Cashel (Leagan Gaeilge – Caiseal

The townland of Cashel is situated 4.5 km. west of Glenamaddy Town in north-east Galway. Cashel incorporated Rareigh and Cashel Village. It derives its name from the Irish word caiseal which describes an ancient, round, mortarless, stone fort. Other forms of the name are Caisial, Caisiol and Cashill.

Distinctive Features:  

  • Cairn, an Ecclesiastical Site, a Ruined Church, a Holy Well and three Quarries in the townland of Cashel are registered with the Irish Monuments Serviced and featured in the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database. 
  • The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows a cluster of nineteen dwellings, fitting the definition of a traditional clachan situated about 500 metres to the north east of Cashel Cross, known as Rareigh, or, Rareagh, which is the anglicised translation of Rath Riabhach meaning ‘Grey Fort’. Another cluster of approximately forty houses called Cashel Village was located about 250 meters to the east of Cashel Cross, mostly to the south of the Glenamaddy to Dunmore road.
  • Leacht Mháire Ní Thuathail: The Cairn located about 400m south west of Boyounagh Cemetery is said to be the resting place of Máire Ní Thuathail. It is named in OS Letters (O’Flanagan 1927, Vol. 1, 81) as ‘Leacht Mháire Ní Thuathail’ and described as ‘a large ash tree with a cairn of stones around its base’. It consists of a small, partially degraded, sub-rectangular flat-topped mound of earth and stone. Local tradition states that it was dedicated to a woman who, when being taken to Boyounagh graveyard for burial, fell from the shoulders of her pall-bearers at this spot. As a result, the mound was constructed as ‘it is a custom in the country to raise a pile of stones on every spot where a corpse was laid down’ (ibid.). The ash tree was afterwards planted in her memory by a friend. (Patrick Knight 1975, 2-3)
  • Tobar na mBráthar (Friars’ Well): This well was said to be situated directly across the road from Boyounagh New Cemetery. It served as a fresh water supply for the friars in the adjacent monastery. It was also known as Tobar Phádraig, so called after the last known friar named Patrick Mannion who occupy the monastery at the end of the 18th Locals recall rosaries being recited at the site. The remains of the well are no longer visible on the surface.

Boyounagh Church: There is no record of when the original friars established a monastery in Boyounagh, said to be in the 5th or 6th Likewise, there is no evidence of when the Dominican friars arrived in the middle ages. O’Donovan, the celebrated Irish scholar, wrote in the Field Name Books when he visited the parish in the 1830s that people were familiar with the last Dominican friar, Patrick Mannion, who resided in Boyounagh monastery some forty years previous to his visit. O’Donovan described the ruined church in the Field Name Books in the 1830s as follows – “The old church of Bweeaunagh is all destroyed with the exception of a small fragment of the north side wall. The building was 18 feet broad, but its length cannot be ascertained.” The McDonnell tomb occupies part of the interior of the ruined church and only part of the original church wall is now visible. 


  • Boyounagh Turlough, sometimes referred to as Cashel Turlough, or, Cashel Lake, occupies the southern boundary with Patch. The turlough water drains through an underground channel and resurfaces at Gilmore’s Mill in Leitra where in former times it helped to rotate the mill wheel in the winter months before proceeding southward to form part of the Sinking River.
  • The Yellow River flows westward through the northern portion of Cashel townland
  • Cashel Marian Shrine: For information about the shrine please click on the link at the end of this post.

1656-58 Down Survey: 

There is no information available for the townland of Cashel in this survey.

1823 -1838 Tithe Applotment Books: 

Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained the following Catholic landholders in the townland of Cashel, including Rareigh, (Rarewaugh) paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) – Keaveny, Reilly and Carroll and others whose names cannot be deciphered. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: 

O’Donovan describes the townland of Cashel in the following terms – “About 1/4 of this townland is bog chiefly situated in the North portion. There is a portion of a flood and Turlough at the South boundary. The road from Dunmore to Glenamadda passes from N.W. to S.E. through the townland. Cashel village is situated on the S.W. and N.E. side of said road. Rareigh village is in the N.W. portion. The remainder of the townland is tillage and pasture.”

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 

The survey established that the townland covered an area of 594 acres 1 rood 32 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £195 0s 0d.

The occupiers in the townland of Cashel at the time of Griffith’s Valuation are given as – Collins (3), Keavany (3), Cornelly (2), Gannon (2), Connell (2), Moore (2), Reilly (2), Geraghty (2), Donnellan (2), Corr, Concaugh, Brien, Beirne, and Kane. Martin McDonnell is given as the landlord of the townland, having purchased it in 1853 as part of the Boyounagh estate.

Adjoining Townlands

The following townlands share a border with Cashel –  

Boyounagh More (Middletown), Boyounagh BegCloonkeenEskeromullacaun (Esker)GortagannyLisheenaheltia and Patch (Parish of Clonberne)

Census Records: 

Population and Household data for the townland of Cashel:

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective.

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dú website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – BallinapeakaBallinastackBarnaBoyounagh_More (Middletown),_BushtownCashelClassaghroeCloonacross,  Clooncon_EastClooncon_WestCloonkeenCultiafadda,  Eskeromullacaun (Esker), FelimsparkGlenamaddyGortaganny, Gortnagier,  KiltullaghKnockauns,  Lisheenaheltia,  LoughparkMeelick, Scotland, Shannagh_More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 –

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2 – 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1 –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2 – 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1 –   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2 – 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National School – 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National School –    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author: Pat Keaveny

For related townland website posts click on the following links:

Cashel Marian Shrine

Leacht Mháire Ní Thuathail


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder