Last Updated: 22-Jan-2013
A Geraldine Castle which was marked on Batiste Boazio’s Map of 1598.
It measures 21 feet 6 inches in length by 20 feet 6 inches in width and its height is approximately 50 feet.
It was originally part of the estate of the Earl of Shannon.
In the 1920’s & 1930’s it was used as a meeting place after Sunday Mass.
Many activities such as hurling football, tug o’war, pitching horseshoes and pitch and toss were played there.
It could accommodate eighty pupils. Classes were held six days a week from 9 am to 4 pm and religious instruction classes were held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, except during Mass which was held in the Church here near the castle.
The final Inspectors report for this school dated 31st March 1898 in which the building was described as a ‘wretched hovel’.
The school closed shortly afterwards and the pupils were to enjoy the luxury of a new school 500yards east of this one, which is the School House still used in Ballintotas today
The original charter to found a school at Curragrine was given by King George II in 1735. Over the door of the charter school house on a black marble stone read an inscription,
The aim of the school is set out in the charter as follows: "This school is for the instruction of Roman Catholics and other poor natives of Ireland in writing, english and arithmetic, in husbandry and housewifery or in trades and other occupations, in scripture and in the principles of the Protestant Established Religion."
In 1808 commissioners from the Board of Education visited the school and found thirty four healthy and well looking boys in a building built to accommodate forty children.
It was well situated near a main road about a mile from the town of Castlemartyr.
It was a very good looking building with wings enclosed in a spacious courtyard and shaded with trees. At either side of the main entrance hall there was a dining room and a school room, each twenty two feet square. The school contained a 'most excellent dormitory, thirty eight feet long and twenty two feet wide.'
In December of 1824 the charted school was judged old and ruinous by the protestant Archbishop of Dublin Hugh Boulter, who conceded that the charter school was to be converted to a day school to be under the direction the clergy of the parish.
One wall of the church is still standing near the western side of the castle.
There is reference made to this church in the report of Bishop Matthew McKenna of Cloyne in 1785. The church was attached to the Parish of Ballyoughtra at that time.
The Church was interdicted by Bishop Coppinger in 1799, because the local people put up a notice near the church refusing to pay tithes, however the matter was resolved and Mass resumed the following Sunday.
This Church was used until the new church of St. Colman was built in 1842.
The early evidence of the existence of a town or "vill" in the vicinity of Castlemartyr is to be found in the Pipe Roll Of Cloyne, a list of all the lands, with their valuations, held by the feudal Bishop of Cloyne.
There had been two adjoining medieval parishes, Caherultan and Ballyoughtera, and both are known to have been in existence by, at least, 1300, when Ballyoughtera was valued at 5 marks and Caherultan at 3 marks.
Ballyoughtera also known as Brazierstown is said to have become an industrial village of some note during the middle ages in which vicinity iron was the only metal known to exist.It is likely that Ballyoughtera Church was a stop off point on the ancient pilgrim's path known as Bóthar Na Naomh. The path started at St. Carthage's of Lismore, and went through Dungourney, on to Ballyoughtera, to St. Colman's in Cloyne on to Ballinacurra, to Great Island and finishing in Cork.
St. Callachan was the patron saint of the old parish of Ballyoughtera, according to Bishop Matthew McKenna's visitation notes which were written in 1785. Ballyoughtera is now part of the parish of Midleton.
An excellent example of an Ice House is located approximately one mile from Ballintotas. Ice houses were designed to remain cold all the year round and were used extensively in Ireland from the late 17th century until well into the 19th century, when more advanced forms of refrigeration became available.
They were constructed adjacent to the 'great houses' - the local ice house was on the estate of Lord Shannon.
Lord Shannon's Ice House was constructed of red brick and was located on a small hillock which helped to allow drainage to occur from the base of the structure. The nearby lake and the flat boggy area would have been suitable for the collection of ice in the winter.
The present parish of Midleton consists of the union of four pre-reformation parishes namely Ballinacurra, Ballyspillane, Ballyoughtera and Inchinabacky.
The townlands of the Parish of Inchinabacky were listed in Griffith's Valuation of 1852 as being Bilberry, Churchtown North, Clashduff, Harrisgrove, Roxborough and Stumphill. These were located in the Barony
The first recorded reference available to the parish, is in Pope Nicholas' Taxation of 1291.
Inchinabacky was also a Rectory and Vicarage in the Diocese of Cloyne. A protestant Church was built there and consecrated in 1839.
The Milltown Mills were flourishing in the mid 1800's. These mills were built about half a mile from the main Midleton to Youghal road, near Churchtown North and beside the Ballinona river.
The mills started to decline in the 1880's.
In 1930's, Mick Clew Ballintotas and Tim O'Sullivan Milltown, dismantled part of the mills for the Cork County Council, who used the stones to widen the main Midleton to Castlemartyr road.
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