Places to visit in Roscommon

Here are some specific places to visit when you are in Roscommon

Arigna Mining Experience

mining field workers

Experience what coal mining was like from the 1700s until the mines closed in 1990 with the Arigna Mining Experience. Over the centuries, coal mining provided much needed work in a region of poor agricultural land, particularly helping the Arigna community through the horrors of the famine years between 1845 and 1852.

The development was created after the mines closed, largely thanks to the local community who raised €250,00 towards the project, which opened in April 2003.

Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum

Strokestown Park House is a restored 18th century mansion which retains its original furnishings and offers guided tours through the stately surroundings. The four-acre walled garden has also been restored. The house is built on the site of the 16th-century castle home of the O Conor-Roe Gaelic Chieftains.

At the end of the war in 1641, the spoils of war were divided among the English and Scots. However, at the Restoration, the family of O'Conor Don regained part of its property on the western side of the county, and has ever since kept possession of it, the only family in Country Roscommon which has possessions it had held prior to the arrival of the English.

The Famine Museum

the famine museum

An archive of original documents came to light during the restoration of Strokestown Park House, from the time of the landlord Major Denis Mahon, who was assassinated in November 1847 at the height of the Great Famine of Ireland. This led to the founding of the National Famine Museum, established at Strokestown Park in 1994.

The museum uses original documents and images from the Strokestown Park collection to explain the circumstances of the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, including actual letters written by the tenants on the Strokestown Estate at the time.

Elphin Windmill

elphin windmill 1730

The Elphin windmill was built in the 1730s to harness the winds sweeping the plains of Boyle. A ruin by 1837, the windmill was renovated and reopened to the public in 1996, the only fully restored windmill in the west of Ireland. It has a thatched revolving roof and sails that are turned into the wind using cartwheels on a circular track.

Boyle Abbey

Boyle Abbey was founded in the 12th century under the patronage of the local ruling family, the MacDermotts. Today, while only small parts of the cloister remain, thanks to the Elizabethans converting it into barracks in 1592 and then being besieged by Cromwellians in 1645, the abbey continues to be an excellent example of Ireland’s early Cistercian foundations. There are guided tours daily and a visitor centre exhibits more information in a restored gatehouse on the property.

Roscommon Friary

roscommon friary

Roscommon Friary was founded for the Dominicans by the King of Connacht Felim O’Conor, destroyed by fire but rebuilt in 1453, with the surviving remains belonging to this period. The most remarkable feature of the Friary is the effigy of King Felim O’Conor in a niche in the north wall near where the altar stood.

The effigy, carved between 1290 and 1300, has been placed upon a later 15th century tomb with 8 mail-clad warriors in niches with angels above them. The monks left after 1698, but stayed in nearby villages until around the 1850s.

Derryglad Folk and Heritage Museum

The award-winning Derryglad Folk and Heritage Museum in Athlone, County Roscommon, is a privately owned museum where you can see more than 4,000 items dealing with history, heritage and folk culture. The collection also deals with farm and folk life in Ireland from the 18th Century to the more recent past.

King House Historic and Cultural Centre

house historic and cultural centre

King House is a beautifully restored Georgian mansion in Boyle built in 1730 for the King family before becoming a barracks. Jail cells in the basement can still be visited.

At the end of the Civil war in 1923, the barracks passed into the control of the newly-formed Irish Free State Army. In the late 1980s it was restored to its former Georgian style and is now open to the public as a museum with interactive displays and activities bring the past to life.

King House includes the Connaught Rangers museum as well as the Boyle Civic Art Collection. The house also hosts events, including elements of the Boyle Arts Festival.

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