Caherlea / An Chathair Liath
Compiled by Paul Greaney
Irish name: An Chathair Liath
English name: Caherlea
Meaning: the grey stone ring-fort.
Area: 114 acres and 12 perches.
Field Names: None yet recorded.
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Other names: Cathair Liath, Caherlea, Carrowlea (B. S. Sketch Map), Carrealeagh (Barony Map), Carreenlagh (County Map), Corilea (Inq. Temp. Inc. I), Carrealeagh (Local), Caherlia – grey fort (Local), Caherlea (Rector of Anaghdown).
Description: Proprietor Francis Blake, Esq., Cregg Castle. Part under tillage and [Unable to read.] flooded in winter. A road through its South end on the sides which there are trees. Has its name from a fort which has been destroyed for several years.
Situation: It is situated 1/2 mile S. E. of Annaghdown Church. Bounded north by Aucloggeen, west by Gurtroe, south by Drumgiffin and east by Cregg.
1841: 8 houses, 58 people (28 male, 30 female)
1851: 1 house, 8 people (5 male, 3 female)
1861: 1 house, 7 people (4 male, 3 female)
1871: 1 house, 8 people (5 male, 3 female)
1881: 3 houses, 18 people (8 male, 10 female)
1891: 3 houses, 19 people (9 male, 10 female)
1901: 3 houses, 19 people (11 male, 8 female)
1911: 3 houses, 16 people (10 male, 6 female)
2011: 5 houses (incl. 2 uninhabited), 11 people (4 male, 7 female)
1855 Griffith’s Valuation
Griffith’s Valuation records Francis Blake as holding all of the lands of Caherlea in fee, with a herd’s house thereon. Patrick Ward held offices and John Ahern held a forge. The latter appears to have lived at Mullaghadrum.
Valuation House & Field Books
The October 1853 house book for Caherlea show Francis Blake as occupier of a herd’s house, while John Ahern occupied a smith’s forge and Pat Wade held offices. It seems likely that the entry for Patrick Ward in Griffith’s Valuation was a mistranscription of the name of Patrick Wade, who held Cregg Mills on the opposite side of the road.
The 1901 Census of Ireland records the following three households in Caherlea.
- Thomas Lardiner (78), shepherd; his wife Ellen (60) [née Gill]; son Thomas (30), shepherd; and grandson Michael Lynch (10) [from Carrowbeg South, son of John Lynch and Bridget Lardner].
- John Shaughnessy (60), farmer; his wife Honor (50) [née Glynn]; sons John (17), farmer’s son; Patrick (10), scholar; and daughter Norah (8), scholar.
- John Dooley (55), farmer and carpenter; his wife Mary (43) [née Fahy]; children Winifred (19), Mary (17), farmer’s daughters; Martin (15), farmer’s son; John (12), Bridget (9), James (5), scholars; and Patrick (3); and his sister Margaret Forde (63) [née Dooley].
All three houses were of the second class: one had a thatched roof with three front windows, while the other two had a roof of slate, iron, or tiles with two front windows in each. Each house had between two and four rooms. The landholder for Thomas Lardiner’s house is listed as Helen C. Blake. A forge, on the land of Helen C. Blake, is also recorded and partially erased on Form B1.
Out-offices recorded in the townland were three stables, three cow-houses, three piggeries, three barns, three cart-houses, and a forge.
The same three households are present in 1911.
- Ellen Lardner (78) [née Gill], farmer, widow, married for 60 years with six children born alive and four still living; her son Thomas (40), herd; and relative Michael Lynch (20).
- John Dooley (68), carpenter; his wife Mary (51) [née Fahy], married for 31 years with eight children born alive and seven still living; and children Mary (25), John (21), farmer, Brigid (18), James (15), and Patrick (13), scholar.
- John Shaughnessy (74), farmer, widower; his son John (27); daughter-in-law Mary (25) [née Creaven, Aucloggeen; wife of John], married for two years with one child born alive and still living; daughter Norah (18); nephew John Costello (11), scholar; and grandson Patrick Shaughnessy (4 months).
All three houses were of the second class: one had a thatched roof with three front windows and between two and four rooms, while the other two had a roof of slate, iron, or tiles, with five or six rooms in each. One of these had six front windows and the other had four.
Out-offices recorded are three stables, three cow-houses, two piggeries, a fowl-house, three barns, a turf-house, and three cart-houses.
Note: Information in squared brackets has been added by the author and does not appear in the original record.