Swanlinbar  County Cavan


In 1837, Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland described Swanlinbar like this:

SWANLINBAR, a post-town, in the parish of KINAWLEY, barony of TULLAGHAGH, county of CAVAN, and province of ULSTER, 8 miles (N. W.) from Ballyconnell, to which it has a penny-post; containing 398 inhabitants. This town is supposed to have derived its origin from a rich iron mine in the neighbouring mountain of Cuilcagh, which was worked at a remote period to a very considerable extent. ...

The ore was smelted into pig iron in furnaces about half a mile distant, and manufactured into bars at some works erected upon a powerful mountain stream which flows through the village: these works were continued till all the timber of the mountains was consumed in smelting the ore, when they were necessarily abandoned. In 1786 a considerable part of the town was destroyed by an accidental fire, which consumed 22 houses. It now contains 79 houses, and is situated on the old road from Ballyconnell to Enniskillen, and surrounded by the wild mountains of the barony: it is chiefly distinguished for its mineral waters, which are strongly impregnated with sulphur, earth, sea salt and fossil alkali, and in their medicinal effect are both alterative and diaphoretick, and are esteemed highly efficacious as a restorative from debility. From April to September it is the resort of numbers of the gentry of the surrounding district. The spa is situated in an enclosure tastefully laid out in pleasant walks and embellished with thriving plantations. Contiguous to the well is a handsome pump-room, in which the visiters usually take breakfast, and on re-assembling an excellent dinner is provided. The surrounding mountains afford ample scope for the researches of the mineralogist, and contain several natural and artificial caves; on the neighbouring townlands of Lurgan and Coolagh are strong indications of coal. A few linens are manufactured in the vicinity, besides other articles of clothing for the inhabitants. Fairs are held annually on Feb. 2nd, March 30th, May 18th, June 29th, July 27th, Aug. 18th, Sept. 3rd and 29th, Oct. 26th, and Dec. 1st and 29th. A chief constabulary police station has been established; and petty sessions are held on alternate Wednesdays. On the summit of the mountain of Cuileagh, is a fine spring of excellent water: on this mountain, which is intimately associated with much of the legendary history of the district, the Maguires anciently invested their chiefs with supreme command over the adjacent country of Fermanagh.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Swanlinbar, in and County Cavan | Map and description, A Vision of Ireland through Time.


Date accessed: 29th May 2024

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