Castlecreevy / Caisleán na Craobhaí

Compiled by Irene McGoldrick


Irish name: Caisleán na Craobhaí

English name: Castlecreevy

Meaning: non-validated name listed in but it is generally accepted that this townland gets its name from Craoibhín a’ Búrca – Creeven Burke, subject of much of the folklore associated with this townland.

Area: 405 acres, 0 roods and 5 perches

Field Names: None at this time

Other Landmarks: Castlecreevy Castle. This castle is believed to have been used as a handball alley in the more recent past.

Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books

Other names: Caisleán na Craobhaighe, Castlecreevy, Castlecrevian (B. S. Sketch Map), Castlecreevy (Crampton, Esq., Cahermorris), Castlecreevan (High Constable, 1838), Castlenacrivee (Inq. Temp. Iac. I.), Castlenacrivy (Inq. Temp. Iac. I.), Castle Creevan (Local), Caislán na Creven (Local), Castle Creevy (Rector of Annaghdown).

Description: Captain Butler of Winterfield, Proprietor. All under tillage except a portion of flooded bog on West side of townland. Contains an old Castle said to have been built by a Lady called “Creeveen a [unable to read.]” hence the name Creeveen or Creevan.

Situation: It is situated near [unable to read] Currandulla Chapel. Bounded North by Currandulla. East by Carrowbeg and Thonagurraun. West by Mace and South by Castlequarters.

Population Statistics

1841: 56 houses, 284 people (136 male, 148 female)

1851: 30 houses, 203 people (101 male, 102 female)

1861: 45 houses (incl. 2 unoccupied), 232 people (116 male, 116 female)

1871: 40 houses, 204 people (100 male, 104 female)

1881: 36 houses, 177 people (88 male, 89 female)

1891: 32 houses, 135 people (67 male, 68 female)

1901: 27 houses (incl. 1 uninhabited), 130 people (69 male, 61 female)

1911: 26 houses, 106 people (51 male, 55 female)

2011: 57 houses (4 vacant), 181 people (94 male, 87 female)

1821 Tithe Applotment Books

Tithe Applotment entry for Castlecreevy

The Tithe Applotment Books record Wm & Pat Silk and Edm Scahill & partners as tenants of 192 acres of land held by J Butler Esq.

1840 Griffith’s House Books

The following are listed as occupiers on the Griffiths House books: Johanna Silk, William Grealy, Mathew Cummins (Licensed house and offices, previous occupier obscured), George Cummins, Thomas Skahill (house and office, licensed), Edmond Skahill, Malachy Hargadon, Patrick Silk (John), Patrick Casey, Patrick Connor, William Silk (Bawn), James Burke, Dermot Fahey, Michael Flood, John Fahey, Malachy Commons, John Burke, Thomas Cahill, John Cahill, John Wynn, Owen Duddy Scahill, John Silk (William), Martin Skahill (Bawn), John Skahill, Patrick Skahill, Owen Greaney Skahill, Francis Casey, Michael Burke, Mark Davin, Thomas Lynch, Mary Mills, James Morris, Patrick Raftery, William Murray, William Commons, William Hession.

1855 Griffith’s Valuation

Castlecreevy entries in Griffith’s Valuation

Griffith’s Valuations show that much of Castlecreevy was held under the Rundale system. Johanna Silk, William Grealy and Matthew Cummins each occupied a house, office and land held from John Butler. George Cummins held a house, office and yard from Mark Lynch. The following tenants occupied houses, offices and often land held from John Butler under the Rundale system: Thomas Skahill, Edward Skahill, Malachy Haigadon (sic), Patrick Silk (John), Patrick Casey, Patrick Connor, William Silk (Bawn), James Burke, Dermott Fahy, Michael Flood, John Fahy, Malachy Commons, John Burke, Thomas Cahill, John Cahill, John Wynn, Owen Duddy (Skahill), John Silk (William), Martin Skahill, Patrick Skahill, John Skahill, Patrick Skahill, Owen Greany (Skahill), Francis Casey, Michael Burke and Mark Davin. The following held portions of land: Owen Grealy, Dermot Fahy, Thomas Lynch, Michael Connor and Patrick Hynes. Mary Mills, James Morris, Patrick Raftery and William Murray each occupied a house and garden.

1901 Census

The 1901 Census of Ireland records the following 27 households in Castlecreevy.

  1. Thomas Tom Scahill (publican and farmer, unmarried) lived with his brother Frank, sisters Julia and Kate, nephews Thomas & Martin Moran and nieces Mary and Katie.
  2. Patrick Donohue (shoemaker and farmer) lived with his wife Bridget, sister Catherine and daughter Mary.
  3. Frank Casey lived with his sister Bridget.
  4. Bridget Fahy (widow) lived with her sons Bartly and Patrick.
  5. Owen Scahill (widower) lived with his daughter Margaret and sons Thomas, Patrick, John and Owen.
  6. Luke Fahey lived with his wife Mary, daughter Celia and son Mike.
  7. William Hughes lived with his wife Mary, sons William, Patrick, Martin and Michael and daughter Mary.
  8. Michael Burke lived with his wife Bridget and son John.
  9. Honor John Cahill (widow) lived with sons John & Matthew and daughter Honor.
  10. Honor Cahill (widow) lived with sons Thomas, William & Michael.
  11. Mathew John Cahill (widower) lived with son John and daughter Bridget.
  12. John W Silke lived with wife Margaret, daughters Mary, Norah & Bridget and sons William, Martin, Thomas & Michael.
  13.  Mary Caulfield (widow) lived with son John Caulfield, daughter in law Julia, granddaughters Julia, Mary, Celia & Norah and grandsons Thomas & Daniel.
  14. Patrick Wynne lived with wife Winifred, son John, daughter in law Honor, granddaughters Bridget, Mary & Honor and grandson Patrick.
  15. Bridget Scahill (cottier, widow) lived by herself.
  16. Thomas Martin Scahill lived with wife Honor.
  17. Edward Scahill (widower) lived with daughters Mary & Bridget and sons Patrick & Thomas.
  18. John Kirwan Scahill lived with wife Margaret, sons John, Thomas & Edward and daughters Bridget, Margaret, Julia and Mary.
  19. John Greany Scahill lived with wife Bridget, sons Owen & Patrick and daughters Mary, Julia & Winnie.
  20. Bridget Casey (widow) lived with son Peter and daughter Honor.
  21. Julia Davin (widow) lived with son Patrick and daughter Mary who was listed as deaf.
  22. Ellen Silke (widow) lived with sons Patrick & Thomas and daughter Mary.
  23. Patrick Wynne lived with wife Honor, sons William, James, Thomas & John and daughter Mary.
  24. John Silke (blacksmith) lived with wife Bridget, sons Mathew & John and daughters Mary & Norah.
  25. Patrick Scully (shoemaker) lived with wife Julia and son Martin – also a shoemaker.
  26. Michael Fahey lived with wife Julia and son John.
  27. Michael Hardiman lived with wife Maria.

