Longford, one of the smallest of our inland counties, is one of Irelands
loveliest with much to attract and entertain the visitor. One of the
great lakes on the Shannon, Lough Ree borders this peaceful county to
the south, while Lough Gowna adorns its northern boundary. Renowned
as Goldsmith Country - you can trace the place names of his musings
through the picturesque countryside
Abbeyshrule is situated east of Ballymahon in a picturesque valley of
the river Inny. A Cistercian abbey was founded here in 1150 which was
one of the earliest in the country. This was eventually closed by Queen
Elizabeth 1 during the Tudor suppression of the monasteries. The Royal
Canal passes through Abbeyshrule on its way from the River Shannon to
Dublin. Note the Whitworth aquaduct built in 1817 to carry the Royal
canal over the River Inny. Abbeyshrule is also associated with Goldsmith
The village of Ardagh lies to the south east of Longford town and has
given its name to the diocese in which the greater part of the county
is situated. It is said that St. Patrick founded a church here in the
5th century and installed St. Mel as bishop. The ancient ruins of Saint
Mel's Cathedral are near the present Church of Ireland and St. Mel himself
is said to be buried within the walls. Ardagh is a very attractive Estate
Village and its distinctive architecture as a planned estate has led
to its designation as a Heritage Village. It has featured regularly
in the forefront of the National Tidy Towns Awards.
Ballinamuck is one of the most historic towns in north Longford because
of the great battle that was fought there in 1798 between the combined
Irish and French forces under General Humbert and General Blake and
the English under Lord Cornwallis. The little town and its battle became
famous in recent years because of the success of Thomas Flanagan's historic
novel "The Year of the French" and subsequent film.
Ballymahon is picturesquely situated on the River Inny. The town has
a fine wide street, and many associations with Oliver Goldsmith. The
area is said to have seminal influence on Goldsmith and formed the inspiration
for his future works.
The village of Drumlish is west of a ridge of low hills running north-eastwards
from Newtownforbes to Arva in County Cavan. A famous episode of the
Land War took place in Drumlish which is documented in the book "The
Land War in Drumlish" by Fr. P. Conefrey. The village is the starting
point for the climb of Cairn Hill. It is a pleasant climb and there
are fine views from the summit, which is crowned by a cairn.
Edgeworthstown is a successful centre located on the N4. The town has
a long association with the celebrated family of Edgeworth, who first
settled here in 1583. The Edgeworth family vault , in which Richard
Lovell Edgeworth and his daughter Maria, the well known poet are interred,
is in the churchyard of Saint John's.
Granard is a thriving market town located on a busy north/south route
(N55). One of its distinguishing features is the Motte of Granard with
its Church which is visible from a distance. The town dates its origins
back to pre-historic times when it was associated with sun-worship.
The town hall is one of the finest buildings in the town which houses
Lanesboro is in a pivoted position located on the River Shannon at the
northern entrance to Lough Ree. The town is called after the family
name Lane who owned large tracts of land in the vicinity. The River
Shannon divides Lanesboro from Ballyleague which is located on the Roscommon
side. Lanesboro today has blossomed into a thriving little town with
many facilities for visitors and locals alike.
The county town on the south bank of the River Camlin and on the main
Dublin-Sligo road, is a progressive town and the County Administrative
centre. The town is spaciously laid out with wide streets, pleasant
buildings and recent impressive urban development. The dome of the 19th
century St. Mels Cathedral, a renaissance style building of grey limestone
with lofty tower may be seen from quite a long way outside the town.
Ballinamuck Visitors Centre, Ballinamuck
Located in the historical former RIS Barracks is a lively exhibition
giving details of the battle of Ballinamuck and 1798.
Bogwood Sculpture, Newtowncashel
Bogwood is found in Irish Bogs where it has been preserved for 5,000
years. From this, beautiful sculptures are created by artists Michael
and Kevin Casey. At their workshop and studio the story of bogwood is
told through video, photographs, charts and finally the finished pieces
Carrigglas Manor, Longford
Carrigglas Manor is the seat of the Lefroy family who are still in residence
there. Visit includes a guided tour of the splendid interiors, stable
yard, woodland/water garden, costume and lace museum and gallery.
Corlea Trackway Visitors Centre, Kenagh, Longford
Here the centre tells the story of the local Iron Age bog road which
was built in the year 148BC across the boglands close to the River Shannon.
The oak road is the largest of its kind to have been discovered in Europe
and inside the building an 18 meter stretch of preserved road is on
Newtowncashel Heritage Centre, Newtowncashel
Traditional Irish Farmhouse with a parlor, kitchen and bedroom featuring
furniture, tools, implements and utensils from the early 1930's. There
is also a display of machinery from the turn of the century.
Ardagh Heritage Centre
Ardagh Heritage Centre is located in an old schoolhouse built in 1898.
The story of Ardagh is one of history, literature and storytelling and
the exhibition in the centre draws on the rich fabric of Ardagh life
down through the ages, including its association with Oliver Goldsmith,
Sir Walter Scott and Maria Edgeworth.
The extensive waterways in this county such as the River Shannon, Lough
Ree, River Inny, Gowna Lakes and the Royal Canal etc. provide outstanding
coarse and game fishing,
Longford County and its extensive waterways prove a delight for anyone
interested in a cruising holiday.
This area has a particular attraction for the cyclist especially with
the recent opening of the dedicated cycling route from Killala in Co.
Mayo to Ballinamuck in Longford.
A popular spectator sport where the thrill of the race ensures a thoroughly
With its scenic beauty, Co. Longford is a delight for all walkers for
Learning to fly is not a problem in this county, where flying lessons
are available from qualified instructors.