COOLAVIN, Co. Sligo
Property/House name: Coolavin
Description: McParlan described the Coolavin of 1802 as a “delightful retreat”. The house at Clogher was offered for sale as part of the McDermott estate in 1852. By the time of Griffith’s Valuation it was occupied by Joseph Holmes and was valued at £16. In 1906 Coolavin was valued at £35. The house now known as Coolavin was built in the 1890s replacing an earlier house near the same location. This latter house is still extant and occupied. The original house at Clogher is now derelict.
Civil Parish: Kilcolman
Poor Law Union: Boyle
DED: Coolavin 8
The McDermott clan originally lived on the shores of Lough Key but when the planters came, their lands were acquired by the English and they then moved to the shores of Lough Gara, to the townland of Shroof. The remains of the fortress is still to be seen near one of the sites where the crannogs were discovered. The present day Demesne is built on the site of a former *smaller house. The Coolavin House was built in 1880 and in the grounds of this famous house is the ancient Caiseal. * That smaller house was owned by the Holmes Family.
Cashel at Coolavin:
This Caisheal is situated on the McDermott Estate in Coolavin. This round stone fort is about 2000 years old. It is about 10 feet high and 15 feet wide with an entrance at the South East. There are also two souterrains in the enclosure and it is believed by Madame McDermott herself that the timber road at the Float (Creggane) is connected to the Caisheal. Circa 1900 a group of people repaired the Caiseal in an attempt to restore it to its original shape.
Directly opposite the Caiseal at Coolavin is the house of a former Protestant Rector. This house was divided into two parts; one half belonged to the R.I.C. Barracks ( again situated below the gate to Coolavin Estate on left hand side of road) and the other was the Protestant Rector’s House. The old road leading from the Ballaghaderreen side of the Rector’s House was referred to as “The Green Road” which is said to be a further continuation of the timber road at the Coolavin Caiseal. On the left hand side of the Rector’s house is the sit e of a Protestant Graveyard.
St. Attracta’s Well and Crucifixion Plaque:
A few hundred yards beyond the impressive entrance to Coolavin House lies St. Attracta’s well and Crucifixion Plaque. Enclosed on three sides by walls, the centre is comprised of a limestone flag. The figure of Christ as he hung on the cross is sculptured on this with the instruments of the Passion carved on either side of them. Tradition has it that the work was done in the 17th. century by a local artist. The inscription I.H.S. 1662. 21G is imprinted on the Plaque and it’s believed that the 1662 may signify the year of restoration while the I.G. may stand for Iriel O’Gara. On top of the north wall are placed 13 round water worn pebbles. The number 13 seems remarkable, maybe it represents the 12 apostles plus Jesus. At the foot of the wall there is a prominent hollow in one boulder. The water in this was believed to cure children who had rickets.
St. Attracta’s Hospice, Killaraght:
St. Attracta was the daughter of the chieftain of the area called Talan, who was converted to Christianity by St. Patrick. She founded a hospice for travellers at Killaraght which survived to the 15th. century