1846 Celbridge from the Parliamentary Gazetteer

CELBRIDGE, or Kildrought, a parish, containing the greater part of the town of Celbridge, and situated on the east side of the barony of North Salt, Co Kiildare, Leinster. Length, southward, 2 and a half miles; breadth, from one quarter of a mile to one and three quarters, area, 1,843 acres, 3 roods, 17 perches, — of which 17 acres, 1 rood, are in the river Liffey. Population, in 1831, 2,297; in 1841, 1,559. Houses 244. Population of the rural districts, in 1831, 650; in 1841, 427. Houses 64.

The surface is low and generally flat; it consists, for the most part, of good land; it possesses great beauty and lusciousness in several demesne grounds, particularly around the superb seat of Castletown [which see]; and it is drained north-eastward by the Liffey, traversed in the same direction by the road from Rathangan to Dublin, and lies midway between the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal — This parish is a rectory in the dio. of Dublin. Tithe composition, £145; glebe, £55 10s.

The rectories of Celbridge, Killadoon, and Castle-Dillon, the half-rectories of Donaghmore, and Donoaghcumper, and the vicarage of Straffan, constitute the benefice of Celbridge or Kildrought. Length, 4 and a half miles; breadth, 1 and three quarters. Population, in 1831. 5,123. Gross income, £554; nett, £491 10s and three quarters d. Patron, the Crown. A curate has a stipend of £75. The church was built in 1813, by means of monies raised by the sale of pews, and of a loan of £1,384 12s. 3 and three quarters d. from the late Board of First Fruits. Sittings 600; attendance, from 250 to 400.

The Methodist chapel is attended by about 30, and the Roman Catholic chapel bv about 1,200; and, in the Roman Catholic parochial arrangement, the latter is united to a chapel in Straffan. In 1834, the Protestants of the parish amounted to 560, and the Roman Catholics to 1,918; the Protestants of the union to 842, and the Roman Catholics to 4,399; and 9 daily schools in the union — 7 of which were in Celbridge parish — had on their books 188 boys and 188 girls, and were attended by about 50 other children. One of the Celbridge schools was supported wholly by Col. Conolly; and one was a Charter school, supported by the Incorporated Society.

CELBRIDGE, a town, partly in the parish of Donacomper, barony of South Salt, but chiefly in the parish of Celbridge, barony of Nortb Salt, co. Kildare, Leinster. It stands on the river Liffey, and on the road from Dublin to Rathangan, 3 and a quarter miles south-west of Lucan, 6 and a quarter miles north-east of Clane, and 10 west-south-west of Dublin. The town is well-built; and, both in itself and in its environs, presents a pleasant and even imposing appearance. A handsome stone-bridge carries the thoroughfare across the Liffey.

A woollen factory, the largest in Ireland, was established at Celbridge about 38 years ago, by a company from Leeds; it did not prosper with the original speculators, who found that the cheapness of Irish labour, and the easy terms on which they had purchased a great water-power, did not compensate for the dearth of fuel and the scarcity of trained and trustworthy workmen; it afterwards remained for some time unworked, and then went into the possession of an expert swindler, who contrived to hold it just long enough to enable him to rob the rich and beggar the poor; and it eventually became the property of a spirited Englishman and began to be worked with vigour, but received a severe check, very soon after the commencement of the new management, by the destruction of a large wing of the edifice by fire. In and near the town are other but inferior works. The public conveyances, in 1838, were a coach and 4 cars to Dublin.

The town, or at least a demesne so closely in its vicinity as to be identified with it, is well known to literature as the residence of the lady whom Dean Swift celebrates in his poem of Cadenus and Yanessa. This lady was Esther Vanhomrigh, the daughter of a Dutch merchant, who settled in Dublin toward the close of the 17th century, and was speedily elected to the office and dignity of Lord-mayor of the city; she retired, in 1717, to a house which her father, a brief period before his decease, built at Celbridge; and there she nursed her enthusiastic, but miserable and destructive passion, and died in 1723. Swift did not visit her here till 1720; he abruptly terminated their intercourse; and he so far provoked a change of the lady’s passion into resentment, that she did not mention him in the testamentary deed by which she disposed of her large property.

Sir Walter Scott, in his Life of Swift, has given minute particulars, which have not escaped the strictures of criticism, respecting the Dean’s intercourse with Vanessa “at Marley abbey near Celbridge;” and, among other matters, he writes, on the rambling authority of an aged gardener, and in terms which not only suggest but confirm incredulity: “the garden was, to an uncommon degree, crowded with laurels. The old man said, when Mrs. Vanhomrigh expected the Dean, she always planted, with her own hand, a laurel or two against his arrival. He showed her favourite seat, still called Vanessa’s bower. Three or four trees, and some laurels, indicate the spot. They had formerly, according to the old man’s information, been trained into a close arbour. There were two seats and a rude table within the bower, the opening of which commanded a view of the Liffey, which had a romantic effect, and there was a small cascade that murmured at a distance. In this sequestered spot, according to the old gardener’s account, the Dean and Vanessa used often to sit with hooks and writing materials on the table before them.”

