Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Agha or Augha
A Parish in the barony of Idrone East,
County Carlow,

Agha or Augha parish, Barony of Idrone East,
County of Carlow, Ireland
From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
 by Samuel Lewis

AGHA, or AUGHA, a parish, in the barony of IDRONE EAST, county of CARLOW, and province of LEINSTER, comprising part of the market and post-town of Leighlin-bridge, and containing 1739 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the east side of the river Barrow, which is navigable to Waterford, and on the road from Carlow to Kilkenny. An abbey, called Achad-finglass, was founded here at a very early period by St. Fintan, and in 864, in which year it was plundered by the Danes, had risen into some note; its site is now unknown. The parish contains 4028 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and is wholly under cultivation; the system of agriculture is improving. Limestone for burning is procured within its limits.

The principal seats are Rathwade, the residence of B.B. Newton, Esq., and Steuart Lodge, of W. R. Steuart, Esq. Fairs for the sale of live stock are held on Easter-Monday, May 14th, Sept. 23rd, and Dec. 27th; and there are two at Orchard on Whit-Tuesday and Oct. 2nd. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Leighlin, and forms part of the union of Dunleckney; the rectory is impropriate in A. Weldon, Esq. The tithes amount to £415. 7. 8 1/4., of which £276. 18. 5 1/2. is payable to the impropriator, and £128. 9. 2 3/4. to the vicar. The church is in ruins. In the R. C. divisions it is partly in the union or district of Dunleckney, and partly in that of Old Leighlin: the chapel, situated at Newtown, is a handsome edifice lately erected. There are two schools for boys and girls; one situated at Leighlin-bridge, and the other, a large and handsome edifice lately built, near the R. C. chapel; they afford instruction to 120 boys and 230 girls. There is also a private pay school, in which are about 20 children; and a dispensary.

Source: & OSi Mapviewer.

Agha Monastery ruins
 The doorway of the ruined monastery at Agha (achadh-arghlais i.e. "the field of the green tillage") which dates from the 6th Century. For further references on this monastery see Dr. Comerford's 'Collections of Kildare and Leighlin', Vol. HI, P.96. Carloviana, 1967: 'Three Carlow Monasteries' by E. F. Brophy.

Photo: W. Ellis

Source: Carloviana 1983. No. 30

Agha Church

Standing firm in the heart of Carlow’s farmland are the remains of Agha Church which has been described as ‘one of the most striking examples of pre-Romanesque architecture in the country’. Agha’s early history is obscure although it is mentioned in the Life of St. Fintan and may have been subordinate to Fintan’s monastery at Clonenagh, Co. Laois. In 866, Agha, which was positioned on the borders of the Irish kingdom of Uí Dróna, which was raided by the Vikings and the men of the neighbouring kingdom of Ossory.

The present church, part of which dates to the tenth century, may represent a rebuilding which was undertaken in the wake of that attack. The tenth-century phase of the church consists of the west gable and part of the south wall. This phase is characterized by very regular and well-coursed masonry. Field stones of similar dimensions were carefully chosen and the overall uniformity of the masonry is unique. Large square blocks were used to form the lintelled door surround and deep antae are present.

The character of the masonry in the second phase of the building is very different and lacks the regularity of the earlier phase. It is possible to clearly see the distinctive differences between the two styles in the south wall of the church. The later phase appears to date from the twelfth century and the fact the church was extended at this time may indicate an increased population in the area. This coincided with a reforming period within the Irish church and perhaps a boost in church attendance. Close to the church are two cross bases and a medieval sundial. The sockets in the cross bases suggest that they would have supported fairly small crosses, perhaps similar to the Nurney cross. The area around the church was used as a burial site for un-baptised infants up to the nineteenth century.

Image - near to Hooper's Cross Roads, Rathedan Cross Roads, Nurney and Cloneen Bridge, Carlow, Ireland. © Copyright Liam Murphy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Text source:

Agha Civil Parish, Co. Carlow
Poor Law Union
Agha Carlow
Cloneen Carlow
Leighlinbridge Carlow
Leighlinbridge town Carlow
Newtown Carlow
Nurney Carlow
Rathedan Carlow
Rathellin Carlow
Rathwade Carlow

Aghade Lodge
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