The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory. With a Preface by The Most Rev. Dr. Brownrigg, Lord Bishop of Ossory. Four volumes. Roberts Books, 1981. Pp (1) xxxi, 300, folded map at rear; (2) viii, 397; (3) vii, 512, folded map; (4) vii, 433. Profusely illustrated with plates and text illustrations. Original olive green covers, titles stamped in gilt to spines, housed in slipcase. A fine set.
First published by, Bryers & Walker, 1905. Facsimile edition limited to 800 sets with the addition of a Foreword by Most Rev. Dr. Birch, Bishop of Ossory and an Introduction by John Bradley.
The first volume gives an overall history of the diocese from its pre-Christian Celtic origins through its various Bishops and Clergy. The other three volumes examine Ossory's parishes in detail. Each parish's buildings, churches, castles, monuments etc, are described and examined. The origins of townland names are described as are many tombstone inscriptions. The history of many prominent families in each parish is also recorded. The work is distinctive in the richness of its illustrations with the newly emerging art of photography extensively employed. The actual writing took six years between 1897 and 1903. 738 individuals eventually subscribed to the work with 840 copies sold; the remaining 160 were lost in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. The work was well received on its publication and although other diocesan histories exist, none match it for its scope and depth.