The Irish for Croom is Crom or Cromadh, meaning 'bend',
'curved' or 'strong'. The town of Croom was established with the building
of Croom castle by Dermot O'Donovan in 1210AD. A significant segment of
the original castle still stands. The town was walled in 1310. Prior to
1641 the area around Croom was known as Ballingaddy parish, comprising
the townlands of Croom and Toureen.
According to Lewis, the parish of Croom was the head of the RC district
comprising the parishes of Croom, Anhid, Dunaman, Carrigran and Dysart.
Anhid parish now forms part of the modern day parish of Croom, although
part of the old parish is now in Banogue. In 1861, on the death of Laurence
Hartnett, P.P., Banogue was set up as a separate parish from Croom.
Early Christian sites in the locality include
Dísert (or Dysert) Aenghusa, which dates
from 800AD, and the nearby Mainister an Aonaigh, now in the neighbouring
parish of Manister.
Croom Mill was built in 1788. The Earl of Kildare built the original
mill in 1340. In 1740 Henry Lyons came to Croom and bought it. He proceeded
to demolish the old mill and to build the present one. The wheel was powered
with water from the river Maigue. The mill closed in 1927, although the
mill wheel continued to operate until the early 1940s.
Tory Hill is a well-known landmark in the parish of Croom. It is claimed
that an upper terrace on the hill, which appears to be artificial, was
in fact a fortress, and may indeed have been 'Temair Luachra'
which was the royal establishment of North Munster. A gold lunula or collar,
which dates from 2000 to 500BC, was found there in 1852. It is now in
the National Museum.
The name Tory Hill only dates to the 18th century. Two derivations are
given for the name. The first, Tóraidhe, may be defined
as 'a tory, a robber or a highwayman', and in that sense, the hill may
have taken its name from the tories or raparees who took refuge there
in the 17th and 18th centuries, and who used it as a base to attack and
rob people. The second, more widely accepted derivation is Cnoc Drom
Asail, which means 'the hill of the ass's back'.