Arigna Mining Museum offers a fascinating insight into a unique way of life and the Cavan and Leitrim railway is restored to its glory days of steam for the locals and tourists alike.
Lough Key Forest Park with its large combination of quiet walks, wildlife, and beautiful scenery has drawn admirers from all walks of life. The 800 acres, which make up the park, were formally part of the Rockingham Estate. There are boats for hire and trips around the lake. Just some of the places to find and visit are The Wishing Chair, The Ice House, Drummans Bridge and The Tunnel.
King House Boyle
Recently restored Georgian Mansion, steeped in history is a must to visit; there you will see the connection between the Rockingham Estate and King House.
Origin Farmers Market
Every Saturday, 10am to 2pm, in Grounds of King House, Boyle. Experience the atmosphere of a traditional market. The opportunity to purchase locally produced organic wholesome product, local meat, freshly caught fish and much more.
Local places of interest:
Ballintubber Castle – situated southeast of Castlerea and built in the 13th century, this castle was home to the O’Conor clan. Though fell into disrepair at the beginning of the 18th century, the remaining ruins are substantial and are laid out in quadrangular form, with polygonal towers at the angles. It is believed to be the earliest example of an Irish stone castle.
Castlestrange Stone – situated in the Castlestrange demesne between Fuerty and Athleague, lies an Iron Age boulder known as the Castlestrange Stone. Covered with Celtic style ornament, this boulder has been dated to 250 BC and is one of only four such boulders in the country.
County Heritage Centre – situated near Stroketown, the County Heritage Centre contains an interpretative display on pre-Christian Ireland as well as supplying information regarding the monuments of Rathcroghan and the Táin Bo Chúaille.
Dominican Priory – the impressive priory ruins is one of Roscommon Town’s main landmarks. Founded in 1253 by Féilim O’ Conchúir, King of Connaught, a late 13th century effigy of the founder has been placed on a 15th century tomb decorated with eight mail-clad warriors.
Donamon Castle – located beyond Fuerty, this is one of the oldest inhabited buildings in Ireland. Though the oldest part of the building dates from the 1400’s, it has undergone much change over the years and is now under the ownership of the Divine Word Missionaries.
Old Jail – set in Roscommon town-square is the Old Jail, an institution with a lurid past and a great tale to go with it. Towards the end of the 18th century, a stranger knocked on the door of a woman called Betty, who lived in the town. She admitted him and then killed him for his money. Upon going through his papers, she discovered that she had murdered her own son, who had become a stranger to her over the years. Having confessed, Betty was condemned to death alongside some of her fellow prisoners. As it turned out, the hangman was sick and so, Betty volunteered her services in return for a pardon. Her offer was accepted and after despatching her companions to their reward, she continued to act as the jail’s hangwoman over the years.
Dáithí’s Pillar, Rathcroghan – not far from Castlerea lies Rathcroghan, one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland. This was the headquarters of Méabh, Queen of Connaught during the 1st century and the 15-acre area contains no less than 53 ancient sites. A six-foot standing stone marks the grave of Dáithí, the last pre-Christian king of Ireland.
Roscommon Castle – standing dramatically on a hillside outside Roscommon Town, the ruins of this fortification built in 1268 are indeed an impressive sight. The castle fell into ruin following the Cromwellian invasion of 1652 and today’s ruins are of solid square layout, with rounded bastions at the corners and a double-towered entrance gate.
Roscommon County Museum – adjacent to the Old Jail in Roscommon Town, visitors can examine such varied exhibits as a sheela-na-gig from Rahora, a dugout canoe and a replica of the Cross of Cong.
Strokestown Park House – lying just north of Roscommon, this is a beautifully restored 18th century mansion. The stables of the house have been converted into a famine museum and among the many exhibits are letters written by former tennants of the time.