Irish: An Seanbhaile Mór
Wallstown Castle west of Shanballymore
Shanballymore is a small village in north County Cork, off the main route from Mallow to Mitchelstown. Its neighbouring towns of Doneraile, Kildorrery and Castletownroche. The village had a population of 165 people as of the 2016 census.
The name 'Shanballymore' is from the Irish An Seanbhaile Mór, meaning 'Big Old Town'. It is colloquially called 'Shanbla'.
The local Roman Catholic church is dedicated to Christ the King.
Shanballymore, also historically referred to as Templeruan – Sonnachgowan ('old town'), stands on the north bank of the Awbeg River, astride the road from Mallow to Mitchelstown. It is also traversed by the 'Bianconi Road', the old road which crosses Wallstown Hill over the river and Clogher Hill, the cobbled surface of which can still be seen in a few places. The modern 'New Line' was built as a public work around the hills during the Great Famines in the 19th century.
Of the variant names of Shanballymore, the earliest, 'Sonnach Gobunn', appears in the Crichad on Chaoille (c. 1100) and the Papal Taxation of Pope Nicholas of 1291. The second name, Templeroan, makes its appearance as an alternative name about 1400 and remains as the name of the Church of Ireland parish. Census figures and other official information for the parish are found under this second title. The third and most recent name, Shanballymore, is the name of the Roman Catholic parish.
Historically the parish contained four tower houses or castles and three churches, Kilelly, kilclagmusey & Templeroan.
The vicinity of Shanballymore was part of the Tuath of Ui Bece Abha Uachtarach with Castletownroche and Wallstown parishes, as shown in the 'Crichid an Chaoilli', a description of the area now known as the Barony of Fermoy. The text appears in 'The Book of Lismore (more correctly the book of Mac carthaigh Riabhach, which was found in the early eighteen-hundreds, hidden in the walls of Lismore Castle. the Crichad portion of the text is almost unique, offering a description of Irish land holding c. 1100, the limits of the estates and the major families of the area.
The parish was valued in the papal taxation of Pope Nicholas in 1291 at 5 marks (2 old pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence) and taxed at a tithe or tenth. It is not mentioned in the pipe Roll of Cloyne (c. 1370). It appears from other documents of the period and later, to have been united with Wallstown and Ballygrigan parishes rather than Doneraile.
A patent exists for a fair but it is not now held.
In 1821 the population of the Parish was 1,413.
- Gaelic sports: Shanballymore GAA
- An Seanbhaile Mór / Shanballymore: Placenames Database of Ireland