This is an extract from “Ordnance Survey Field Name Books” of the County of Carlow 1839.
Baile Uí Chaeluidhe, O’Kealey’s town, Ballykealey –J.O’D
This townland is bounded on the North by the townlands of Kilknock and Ardbearn & Torman; South by Ballon parish.; West by Ballyveal and Kilnock townlands; and East by Fennagh parish. It contains 326 acres, 3 rods, 10 perch stature measure, including some rough pasture and some plantation.
It is the property of Mr. Lecky of Ballykealey House in the parish of Fennagh Detached, and is let in farms of from 10 to 40 acres as 40 shillings per acre, a part being retained by Mr. Lecky in his own hands.
The cultivated land is good, and there is some excellent grazing. A bye road from Ballon to Carlow passes through the townland. Tullow, 4 miles distant, is the nearest market-town. Turf is procured at Garryhill, near Mount Leinster.
So, for €2.54 one acre could be rented for a year. What were the wages at that time?
The cost today is about €190 per acre.
The spelling of Ballykealy / Ballykealey does cause some debate but certainly in 1839 the spelling was Ballykealey.