The History Of Newcastle Village
(Extract taken from Lewis’ Topography of 1837)
Newcastle, a parish (formerly a parliamentary borough), in the barony of Newcastle, County of Dublin, and province of Leinster, 2 miles (N.W.) from Rathcoole: containing 1100 inhabitants, of which 397 are in the village. A charter, dated March 30th, 1613, was granted to this place by Jas. I. Whereby it was erected into a corporation, consisting of a portreeve, 12 free burgesses and a commonality, with power to appoint inferior officers: to hold a court of record for pleas to the amount of five marks, and be a guild mercatory and the portreeve to be clerk of the market. In 1608, a grant was made to Jas. Hamilton Esq., to hold a market here on Thursdays and fairs on the feasts of St. Swithin and All Saints, and the day after each; and in 1762 the portreeve and burgesses obtained a grant of a market on Mondays, and fairs on May 9th and Oct. 8th.
All of these markets and fairs are now discontinued. The borough also sent two members to the Irish parliament, but it was disenfranchised at the Union (1800). There is a dispensary in the village, and a constabulary police station. Agriculture is in a high state of improvement; the principal crops are wheat, oats and potatoes. there are good quarries, the stone of which is used for building and repairing the roads. The Grand Canal passes through the parish.
Part of the Demsne of Lyons, the splendid seat of the Rt. Hon. Lord Cloncurry, is in the parish: the other seats are Athgoe Park, the residence of Mrs. Skerrit, one part of which is an old castle, erected at a very early period, and in the grounds is the tower or keep of Colmanstown and an old burial place. Newcastle house, seat of Alex Graydon Esq., Newcastle, of the Very Rev. Archdeacon Langrishe; Peamount, of C.E. kennedy, Esq., Colganstown, of J. Andrews Esq., and Newcastle, of O’Moore Esq. The old church was erected about the 15th century, and is chiefly remarkable for its fine eastern window, which was removed to it in 1724, when the building underwent a thorough repar. In the R.E. divisions the parish forms part of the Union or district of Saggard: in the village is a neat chapel, with a belfry, erected in 1813 at a cost of about £1500.
The Village Green
This has been Newcastle village green since the Normans came. The old house on this side of the thatched pub is probably on the site of the administrative building of the manor. Remember that this manor had no resident lord. It was owned by the King of England and so a stewart would have been in charge. Games were played here on the green. On a Sunday in 1308 a footballer from through the sheath of the dagger. Luckily the man was not seriously hurt. However, William had to pay the man for the injury he inflicted. The Green was sometimes called the Pound, a place where markets and fairs were held. In 1608 Newcastle had a licence to hold a weekly market and two fairs a year on this Green. The fairs were held on the feast of St. Swithin and the feast of “All Saints”.