As can be noticed Carrigtwohill Village is situated on a slight rise of ground which was at one time a point of land jutting into the sea. An arm of the sea also came up to Fontarabia and towards the railway station. It ws when the embankment and sluice at Slatty was built about 1807 that this land was reclaimed. Before the erection of Slatty Bridge, the area of 2,000 acres around Barryscourt and Slatty was known as “The Common”
In 1894 James Coleman of Cobh said he knew a man, then very old, who rowed up to the castle in a boat. In 1750 Smith describes Carrigtwohill as “a small village seated on the arm of the sea which, at high water flows under a bridge of four arches and overspreads a large tract of land, making an excellent marsh for fattening horses”. The bridge must have been at Fontarabia, to the west of the village, and the marshed mentioned – the marshes of Terrysland.
Although Carrigtwohill is described as a small village in 1750, it had grown to a fair town in 1795 (Topographia Hibernia) and contained over a hundred houses. Lewis, in the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837, describes Carrigtwohill village and says that it consisted principally of one, long, irregular village, containing ninety-eight small houses, indifferently built; and that it was a constabulary police station.
According to Tuckey’s Remembrancer – a destructive fire broke out in Carrigtwohill on November 3rd 1803, and destroyed fourteen houses.
Lewis gives the following account of the parish in 1837. he says that “ it compromised 10,025 statute acres, of which about 800 acres are woodland, 500 acres waste, and of the remainder 6,600 are arable and 2,600 pasture. The soil is, in some places, light, and in other places deep and rich, producing excellent crops; the system of agriculture has been extensively improved. Great quantities of lime stone are burnt into lime for manure. The scenery in almost every part is exceedingly interesting, particularly near Fota, around which the rich woods and thriving plantations are beautifully diversified with water. Several extensive plantations have been made in other parts of the parish which in a few years will add greatly to the appearance of the country”.
At that time, over twenty horses and butts were drawing limestone to limekilns on the north side of the parish alone.
Caulfield, in his Council Corporation Book of Kinsale, gives a list of of fairs and markets granted by charter to the towns and villages of Co. Cork. Under Carrigtwohill he gives three different grants, the first being – “ A Friday market granted to Divid Barry dated 1234, to be held at the Manor of Karrectochell”. A market is granted to Buttevant in the same document; and these are by far the earliest grants to any village or town in Co, Cork. The next grant is “ A fair granted to Divid l. Barry to be held on March 1st and the day after”. This David Barry is probably the same as in the first-mentioned document. The third grant as given by Dr. Caulfield reads “ Earl of Barrymore, 20th July 1732, was granted a Tuesday night market and a fair on 1st May, 20th October and the day after each”.
In 1795 ( Topographia Hibernia) five fairs were held yearly, the dates being the 12th of March and May, August 26th, September 19th and Novemeber 8th. Lewis, in 1837, gives the same five dates, and adds that they are chiefly for horses, cattle, pigs and pedlery, and that, from the central situation of the place they were in, generally well attended. The last well attended fair in Carrigtwohill waas held to defy the British during the 1920-21 period.
One reading gives the population of Carrigtwohill as 6,372 in 1831, 5,776 in 1841 and 4,636 in 1851. Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, compiled in 1846, states that in 1846 Carrigtwohill had 3,976 inhabitants, of whom 692 were in the village. In Gibson’s History of Cork, the population of Carrigtwohill in 1841 was 3,976and in 1851 it was 3,443. In the census of 1659, taken after the Cromwellian War, there were only 626 Irish in Carrigtwohill.
Houses of stone and earth were built as early as 1329 and 1583. What could be found in very old mud-walled Carrigtwohill houses were sally-twigs in a sort of wickerwork, on to which was plastrered mud plaster. Observation will also disclose the mixing of cattle-hair with this plaster, apparently for strengthening purposes.