ARDFIELD, a parish, in the barony of IBANE and BAR-RYROE,
county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (S. by E.) from
Clonakilty, containing 2023 inhabitants. This parish is situated on
the south coast, and is bounded on the east by the bay of Clonakilty;
it comprises 2313 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act,
and valued at £2053 per annum. About four-fifths are under
cultivation: there is very little waste land and no bog; the poor
bring the turf from Clonakilty. The soil, though light and in some
places very stony, generally produces good crops. There are about
800 acres of land, called the commons, wholly in the occupation of
poor people who have enclosed it; some of it is remarkably good, and
the whole is under cultivation. Indications of copper ore appear at
Duneen, and many excellent specimens have been found: attempts to
raise it were made several years since, but the design was
abandoned. There are several large and handsome houses in the
parish: the principal are Dunmore, the seat of J. Beamish, Esq.;
Dunowen House, of G. Sandes, Esq.; the Tower, of Lieut. Speck, R.
N.; Greenfield, of H. Galway, Esq.; and Balliva, of M. Galway, Esq.
At its southern extremity is Dunowen Head, off which lie the
Shanbuee rocks; and in the parish is Dunny Cove, where is stationed
the western coast-guard detachment within the district of Kinsale.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ross, and in the
patronage of the Bishop: the rectory is impropriate in M. Roberts
and T. W. Foot, Esqrs. The tithes amount to £203. 1. 6 1/2., of
which £110. 15. 4 3/4. is payable to the impropriators, and the
remainder to the vicar. The church is in ruins; but divine service
is performed in a house fitted up for that purpose at Dunny Cove.
The glebe comprises eleven acres of excellent land, but there is no
glebe-house. In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a
union or district, comprising the parishes of Ardfield and Rathbarry,
in each of which is a chapel; that of Ardfield is a low, plain, but
commodious edifice, situated on the commons. There are schools in
which 140 boys and 170 girls are taught, also a school at Dunny
Cove, a Sunday school under the superintendence of the vicar, and
one or two hedge schools. The ruins of the old church are situated
on the highest point of land in the parish; and near them is a
building which during the war was used as a signal tower, but is now
the residence of Lieut. Speck, who commands the coast-guard at Dunny
Cove. Close to the Cove are the ruins of a castle.