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which raged in all the surrounding parishes; nor has there been any other disease prevalent here.
A small brook runs through nearly the centre of Rivers. the parish, within which it rises, on the northern boundary, and meeting a number of tributary streams from all the hills that surround the vale, flows on through the parish of Kilmanagh in a southern direction to the King's River at Callan. About a mile above the parish of Kilmanagh it becomes a trout brook, perhaps one of the best in the county for herring-sized trouts during the spring and autumn months. The Munster River, which bounds it on the west, although as large, has scarcely a trout in it.
Properly speaking there are no mountains, but three Mcun'ain fourths of the parish consist of hills, that approach in size to mountains, which enclose an uncommon fine vale of pastureable and meadow ground, opening to the south on the rich and well planted country that lies between it and the southern mountains of the counties of Kilkenny and Tipperary, with Slievenaman rising majestically to the view, at about 7 miles distance. The landscape of the parish is as good as it is possible for a piece of ground without wood and water to be ; there is a great diversity of surface in the vales, round which the hills beautifully undulate; between these a number of small glens run into a spacious valley, which if planted, would make a very fine appearance: the hills are all capable of cul. tivation to the top, and are part of a chain which runs in a western direction from this parish into the county of Tipperary for several miles. All these vales consist of a fine aluminous soil, capable of the highest improvement, especially from the number of streams that run through calcareous beds: the calca
reous earth that is to be found in many parts of it, must recessarily cause a great mixture of carbonate of lime, which is the most productive soil that can be found in this country. The soil of the hills consists of argillaceous clay and peat, every acre of which lime and marl could reclaim.
There are no bogs or moors in the parish, properly speaking: there is a little boggy and moory ground scattered here and there, all of which is easily reclaimable by draining and liming, &c. The streams arise from springs in the hills, and although they are very much swollen after rain, yet the highest floods subside in a day, as all streams do, where there is not bog and moor as reservoirs, whose slow trickling discharge keeps up the body of the water. These rivulets are highly advantageous to the irri. gator, as they contain purer impregnations for grass, than the water that flows from moor or bogs, where it is more stagnant.
There are no woods, orchards, nurseries, or plantations in the parish. Many parts of the vales were once thickly planted, and there were some woods round the castle of Courtstown, the former residence of the Grace family, whence their palatinate title of Baron of Courtstown was derived, but every tree bas been cut down since the forfeiture in the time of James II.: though a few of the old thorn hedges remain, with some ash trees which have grown up since. Every kind of tree would flourish here particularly well, from the mountain fir, to the oak of the vale ; and were the proprietors of the estates to plant the hills in large enclosures, they would soon find them a valuable addition to their properties. It is much to be lamented that the persons who cut down
the woods, did not copse them immediately; the Woods. grounds of these are now the most unproductive parts of the townlands; they not only would have preserved the beauty of the country, but likewise a species of property, the most valuable their estates could produce. It is a melancholy thing to see hundreds of acres of moory sedgy wet ground, in its present state scarcely worth 3 shillings an acre, lying as it were waste; which if coppiced when the woods were cut, would now be covered with the finest oak. Ireland has suffered greatly, and is still suffering by this neglect of coppicing and fencing well the woods which have been cut down, proceeding from the extreme inattention of gentlemen to the local circumstances of their properties : had this been attended to, those woods would now be able to remove many incumbrances, for which estates have been sold ; and being still copsed, would continue a growiug source of wealth, that would from time to time meet the demands of many families, and preserve to Ireland that improved and picturesque beauty, for which she might rival any nation; for, no country possesses a more beautiful variety of surface, mountain, vale, glen, and water.
II. Mines, Minerals, &c.
Through the whole of this parish there are indica- Coal, tions of coal and culm, particularly the latter, which has been found in every place where it was sought for; and were the landlords to open pits and establish them on some regular system, they would be amily repaid, and greatly serve the tenants, who will carry on such a work properly.
The hills are parts of a chain ruuning south-west
for about 9 or 10 miles, all with the same strata of rocks, same soil, same appearance of plants, &c. In this line, about a mile from the western boundary of the parish, there are very extensive coal and culm pits, at Slievardagh, worked by Mr. Langley the proprietor: they abundantly supply the surrounding coun. try with excellent coal and culm, and the appearances here promise good culm at least, and perhaps coal. Attempts have becn made by some farmers in a few places to get coal and culm, but from the manner in which they sunk the pits, they were soon swamped, or they fell in from the nature of the ground. Pits must be liable to swamp, unless there are regular drains cut, and the ground chosen where the fall favours drawing off the water, and the back ground is not liable to food. D. Scully, Esq. who lately purchased the townlands of Ramakan, Gurtragap, and Keil, has allowed his tenants to open some pits on those lands; five have been opened, and twoare at present working, but in such a manner, that little advantage can accrue from them, and no discovery of consequence can be made. They are worked without any description of machinery, not even a windlass to draw up the culm, or the water buckets, or rather pails, with which they endeavour to take away the water, but both water and culm are handed up a ladder by persons, 12 or 14 feet. The strata are, peat 10 inches, rock 7 feet, a silicious argillite, thickly impregnated with mica, and about a foot of hard ferraginous schistus, then smut; and after a few feet, culm and smut, but they have not sunk deep enough to ascertain its quantity or quality. The veins enlarge as they go down, and dip into the mountain in an angle of about 23 degrees; hence they cannot be worked without regular colliers and machinery
whether if the coal were ever found, it would be worth working, is a matter which must be determined by experience. The veins should be at least 15 inches thick to repay the labour, while the Slievardagh and Castlecomer collieries are so near; where the veins are from twenty to thirty-one inches thick. But coal with culm would be most valuable to the farmers, for burning lime and firing, for culm made into balls, with and without clay, is the only firing of the farmers of those hills: this is worth the serious consideration of the landlords, and the writer hopes the day is approaching, when both landlords and tenants will see the advantage of searching for, and applying all the resources and rich materials with which our country abounds, and which are now neglected, while so large a portion of our population is starving for want of employment.
There is no vein or quarry of limestone in the Limestone. parish, but the beds of all the streams are full of lime stones, from a pound to two ton weight, of the
very best quality: they are to be found likewise in spots where the re is any calcareous sand or marle. Few of the farmers think of collecting and burning them, although if sought for, the writer is convinced there is a quantity sufficient for all their wants, that could be collected with very little trouble or expense ; but the farmers plead want of time, we should rather say of system, which is the sad want of all this class.
The great stratum of rock which runs through the Minerals. whole chain of the hills is ferrugineous argillite (the general stratum which attends the coal districts of this county) it comes to the surface in most of the hills, and gives the argillaceous character to the soil. In a few places there are quarries of silicious schistus,