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1814 Statistical Account

No. IX. Parish of CLONMANY,

(Diocese of Derry, and County of Donegal.)

By the Rev. F. L. Molloy.

IX. Modes of Agriculture, Crops, etc.

In this parish the farms are, almost all, on a confined scale, and of course, they have not speculated much on new modes of agriculture; neither, indeed, would the new mode of ploughing answer their fields, which are generally small and full of large rocks, etc: notwithstanding these inconveniencies, the land of these patches is, in general, extremely productive; it is true that there are some exceptions to this datum, yet they are very few. Their usual mode of agriculture is that of ploughing and harrowing, after the manner of their ancestors; and they plant potatoes with the back of the spade, which is considered to be a very good mode; as it cuts the roots of the weeds, and loosens the ground: to proceed, however, a little more in detail, the most of these little farmers have mountain tracts exclusively for their horses, black-cattle and sheep, which are their stocks of cattle; and the arable land is exclusively for their crops, which are potatoes, barley, oats, flax, and rye. They usually enrich their poorest lands with the dung of animals or sea-rack, or with a compost of dung, sea-rack, soil, bog and sand, on which they set their potatoes; after this, they have crops of barley, oats and flax, in their rotation, and if they have boggy or sandy land, they sow rye. They sometimes dung their land, plough it down and harrow it, on which they set their potatoes with the back of the spade, and when the shoots are appearing above the clay, they cover them, etc.: this is considered the best practicable mode for having dry potatoes. They seldom burn their land here.

The highest acreable land is computed to be set at 50s.; the middling, 35s.; and an inferior quality, 2Os. I say computed, because the land is not surveyed here, and they throw in the mountain tract, to make the computation as moderate as possible.

The only fairs in the parish are held in the village of Ballyliffin, on the 1st day of January, 24th of March, 29th of June, and 10th of October; these were formerly held on Pollan-Strand; the right of holding such fairs is prescriptive: and it is in contemplation to take out a patent for a weekly market fair for the above village, The vendible commodities at these fairs are, horses, black-cattle and sheep; flax, yarn, etc.

I. The Name of the Parish, Situation, Extent, etc.
       II. Mines, Minerals, etc.
       III. Modern Buildings, etc.
       IV. Ancient Buildings, etc.
       V. Present and former State of Population, Food, Fuel, etc
       VI. The Genius & Disposition of the Poorer Classes, etc.
       VII. The Education and Employment of Children, etc.
       VIII. State of Religious Establishment, Tithes, etc, etc.
       IX. Modes of Agriculture, Crops, etc.
       X. Of Trade, Manufactures, Commerce, etc.
       XI. Natural Curiosities, remarkable Occurrences, etc.
       XII. Suggestions for Improvement, etc.
       APPENDIX : TOWNLANDS, their Derivations, etc.

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