Kilcarbery Mills and its Proprietors, Enniscorthy - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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AMONG the walks from Enniscorthy there is none more delightful than that connecting the town with Kilcarbery Mills. The hill, on which are situated the residences of Mr. Francis Davis, sen., Hollymount, and Mr. Francis Davis, jun., Memfin, affords a view that may be described as extremely beautiful. On the opposite side of the river the tall towers of the Lunatic Asylum rise majestically, the valley of the Slaney sweeping towards and beyond Enniscorthy. Ferns Castle and the Wicklow Mountains in the distance make a combination worthy to inspire poet or painter. At the foot of the hill, on the further side, a graceful chimney shaft indicates the location of the Kilcarbery Mills. In a valley half a mile from Donanore Glen and three-quarters of a mile from the Slaney are the concerns which contribute so largely towards the food supplies of the counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, and Wicklow. The mills have been in existence over one hundred years, and show in the original building some interesting archaeological specimens. One of these consists of the stone arch and jambs of the door said to have served a similar purpose in the old parish church of Kilcarbery. In 1826 the father of Mr. Francis Davis, sen., added a double wing, six stories high, for flour dressing, and in 1855, by the addition of two stories, the original building was raised to a uniform height. A wheat store, also six stories, was annexed during the same year. The water power secured from the Boro is sufficient to drive thirteen pairs of stones for eight months of the year, and sometimes all the year round. In 1876 this was strengthened by the erection of a compound engine of 160 indicated horse-power. The water and steam work in conjunction. An engine, boiler, and screen house, four stories high, and a chimney shaft 120 feet high, as seen in the illustration, were necessitated by the introduction of the auxiliary element, and form an imposing feature of the concerns. An iron breast wheel, 24 feet in diameter and 19 feet 8 inches in breadth, with a 12-foot fall, receives the water from the storage lake. At the time of my visit to Kilcarbery in August, 1884, a very considerable outlay was being made in replacing the old-style machinery by the German, English, and American combined improvements. The firm of Davis Brothers was founded by Mr. Francis Davis, of Enniscorthy, about the year 1820. At the death of the founder his sons, Messrs. Francis and Thomas, succeeded. Mr. Thomas Davis has retired. He is succeeded by Mr. Francis Davis, jun.

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