Information about Lispheasty

Information from O'Donovan's Field Name Books

Standard Name:
Irish Form of Name:
Lios Phiasta
fort of the worm or reptile
Civil Parish:
Other Forms of the Name with authority source (if provided) in italics:
Lios Phiasta
Lispheisty By. Sketch Map
Lispheisty Co. Book
Lispheisty County Map
Lispheisty H. C. Sur. And Val. Report
Lispheisty Mr. Hardy, Agent to – West, Esq.
This townland contains a few farm houses – two Danish Forts, one called after the townland, the other Lismuil, a pool called Parkawerra – about 3 acres of bog and 10 acres of furze, the remainder arable.
Bounded on the North by Black Stock, East by Cloonshease Daley and Cloonshease Persse, South by Great Abbey Land and West by Sunnagh.

Information From Joyce's Place Names

Translation according to P. W. Joyce:
Lispheasty in Galway; Lios-pheiste, fort of the piast or great reptile. See Piast, in vol. i. p. 199 [reproduced below].
Legends of aquatic monsters are very ancient among the Irish people. We find one mentioned by Adamnan (Lib. II., cap. 27), as infesting Loch Ness, in Scotland. In the Life of St. Mochua of Balla, it is related that a stag which was wounded in the chase took refuge in an island in Lough Ree; but that no one dared to follow it "on account of a horrible monster that infested the lake, and was accustomed to destroy swimmers". A man was at last prevailed on to swim across, "but as he was returning the beast devoured him". O'Flaherty (Iar Connaught, c. 19) has a very circumstantial story of an "Irish crocodil", that lived at the bottom of Lough Mask; and in O'Clery's Calendar (p. 145) we read about the upper lake of Glenadalough: - "They say that the lake drains in its middle, and that a frightful serpent is seen in it, and that from fear of it no one ever durst swim in the lake". And in some of the very ancient tales of the Lebor-na-hUidhre we find heroes encountering enormous lake-serpents. This legend assumes various forms in individual cases, and many are the tales the people can relate of fearful encounters with a monster covered with long hair and a mane; moreover, they are occasionally met with in old castles, lisses, caves, etc., as well as in lakes. The word by which they are most commonly designated in modern times, is piast; we find it in Cormac's Glossary in the old Irish form béist, explained by the Lat. Bestia, from which it has been borrowed; and it is constantly used in the Lives of the Irish saints, to denote a dragon, serpent, or monster. Several lakes in different parts of the country are called Loughnapiast, or more correctly, Loch-na-peiste, each of which is inhabited by a demoniacal serpent; and in a river in the parish of Banagher, Derry, there is a spot called Lig-na-peiste (Lig, a hollow or hole), which is the abode of another. When St. Patrick was journeying westward, a number of them attempted to oppose his progress at a place in the parish of Ardcarn in Roscommon, which is called to this day Knocknabeast, or in Irish, Cnoc-an-bpiast, the hill of the serpents. In the parish of Drumhome in Donegal, stands a fort which gives name to a townland called Lisnapaste; there is another with a similar name in the townland of Gullane, parish of Kilconly, Kerry, in which the people say a serpent used to be seen; and near Freshford in Kilkenny, is a well called Tobernapeastia, from which a townland takes its name. There is a townland near Bailieborough in Cavan, called Dundragon, the fort of the dragon, where some frightful monster must have formerly taken up his abode in the old dun. Sometimes the name indicates directly their supernatural and infernal character; as, for instance, in Pouladown near Watergrasshill in Cork, i.e. Poll-a'-deamhain, the demon's hole. There is a pool in the townland of Killarah, parish of Kildallan, Cavan, three miles from Badyconnell, called Longhandoul, or, in Irish, Loch-an-diabhail, the lake of the devil; and Deune Castle, in the parish of Kilconly in Kerry, is the demon's castle, which is the signification of its Irish name, Caislen-a'-deamhain.

Information From Griffith's Valution

Area in Acres, Roods and Perches:
118 0 30
Land value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
71 15 4
Building value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
0 0 0
Total value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
71 15 4
Heads of housholds living in the townland at this time:

Townland Information

What is a townland?:
A townland is one of the smallest land divisions in Ireland. They range in size from a few acres to thousands of acres. Many are Gaelic in origin, but some came into existence after the Norman invasion of 1169
Lispheasty is a townland.

Information From Maps

Original OS map of this area.
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Ireland was first mapped in the 1840s. These original maps are available online.
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Original OS maps at the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website.
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This link is not a link to the townland that you are currently researching; however, if you follow this link, you will see a search box near the top of the page which you can use to search for your townland.
Having followed this link, you will see several expandable links - each link has a plus sign on its left - on the top left of the page. Expand 'Base Information and Mapping'. Now it is possible to select the maps that you wish to view by clicking on the checkbox that is on the left of each map; this list includes the original Ordnance Survey maps.
You can select more than one map and you can use a slider to make one map more transparent than another. This allows you to view what features were present or absent at different points in time.
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Information from the Down Survey Website.
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The Down Survey website will tell you who owned this townland in 1641 (pre Cromwell) and in 1671 (post Cromwell).
Down Survey Website
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Information from Google Maps.
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You can use this link to find this townland on Google Maps.
Google Maps
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Information from the National Monuments Service.
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You can use this link to view a map of archaelogical features.
This link brings you to a website wherein you will have to search for your townland.
Archaeological map from the National Monuments Service

Neighbouring Townlands

List of townlands that share a border with this townland:
This is a list of townlands that share a border with this townland.

Population and Census Information

People who lived here:
You can retrieve a list of people who lived in this townland from 1827 to 1911. This list is compiled from the following resources.
  • The Tithe Applotment Books
  • Griffith's Valuation
  • 1901 Census
  • 1911 Census
List of nineteenth century and early twentieth century inhabitants of this townland.
Church records of births, deaths and marriages:
Church records of births, deaths and marriages are available online at To search these records you will need to know the 'church parish' rather than the 'civil parish'. (The civil parish is the pre-reformation parish and was frequently used as a unit of administration in the past.)
Lispheasty is in the civil parish of Clonfert.
Roman Catholic parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Roman Catholic parish or parishes.
  • Clonfert, Meelick & Eyrecourt
Church of Ireland parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish.
  • Clonfert
In general, the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same, but, this is not always the case.

Other Sources

Information from the Logainm database.
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