The Celbridge Poor-law union ranks as the 13th, and was declared on Jan. 31, 1839. It includes parts of the counties of Kildare, Dublin, and Meath, and comprehends an area of 86,623 acres, 2 roods, 6 perches, with a population, in 1831, of 26,195.

Its electoral divisions, with their respective area, are:

  • Cloncilla, 3,555 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches;
  • Lucan, 5,481 acres, 3 roods, 39 perches;
  • Newcastle, 6,667 acres, 2 roods, 29 perches;
  • Saggart, 4347 acres, 21 perches;
  • Rathcoole, 5,157 acres, 2 roods, 13 perches;
  • Balraheen, 8,219 acres, 15 perches;
  • Donaghdea, 5,080 acres, 27 perches;
  • Kilcock, 4,164 acres, 9 perches;
  • Cloncurry, 8,390 acres, 10 perches;
  • Roddenstown, 7,327 acres, 1 rood, 28 perches;
  • Celbridge, 4,350 acres, 2 perches;
  • Donacomper, 5,803 acres, 1 rood, 25 perches;
  • Straffan, 6,413 acres, 18 perches;
  • Leixlip, 2,824 acres, 38 perches; and
  • Mavnooth, 8,341 acres, 3 roods, 37 perches.

The total number of valued tenements is 3,660; and of these, 1,413 are valued under £5, — 280 under £6, — 159 under £7, — 101 under £8, — 99 under £9, — 47 under £10, —157 under £12, —107 under £14, -43 under £15, —91 under £16, -65 under £18, —47 under £20, —147 under £25, v70 under £30, —135 under £40, -84 under £50, — and 615 at and above £50. The total nett annual value of property rated is £131,262 17s. 9d; the total number of persons rated is 3,786; and of these, 265 are rated for a valuation not exceeding £1 — 409 not exceeding £2, — 395 not exceeding £3, — 304 not exceeding £4, — and 264 not exceeding £3.

The workhouse was contracted for on July 6, 1839, — to be completed in Dec. 1840, – to cost £4,600 for building and completion, and £900 for fittings and contingencies, — to occupy an area of 5 acres, purchased for £300, – and to contain accommodation for 400 persons. The date of the first admission of paupers was June 9, 1841; the total expenditure thence, till Feb. 6, 1843, was £2,448 18s l0d; and the total previous expenditure was £430 2s. 0d.

A fever hospital in the town of Celbridge serves for the barony of North Salt, and a small portion of South Salt, jointly containing a population, in 1831, of 9,665; and, in 1839-40, it received £404 4s. 6d., expended £215 2s. 2id., and had 30 patients.

Patients in the co. Dublin portion of the union are admissible into the Dublin fever hospitals; but those in the barony of Ikeathy and Oughterany, comprising about one-third of the union, have no access to any such institution.

Half of the union has no infirmary advantages, the distance from Dublin on the one sideband from Kildare on the other, being too great for the removal thither of patients.

The dispensary districts are 7 in number, and have their seats at Celbridge, Maynooth, Kilcock, Donaghdea, Lucan, Rathcoole, and Newcastle; and they jointly have rather more extent than the union, and compose an area of 88,333 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 28,211.

The Celbridge dispensary has a district of 15,666 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 6,644; and, in 1839-40. it expended £136 2s. 7d., and administered to 1,370 patients.

Area of the South Salt section of the town, 14 acres; of the North Salt section, 69 acres.

Population of the North Salt section, in 1841, 1,132. Houses 180.

Population of the whole town, in 1831, 1.647; in 1841, 1,289. Houses 206.

Families employed chiefly in agriculture, 25; in manufactures and trade, 66; in other pursuits, 189.

Families dependent chiefly on property and professions, 8; on the directing of labour, 110; on their own manual labour, 54; on means not specified, 8.

CASTLETOWN, a demesne on the east border of the barony of Salt and of co. Kildare, Leinster. It is situated on the river Lifley, between Celbridge and Leixlip, 10 miles west of Dublin. The mansion is approached by an avenue of limes, a mile in length, from the village of Celbridge; and is generally regarded as one of the finest private Grecian edifices in the kingdom. The centre is 3 stories high, 13 windows broad, and all built of hewn stone; and it is united by Ionic colonnades of 9 columns each, to two pavilions, each of which is 2 stories high and 7 windows broad. The grand staircase has brass balustrades; the apartments are superbly finished; and various rooms are enriched with a good collection of paintings, chiefly portraits. The demesne is flat, but extensive, abundantly wooded, not a little adorned by the meanderings of the Liffey, and enriched, among other natural productions, by probably the largest cedar and vine in the kingdom. The mansion is the seat of Colonel Conelly.

Provided by Celbridge Historical Society