Most of the northern part of the small county of Monaghan is bogland (Slieve Beagh). The county town and commercial centre is also named Monaghan. In the 18th century it was the centre of a linen industry, and many of its buildings date from that time. It is home to a high cross.
In Diamond Square is an old Market House. The County Museum has displays on local history and archaeology. South-east of the town on the Dublin road is St McCartanís Cathedral. The grey limestone building dates from the mid 19th century, but designed in the late 14th century style. The tower is 250 feet high. The church has a hammerbeam roof. Other features are statues and a Catherine Wheel window.
Two miles south of Monaghan is Rossmore Forest Park with its rivers and five lakes. Scots pine and cedar, yew and giants redwood trees can be seen. There is a walled garden. Wildlife that may be spotted are otters, badger, fox, hedgehog and pigmy shrew. Birds include swallows, cuckoo, warblers and there are even bats. Go when the rhododendrons are in bloom.
A regional park, Muckno has lakes, trails, and islands. It once was the estate of the Blayney family. Castleblaney, beside Lough Muckno, has a leisure park and is a music center with its pubs being popular venues.
Ballybay is also on a lake and offers angling. In the area is a megalithic tomb, the Lisnardarragh Wedge Tomb. The roofless gallery consists of twenty large stones. North of Monaghan town is Derrygorry/Favour Royal Peoples Millennium Forest with two woodlands containing oak and native trees. In the grounds are the ruins of a 1611 house that gives the forest its name. The Sam More Open Farm will delight children. Alpacas, miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, sheep, and more can be seen. Thereís a nature walk and picnic area. Adults will enjoy the vintage cars and the working forge.
South-west of Monaghan Town is Clones, a market town and angling centre. Thereís a 9-10th century high cross and the remains of a pre-Christian fort and a 12th century abbey, St Peterís and St Paulís.
Carrickmacross is a market town of 4000. The town is famous for its lace making, a display of which is in the Lace Gallery Centre in Market Square. The 1866 Catholic church has attractive stained glass windows.
Outside the town is Lough Fean House with a lake and woods. Nearby Tiragarvan offers exploration of limestone caves. Mannan Castle, an Anglo-Norman motte and bailey earthwork castle, is another attraction in the area.
Mullan village, three miles east of Emyvale on the Ireland/Northern Ireland border, retains remnants of its 19th century heritage as a mill village producing Bullock Irish serge. The mill houses, a mill race, and a working water pump reflect this. The town was a centre for smuggling due to its location.
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre is in Inniskeen. There are exhibits on local history and an AV theatre with a show on Kavanagh, a famous Irish poet. Also in Inniskeen is a round tower with only 12 metres in height remaining. It is part of the remains of St Daigís monastery. The Wildlife and Heritage Centre at Listinny is a private collection of mounted mammals and birds. Vintage farmyard implements and machinery are on show. A garden and pond are other attractions. The site also provides rehabilitation for injured wildlife.
Carrickmacross Lace Gallery
Market Square, Carrickmacross, Monaghan Town
Tel. 0 42 966 4176
Web: Carrickmacross Lace Gallery
Celtic Cross and Round Tower
Clones town centre
Clones motte and bailey
Derrygorry/Favour Royal Peoples Millennium Forest
15 km north of Monaghan Town near Emyvale/Clara, co Monaghan
Web: Millennium Forests
Edergole Court Tomb
Three km west of Rockcorry, off R188
Inniskeen Round Tower
Lisnardarragh Wedge Tomb
South of Shantonagh village, Ballybay
Lough Muckno Leisure Park
Mannan Castle (Caissien Domhnaigh Maighen)
Monaghan County Museum
1-2 Hill St, Monaghan Town
Tel. 0 47 82928
Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Tel. 0 42 937 8560
Web: Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Rossmore Forest Park
3.5km south-west of Monaghan Town
Sam More Open Farm
Threemilehouse near Monaghan Town
Tel. 0 47 57397 or 086 232
St Macartainís Cathedral
Dublin Rd, Monaghan Town
Wildlife and Heritage Centre
Tel. 0 47 80632
Monaghan Tourist Information Centre
Monaghan Tourist Office
Castle Meadow Court, Monaghan Leisure Complex
Tel. 0 47 81122 (Seasonal: June-Sep)
Official website: Monaghan Tourism
Photos of aerial view of Monaghan, Monaghan high cross, county museum, Carrickmacross, Lace collection, Castleblaney courtesy of Monaghan Tourism
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Monaghan town courthouse square, Monaghan Town the Diamond, Favour Forest by Kenneth Allen; Rossmore Forest Park and Castle Lake by D Gore; Mullan Village old mill, Clones high cross by Vin Mullen; Mullan village restored houses, Mannan Castle grounds by Kieran Campbell; Patrick Kavanagh memorial by Tom Courtney; Clones round tower by David Quinn
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