Thomas (Tom) Scahill lived in a public house with between seven and nine bedrooms, five windows to the front in a house deemed of the second class. Nine further houses were deemed of the second class with thatched roofs, between two and three windows in the front and between two and four rooms. 17 houses were deemed of the third class with thatched roofs, between two and four rooms, most houses with two windows to the front, two houses with one window to the front, and one house with no windows to the front. A second public house is listed as uninhabited, held by landholder Thomas Forde.

The outhouses and building return for Castlecreevy is incomplete with only one page digitised. This lists the first 15 households with six stables, seven cow houses, one calf house, 12 piggeries, six fowl houses, six barns, and seven cart houses.

1911 Census

  1. John Scahill lived with his wife Bridget, sons Owen, Pat & Martin and daughters Julia, Winnie and Katie.
  2. Francis Casey lived with his sister Bridget.
  3. Bartholmew Fahy lived with his brother Patrick.
  4. Michael Hardiman lived with his wife Maria.
  5. William Hughes lived with his wife Mary, daughters Mary, Maria & Julia and sons Martin, Michal and Thomas.
  6. John Caulfield lived with his wife Mary, sons Thomas, Dan & Pat and daughters Celia and Nora.
  7. Thomas Scahill (shopkeeper and farmer) lived with his wife Winifred, daughters Kate, Briget & Sabina, niece Kate Grealy and visitor Margaret Hennelly.
  8. John Wynne lived with his wife Honor, daughters Bridget, Mary and Norah, son Pat and boarder Bridget Scahill (widow).
  9. Ellen Silke (widow) lived with son Patrick and daughter Mary.
  10. Peter Casey lived with sister Honor.
  11. Patrick Davin lived with wife Honor and sister Mary listed as deaf and dumb.
  12. John Cahil lived with wife Bridget.
  13. Nora Cahil (widow) lived with son William.
  14. Honor Cahil (widow) lived with son John.
  15. Michael Burke (widower) lived with son John, daughter in law Nora, grandsons Michael & Patrick and granddaughter Mary.
  16. Thomas Scahill lived with wife Nora.
  17. Julia Fahy (widow) lived with son John.
  18. Mary Brady (grocer and publican) lived with servant Mary Hughes.
  19. John Silke lived with wife Margret, sons Martin, Michael & John and daughter Bridget.
  20. Thomas Seahill (Scahill) lived with sisters Julia and Mary.
  21. Patrick Donoghue lived with wife Bridget.
  22. John Silke (blacksmith) lived with wife Bridget, sons Matthew & John (both blacksmiths) and daughters Mary & Norah.
  23. Owen Scahill (widower) lived with son Francis, daughter in law Mague (Maggie), granddaughters Mary, Kate, Bridget & Margret and grandson Patrick.
  24. Patrick Wynne lived with wife Mary and sons James, Thomas & John.
  25. Martin Scully lived by himself.
  26. Luke Fahy (widower) lived with son Michael, daughter in law Bridget, granddaughters Mary & Julia and grandson John.

In this census return, Mary Brady is the only occupier listed as occupying a shop though Thomas Scahill is listed as a shopkeeper on the return. Seventeen houses are listed of the second class with thatched roofs, between two and three windows at the front, and two to four rooms, the exception being Thomas Scahill’s house which had five or six rooms. Nine houses are listed as of the third class with thatched roofs, two to four rooms and two windows at the front.

There are 19 stables listed, 22 cow houses, four calf houses, 19 piggeries, one fowl house, 14 barns, eight turf houses, one forge and 13 cart houses.

Folklore associated with Castlecreevy

Craoibhín a Búrca is a central figure in Annaghdown Parish folklore. The story of her ill-fated husband Seoirse De Barra is associated with Loughgeorge in our neighbouring parish of Claregalway with the Irish name ‘Leacht Seoirse’ being more fitting  – the monument of George.

The Doegen Records Web Project contains a recording of the story Seoirse do Barra agus Craoibhín a Búrc, from Mícheál Ó Concheanainn of Rinn na hAirne, given below and at this link.

Two examples of this story from the Dúchas Schools Folklore Collection can be found here and here.  There are also a number of other versions in both Irish and English.

Another story in the Schools’ Collection, The Tower of Gold, relates the possibility of gold under the Castle at Castlecreevy, as told by William Cahill of Castlecreevy and Athenry.

Castlecreevy / Caisleán na Craobhaí

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