Lewis in 1837 said:
“BALLINCOLLIG, a post-town, in the parish of CARRIGROHANE, barony of BARRETTS, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5¼ miles (W.) from Cork, and 130½ miles (S. W.) from Dublin, on the road from Cork to Macroom; containing 875 inhabitants.”
“This place is chiefly distinguished as a military depôt, and for its extensive gunpowder-mills, formerly carried on under the superintendence of Government, but, after having been for some years discontinued, recently purchased by the present proprietors, and now in full operation. The artillery barracks form an extensive quadrangular pile of buildings, having in the eastern range the officers’ apartments, and on the western side an hospital and a neat church, built in 1814, in which divine service is regularly performed by a resident chaplain. The buildings contain accommodation for 18 officers and 242 non-commissioned officers and privates, and are adapted to receive eight field batteries, though at present only one is stationed here, to which are attached 95 men and 44 horses: in the centre of the quadrangle eight gun sheds are placed in two parallel lines, and near them are the stables and offices; within the walls is a large and commodious school-room. Immediately adjoining the barracks, and occupying a space of nearly four miles in extent, are the gunpowder-mills, 16 in number. At convenient distances are placed the different establishments for granulating and drying the gunpowder, making charcoal, refining sulphur and salt-petre, making casks and hoops and the various machinery connected with the works; the whole communicating with each other, and with the mills, by means of small canals constructed for facility of carriage, and for preventing such accidents as might occur from other modes of conveyance. In appropriate situations, and adjoining these establishments, are the residences of the different persons superintending the works; and at the eastern extremity of the ground, but at a considerable distance from the mills, are two ranges of comfortable cottages for a portion of the work-people, now tenanted by 54 families, which obtain a comfortable livelihood. The number of persons employed is about 200, and the quantity of gunpowder manufactured annually is about 16,000 barrels.
The police depôt for the province of Munster is situated here; the men are drilled till they become efficient, and then drafted off to the different stations in the province.
There is a R. C. chapel, to which is attached a school.
To the south of the town, and on a limestone rock rising abruptly from the surrounding meadows, are the remains of Ballincollig Castle, of which one of the towers is in tolerable preservation.”
There is a reference to Ballincollig in the “Scenary and Antiquities of Ireland” and this is at: Library of Ireland – Ballincollig
Article by Margaret Jordan 2006 [updated 2013, 2014]