Historic Rush – 1837
RUSH, a small sea-port and fishing town, in the parish of LUSK, barony of BALROTHERY, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 6 miles (N. E.) from Swords, and 13 ½ (N. by E.) from Dublin; containing 2144 inhabitants. This town, which is situated on the eastern coast, contains 442 houses, chiefly inhabited by fishermen; and has, since the 16th century, been celebrated for the great quantities of ling which are taken and cured by the inhabitants. Previously to the discontinuance of the fishing bounties, 22 boats were employed in this fishery, which number has since been reduced to 16 of about 40 tons each, carrying seven or eight men. The harbour is difficult of access, and consequently adapted only for small vessels. The channel has from seven to eight feet depth at low water, and is much exposed to a heavy swell during the prevalence of winds from the north-east. A small pier has been erected on a ledge of rock extending into the sea, and covered on the north side by a reef of rocks, which affords good accommodation to the vessels employed in the fishery.
The sands are celebrated for early potatoes, which are produced here in abundance. On the south side of the bay, and to the east of the pier, are beds of fine compact limestone and black slate clay and conglomerate limestone alternating. A coast-guard station has been established here, forming one of the nine which constitute the district of Swords; a constabulary police force is stationed in the town, and there is a martello tower on the beach.
A patent exists for fairs on May 1st and Sept. 29th, but they are not held. The parish church is three miles distant, and therefore, for the accommodation of the town, divine service is performed once every Sunday in the parochial schoolroom, a large and commodious building, in which are a lending library and a depository of bibles: In the R. C. divisions the town forms the head of a union or district, including also Lambay island and part of the adjoining districts: there are chapels at Rush and on Lambay island; the former was built about 70 years since, and a tower, embattled and surmounted with a cross, was added to it in 1833, by subscription; the interior is well fitted up and has a carved altar-piece brought from France.
Adjoining it is the residence of the parish priest, built in 1823 by subscription, to which the late Mrs. Palmer, of Rush House, largely contributed and also gave an acre and a half of land for a site. A dispensary in the town is supported in the usual manner.
About half a mile from the town is Rush House, now called Kenure Park, formerly the residence of the great Duke of Ormonde, and subsequently of Sir Henry Echlin, Bart., from whom it was purchased by an ancestor of Sir W. H. Palmer, Bart., its present proprietor. The mansion is spacious and handsome, and contains many good apartments, a collection of valuable paintings by the first masters, and a selection of vases and other relics from the remains of Pompeii, collected by the late Mr. Palmer when in Italy.
The demesne is richly embellished with stately timber, and commands some interesting views, embracing the town of Rush, Lambay island, and a great expanse of sea; and within the grounds are the picturesque ruins of Kenure church, in which is a large tomb inscribed to the memory of George, fourth Baron of Strabane, who died in 1668. Near these ruins are the remains of an ancient castle, a holy well dedicated to St. Catherine, and part of an ancient cross.