abbey’, The Other Clare, Vol 44 (2020) pp. 20-24.

[6] E. Shaw, ‘Brick fields and the Clarecastle pipe factory’ in Land and People (Clarecastle, 2014) pp. 41-43.

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