Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well this week as the Virtual Tour arrives in County Longford. We’re now in the heart of the Irish midlands with its rolling countryside, tranquil lakelands and a wealth of ancient historic sites.
County Longford Highlights
1. Lough Ree
So we begin at Lough Ree, meaning Lake of the Kings. The lake is the second largest on the river Shannon and straddles the border between the counties Longford and Westmeath. The town of Lanesborough in County Longford is situated at the north of the the lough while Athlone in Westmeath lies at its southern shores. Many islands are dotted throughout the lake. Our next stop takes us to one of its most notable.
2. Quaker Island
At the center of Lough Ree stands Quaker Island, so called as it was once owned by a Quaker around 100 years ago. Go back further in time and the tales associated with this island are certainly intriguing. The most notable involves the renowned mythical figure Queen Maebh. Legend has it that she met her death on this very island when she was slain by a stone from a sling. Also known as the The Island of The Seven Churches, you can still see the remains of three of them today.
3. Corlea Trackway
So we go back in time to the Iron Age now to this amazing discovery in the county. 148 BC to be exact! In 1984 a roadway made of oak planks was discovered in a raised bog near the village of Kenagh. The tracks had sunk into the peat which preserved them. 16 tracks were discovered in all, which would have provided roadways for pre-historic wheeled vehicles. This stunning discovery is the biggest of its kind in Europe. The visitors center is well worth the trip where 18 meters have been preserved and housed. A further 80 meters remain under the bog near the center.
4. Rathcline Castle
So next up we’re off to the impressive ruins of Rathcline Castle just outside Lanesborough. It began life in the 9th century as the seat of the O’Quinn clan. It was ravaged during the Cromellian era and subsequently destroyed by fire. Despite all this quite a sizable ruin survives by the shores of the Shannon and is quite a site to behold.
5. Derrycassin Woods
We end our trip to County Longford with a leisurely stroll through Derrycassin Woods. Located on the shores of Lough Gowna, it was once the parkland of a large estate and some remains of the walls of Derycassin House still survive. The lush woodlands and waterside location make this a place of irresistible peace and tranquility.
Thank so much for jointing me on the journey. See you next time for a trip to County Westmeath.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!