One of the main employers in the Paulstown area today is the limestone quarry in the townland of Kellymount, about one mile west of the village up the ‘Kellymount road’. It is one of the most technologically advanced limestone quarrying sites in Ireland and is owned and operated by Feelystone. Limestone from Paulstown has been used all over the world, including the Irish Famine Memorial in Toronto, Canada and The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City. The Feely family purchased the quarry in the mid 1970s. They have a long history in the quarrying industry going back to the 1790s in Roscommon. Limestone quarrying in Paulstown has an equally long history going back almost 200 years.
As early as 1802 the limestone at Paulstown is mentioned. Tighe’s Statistical Observations of Kilkenny notes that “there is a cave in the limestone rock of Paulstown, in the parish of Shankill.” In 1833 the area is mentioned in a brief discussion of the “calcerous districts” of Kilkenny. The author notes that “there are many such in the limestone region of Kilkenny, of which those of Dunmore and Paulstown are the most spacious.” The first detailed description comes from Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of 1837:
“At Kellymount and Shankill are some of the principal flagstone quarries in the county, the produce of which is chiefly sent by the Barrow navigation to Dublin, Waterford and other places, and generally sold under the name of Carlow flags: limestone is also quarried, and a considerable quantity of stone, coal and culm are obtained at Bornafea”
The Ordnance Survey maps of the 1830s and 1840s show that there were three or four openings (blue dots on map below) in the ground where quarrying was taking place. They are in the same place as the modern day quarry. An 1852 publication also outlines the type of stone quarried in Paulstown, noting the presence of “flag and limestone quarries, coal etc.”
At this time, the immediate leaser of the land (section 9 in map below) that contained some of the quarry openings was Edmund Staunton, Esq . It was being rented by John and Abraham Wynne with the land and buildings valued at £69. The area of land rented by the Wynne’s covered 115 acres, 3 roods and 15 perches. Another portion of the quarry (section 13) was being leased by John Dawson from Edward Wynne. He was leasing 4 acres, 3 roods and 22 perches of land, a house and some other buildings which had a value of £6.
The Ordnance Survey maps for the 1890 to 1910 period give a clearer picture of the mining activities. It shows two lime kilns and the main ground opening. This map seems to indicate that the opening shown in the map from the 1840s has been filled in with some trees growing on top. A newer quarry is located beside the previous one.
The 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland give some examples of people who have quarry related occupations living in the civil parish of Shankill. John Scanlon, 38, and Martin Scanlon, 35, are listed as ‘Flag Miners’. They are unmarried and live with their father and sister in Shankill townland. John Walsh is listed as living in the townland of Coorleagh with the occupation ‘labourer in flag quarry’. He was 56 years of age at the time and living with his son Robert.The Walsh family continued to be involved in the quarry into the years of the Second World War as it was operated by a Peter Walsh.
 Tighe, William. 1802. Statistical Observations Relative to the County of Kilkenny Made in the Years 1800 and 1801. Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell.
 Gorton, John. 1833 A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland Vol II. London: Chapman and Hall. p.424
 Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. London: Lewis, 1837. Print. p.551
 Sharp, James A. A New Gazetteer; or Topographical Dictionary of the British islands and Narrow Seas Vol II. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. 1851. Print. p.557
 The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.118, Number and Letter Reference 9b, Abraham Wynne. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.
 The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.119, Number and Letter Reference 13, John Dawson. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.
 The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Shankill, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 45, Family of Ann Scanlon; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923834 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.
 The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Coorleagh, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 2, Family of John Walsh; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923701 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.
 Dunleavy, John. 2007. A Short History of Paulstown. John Dunleavy.
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