This town seems to have been founded towards the end of the 18th century by the Swanton family, and it was at one time known as "Swanton's Town". Smith does not mention it at all, so apparently it did not exist in 1749 but in Lewis's Dictionary of 1837 we are told that it had 100 houses and 601 inhabitants, and that a "new line of road, formed by the Board of Works, from Skibbereen to Rock Island runs through it".
A village, in the parish of Skull, Western Division of the Barony of West Carbery, county of Cork, and province of Munster, 8 miles (w.s.w.) from Skibbereen; containing 601 inhabitants. The village is situated on a new line of road formed by the Board of Works from Skibbereen to Rock Island; and derives its name from its position at the confluence of three streams, whose united waters are crossed by a handsome stone bridge, below which they expand into a small but secure haven, near the termination of Roaring Water Bay. It consists of a long and irregular street containing about 100 houses, some of which are large and well built; and is rapidly increasing in size and importance, particularly since the formation of the new road, which has made it a considerable thoroughfare, aided by its propinquity to the copper mines of Cappach and the slate quarries of Audley's Cove and Filemuck, which renders it well adapted for business.
Fairs for horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and pedlery are held on Jan. 1st, Feb. 2nd, March 12th, Easter Tuesday, Whit-Tuesday, June 29th, July 15th, Aug. 15th, Sept. 8th, Oct. 10th, Nov. 1st and Dec. 8th. A penny post to Skibbereen has been recently established and here is a station of the constabulary policy. A chapel of ease was built in 1829 by the late Board of first Fruits, at an expense of 600 pounds; it is a small handsome edifice, in the early English style of architecture, without a tower. A large and handsome R. C. chapel was also erected in 1826; and there is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A school, in connection with the Kildare-Place Society, and another at Liskeencreagh, are supported by the Cork Diocesan Association; and adjoining the R. C. chapel is a large school for boys and girls, built in 1835 by the Rev. J. Barry. Here is a dispensary, a branch to that of Skull.