The whole coast from Kinsale to Castletown is most picturesque, with its bays, heads, creeks, islands, the ruins of old castles and monasteries, high mountains, precipices, caves, rocks, and beautiful harbours.


It was in the past a corporate and borough town. In former times it was governed by a sovereign and burgesses, and later down returned two members to the Irish Parliament. In the early part of the nineteenth century the linen manufacture flourished and gave employment to 1,000 persons whose earnings realised £300 weekly. Cotton was also manufactured and 40 looms employed. The harbour is only fit for small boats, and the larger vessels discharge their cargoes at Ring, about a mile from the town. The Catholic Church here is a beautiful edifice, and would be a credit to any town or city.

To the south-west of Clonakilty is Castle-Freke. Smith tells us in his history of Cork that this beautiful residence was in his time in the possession of Sir John Freke. The Frekes fell in for three ploughlands of forfeited and Church property lying in the diocese of Ross. George Evans was created Baron Carbery in 1715. His second son, John, married in 1741 Grace, only daughter of Sir Ralph Freke and sole heiress of her brother, Sir John Redmond Freke, M.P. for the City of Cork in 1761, with whom the baronetcy expired. The second son of John Evans and Grace Freke assumed the surname of Freke, and was created a baronet. The son of this baronet was the sixth Baron Carbery and uncle of the late lord.

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Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork

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