Offaly - 16 Attractions You Must Visit
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County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It contains approximately 9,000 hectares of forest and woodland area. This county welcomes the visitor to vast tracts of wilderness, expanses of bogland, esker hills and rivers including the majestic Shannon River and so more.
Types of Attractions in Offaly
List of Attractions in Offaly
Ballycowan Castle is a castle located 4 km west of Tullamore, Co. Offaly. It was built in 1589 as a fortified house by Thomas Morres.The castle was built on the previous site of the O’Molloy castle or tower house called Baile-mhic-Abhainn which was destroyed by a fire in 1557.
Birr Castle Demesne
This is a large castle in the town of Birr in County Offaly, Ireland. It is the home of the 7th Earl of Rosse and his family, and as such the residential areas of the castle are not open to the public, though the grounds and gardens of the demesne are publicly accessible, and include a science museum and a café, a reflecting telescope which was the largest in the world for decades and a modern radio telescope.
Clara Bog is the finest remaining example of a raised bog in Ireland today. The nature reserve is home to many protected wildlife species. The site is protected under a number of national and international designations including National Nature Reserve, a Special Area of Conservation, Ramsar Wetland Site, Natura 2000 site, and Natural Heritage Area.
Charleville Castle Heritage Trust
A Gothic-style castle located in County Offaly, Ireland, bordering the town of Tullamore, near the River Clodiagh. It is considered one of the finest of its type in the country. The castle itself is believed to be the most haunted building and grounds in Europe, with it appearing on Living TV's Most Haunted and Fox's Scariest Places on Earth.
Clara Bog Nature Reserve
Clara Bog is the finest remaining example of a raised bog in Ireland today. Raised bogs once covered 310,000 hectares in Ireland but today just 7% remains intact. This forms over 50% of the remaining area of uncut raised bog in North West Europe. The nature reserve is home to many protected wildlife species. The installation of a 1km-looped timber boardwalk with interpretive panels at Clara Bog has provided for local recreation and tourism.
This sixth century monastic site, located on the banks of the River Shannon is home to three high crosses, a cathedral, seven churches and two round towers. This great monastery was founded in 548- 9 by St. Ciarán Mac a tSaor. It became a great centre of religion and learning, visited by scholars from all over the world. Many historical manuscripts, including the 11th-century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th-century Book of the Dun Cow, were written here.
Clonmacnoise is a ruined monastery situated in County Offaly in Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone, founded in 544 by Saint Ciarán, a young man from Rathcroghan, County Roscommon. The wooden castle that stood on the top of the motte at Clonmacnoise was destroyed by fire and later in 1214 the Justiciar of Ireland, Henry of London, built a stone castle on the motte.
This is the remains of an extinct volcano and rises from the Bog of Allen in County Offaly. The mound at the summit Croghan Hill is thought to be a bronze age burial place. It is believed that a Bishop MacCaille had his church there and lived around the time of St Patrick in the fifth century. Though only 232 m high it commands extensive views of the surrounding midland counties.
Durrow is the site of one of the earliest and most important monastery founded by St Columcille about 550. Largely undisturbed, the site is an early medieval monastic complex of ecclesiastical and secular monuments, visible and sub-surface. The extant monuments at the site include a large ecclesiastical enclosure, five Early Christian grave slabs, a fine mid-ninth century high cross and so more.
The Kinnitty Pyramid was built in the 1830’s as a tomb for the Bernard family who lived in Kinnitty Castle at that time. The Castle was then known as Castle Bernard. The pyramid which you can see form the front of Ardmore Country House is located at the rear of St Finian’s church.
Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle is a castle in Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland, about 6 km north of the town of Roscrea and 10 km south of Kinnitty on the R421. In 1974 the now ruined castle was bought by Australian historian Peter Bartlett, whose mother had been a Banon. Bartlett, together with builder Joe Sullivan, carried out extensive restoration work on the castle up to the time of his death in 1989.
Mongan Bog is an excellent example of a midland raised bog. It is a valuable addition to the growing network of peatland reserves. The bog is believed to be 9,000 years old and has formed in a basin between two east-west trending eskers. A larger area is protected for its birdlife as a Special Protection Area: Mongan Bog SPA covers 1,843 ha and is also an Important Bird Area.
Mount St Joseph Abbey
This is an abbey of the Trappist branch of the Cistercians located in County Offaly, near Roscrea, County Tipperary in Ireland. The abbey was founded in 1878 by a group of 32 monks from Mount Melleray Abbey, County Waterford. The church was opened for worship in 1883, on 600 acres in Mount Heaton, Roscrea, and a Boarding school - Cistercian College, Roscrea - was founded in 1905. The first superior was Dom Athanasius O'Donovan.
The Leviathan of Parsonstown
Man-made Structures- Other
Leviathan of Parsonstown, or Rosse six-foot telescope, is a historic reflecting telescope of 72 inches aperture, which was the largest telescope in the world from 1845 until the construction of the 100-inch Hooker Telescope in California in 1917. The Rosse six-foot telescope was built by William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse on his estate, Birr Castle, at Parsonstown.
The Offaly Way
The Offaly Way is a linear route of 38km linking the Slieve bloom Way (at Cadamstown) to the Sli Mor and crossing en-route the Grand Canal Way. It includes sections of riverbank, stretches of bogland, green mass paths and quiet country roadways. The trail provides a link between the Slieve Bloom Way and the Grand Canal Way.
Map of attractions in Offaly
For more information about Offaly, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Offaly