Information Athlone Ireland
When travelling on the Shannon out of Athlone, southwards to Clonmacnoise, be conscious of the fact that the lock has to fill, so itís best to be up early and get to the lock before anyone else so that youíre not kept waiting. Athlone could not be called beautiful, and what charm it has has been assuaged further due to its becoming a commuter town of Dublin. Those who travel between Athlone and Dublin frequently complain about the roads and transport, the ludicrous rise in house prices in recent years in Ireland having forced many of the residents now living there to buy property so far from work in the capital. However, Athlone has its own history, and was once mooted by Republicans as recently as the 1970s as the possible capital of an independent full island Ireland due to its location. A castle lies in the middle of Athlone town. Brian Boru, famed king who was killed at the Battle of Clontarf, led an army and fleet there to attend a gathering at Lough Derg in the year 1001. In the twelfth century a bridge was built over the Shannon, with a fort flanking it to protect it. The Anglo Normans fortified the bridge further with more advanced architecture. What became the castle was later destroyed, but its remains date from around the period of Anglo Norman conquest and later. As a link to Connaught, Athlone has played a pivotal role in the wars of the seventeenth century, passing at times between nationalists and their Jacobite allies or the English rulers of the time.
Attractions Athlone Ireland
Athlone Castle - Athlone
Located at Saint Peters Square, Athlone, and built in the 13th century to command the ford on the Shannon, Athlone Castle now includes audio visual presentations on the fauna, flora and power resources of the Shannon, the life of Count John McCormack, and the siege of 1691.
Ballinlough Castle - Clonmellon
Located at Clonmellon, a sense of antiquity prevails as you enter the gates of Ballinlough. Perched on a hill overlooking two lakes. The 17th century castle is the home of Sir John and Lady Nugent. The gardens have been under restoration since 1994, and are now open to the public, together with the lakeside and woodland walks.
Belvedere House - Mullingar
Located at Mullingar, Belvedere is a superb 160 acre estate on the shores of Lough Ennell. The eighteenth century hunting lodge, walled garden and landscaped park have been restored to their former glory. There are also a wide range of facilities to enjoy. The terrace gives magnificent views of Lough Ennell and provides the visitor, both young and old, with a memorable day out. The restored stables now have exhibits that tell the story of how Belvedere was developed, the evocative 18th Century story of the Wicked Earl and the Mary Molesworth scandal.
Bronze and Pewter Products - Mullingar
Located in Mullingar, two of Irelands finest craft studios - Mullingar Pewter and Genesis Fine Arts are built on an open plan basis with the visitor in mind. Learn some of the hidden secrets, skills and magic blended together to create products which date back over 800 years.
Through a creative and innovative design team, create a wide range of decorative items in various materials. Items for you house and home, lighting products, signs and mirrors. Combining traditional skills and whacky concepts to produce unique designs. Well worth a visit.....