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Welcome to Monaghan

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Towns in Monaghan
Knockatallon Monaghan

Co. Monaghan, like Donegal, and Cavan is one of the counties of Ulster you enter on departing the ancient kingdom of Leinster. One of the 3 Ulster counties incorporated into the Irish Free State in 1921.

Monaghan, meaning "little Shrubbery" is an attractive busy town built around a central diamond. With few historic remains, its old market house dating from 1792 is an elegant building now housing the county museum, where among medieval coins, artifacts and past relics, the county museum also exhibits the history of Monaghan from early days to present, an excellent exhibit worth catching. The 14th Century Cross of Clogher is also worth noting. Open all year round this county museum is also free. Much of the town's buildings including the Market House is due to the patronage of the Westenra family since the 18th Century Barons Rossmore originally settled in Ireland from Holland in the times of Charles 11. The Rossmore demesne is an imposing gothic ruin situated a mile south outside the town. Now given over to forestry, the 691 acre Rossmore Forest Park offers lovely forest walks and nature trails for the walking enthusiasts amongst you.

The St. Louis Heritage Centre nearby is worth a visit. Housed in a convent (formerly a brewery), the centre traces the history of an order of locally based nuns from post revolutionary France to present day.

In the direction of Newbliss you are taken on a pretty drive, where Southwest of Newbliss 5 km (3 miles) is Annaghmakerrig and Annaghmakerrig House. Home of the Theatrical director Sir Tyrone Gutherie until his death in 1971. After his death the house was left as a residential centre for artists, writers and musicians.

Keeping Southwest of Monaghan less than 1 mile from the Northern Ireland border is the busy little agricultural centre of Clones. Also the site of an early Christian monastery founded by St. Tighearnach who died in AD 458. This monastery was replaced by a 12th Century Augustinian Abbey, the ruin of which can be seen near a 75 ft. Topless round tower. In the central diamond of the town there is a 10th Century Celtic high cross depicting scriptural scenes such as images of Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham and Daniel in the lion's den. Apart from the remnants of history, Clones is chiefly known for lace making. The Clones Lace Centre is certainly worth a visit for its varied selection of lace on display.

Nestled on the border separating Southeast Monaghan from Louth is the tiny village of Inniskeen. Birthplace of Poet Patrick Kavanagh, Inniskeen is dedicated almost entirely to his memory. If you're a fan, The Patrick Kavanagh Heritage Centre is not to be missed where exhibits of paintings illustrating some of Kavanagh's poetry and other memorabilia including Patrick Kavanagh's death mask are proudly on display. Other items on display include exhibits on local history where features include an audio-visual theatre and research library. In late November the annual Patrick Kavanagh weekend is not to be missed, bringing together fans and academics from around the world.

The beautiful village of Glaslough (meaning "Green Lake") situated close by the Armagh border of Northern Ireland is home to the manorial demesne of Castle Leslie. Originally a medieval stronghold, Castle Leslie has been the seat of the Leslie family since 1664. The last baronet Sir Shane Leslie, who died in 1970, was a cousin and boyhood friend of Winston Churchill. Along with an impressive collection of Italian artwork, there are relics of history preserved in the house, such as a baby dress of Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington's (who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo) death mask. With historic tours of the house available all summer long, there is also 14 acres of garden with miniature golf and croquet to enjoy.

Rich by historic association and with scattered remains of past glory, Monaghan will offer you an intriguing stay. With some excellent fishing centres and plenty in the way of forest walks and nature trails, you a guaranteed a relaxing and delightful break.

Neighbouring Counties
Armagh | Cavan | Fermanagh | Louth | Meath | Tyrone
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