Abbeyview House is located adjacent to Abbeyshrule village which is on the banks of the Royal Canal situated between the 38th and 39th lock. The Royal Canal, on its 146km journey from the River Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon, passes 46 working locks, 10 of them double-chambered.Started in Dublin, the work on constructing the canal was completed in 1817 when it reached Richmond Harbour in Clondara. By the 1950’s the canal had fallen into disrepair and was officially closed in 1961. Following extensive restoration work the Royal Canal was opened to navigation in 2010 reigniting enthusiasm for the triangular route from Dublin to the Shannon via the Royal and Grand Canals. As with all of Ireland’s waterways the canal passes through some of Europe’s most beautiful countryside and, whether you are on a boat, or simply on foot, you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy it all. The towpath that has been so lovingly cleared has now been designated The Royal Canal Way (a National Way Marked Way). The Royal Canal is truly a snapshot of the past. There are bridges dating back over 200 years and buildings in Abbeyshrule that can be traced back to 1200 A.D. As with old buildings some superstitions have thrived, like Deey Bridge at the 13th Lock, which is reputed to be haunted; the old boatmen would never moor there overnight.Angling is another popular activity, with roach proving to be one of the most popular fish, along with pike, tench and bream. Canal bream rarely exceed 4lbs, but pike can offer a real challenge, weighing in at 20lbs, and anglers of all levels of experience will find excellent conditions along the Royal Canal.
River Inny, Abbeyview House is just on the banks of the Inny
The many little rivers and the Royal Canal make for ideal fishing in any time of the year. The River Inny is a main tributary of the Shannon. It is called after the mythological Princess Eithne who drowned and was cremated downstream at the rapids at Tenelick (Tine-Leac). The rivers renewable energy in the last century drove large mill wheels in this village and the immediate vicinity. These properties were lost by the Inny drainage of the 1960’s. The fine stone bridge was constructed in 1800 replacing an earlier wooden structure that straddled a major ford at this point. Nature has restored and actually enhanced the beauty and tranquillity of the riverbanks after a period of necessary and inevitable spoliation caused by river drainage. The Inny River near Abbeyshrule is a good source of fishing. Roach and pike can be found in some of the slower glides throughout the year. In April/ May large catches of roach can be expected on the big sweeping bend south of Abbeyshrule. Upstream of the airfield the river travels through peat bog and on this stretch of the river, the main species found are roach and pike but occasionally some fine rudd and hybrids are caught. Anglers are requested to respect local club rules and return all fish carefully back into the river. The River Inny is situated approximately 3 kilometres miles southeast of the village and borders County Westmeath. A 10 kilometre section of the river is controlled by the local Legan Inny Anglers Development Association. The Association was formed to promote the unique fishing and wildlife, which exists along the picturesque river.It holds a major stock of roach, bream and pike to specimen weights. It also holds a sizeable stock of trout and perch. Other indigenous species are eel, gudgeon, crowfish, minnow and hybrids. Footbridges are provided along the riverbank so that apart from anglers the river can be appreciated by those who are interested in wildlife such as bird life, animal life and flora. There is abundant wildlife along the Inny, which can be attributed to the fact that it is one of the cleanest rivers in Ireland. Species that can be seen include birds, swans, mallard, teel, wigeon,
kingfishers, skylarks and many others. Animals include badgers, foxes, hares, otters and mink.
A short stroll from Abbeyview House is this magnificent large-scale aqueduct carries the Royal Canal and associated towpaths over the River Inny, a distance of 165 feet. It is arguably the single most impressive feature along the entire length of the Royal Canal (from Dublin to Cloondara) and is the most important element of the nineteenth century engineering heritage of County Longford. It is robustly constructed in excellent quality limestone masonry, while the extensive ashlar and cut limestone trim adds substantially to the aesthetics and its architectural character. The bases of both the main elevations are battered in a concave curve to counteract the outward thrust, which creates a robust, but highly pleasing and elegant composition. This bridge survives in excellent condition, which is testament to the quality of the original construction and the skill of the stonemasons and engineers involved. The stone used in the construction was reputedly quarried at Castlewilder, which is located a short distance to the northeast. This fine structure was built to designs by John Killaly (1766 – 1832), the engineer responsible for the construction of the Royal Canal between Coolnahay to Cloondara. Construction commenced in 1814 and it was completed in 1817. It was commissioned by the Directors General of Inland Navigation, who took over responsibility for the Royal Canal following the dissolution of the Royal Canal Company in 1813. The contractors involved in the construction were Henry, Mullins and McMahon. It is probably named after Lord Charles Whitworth (1752 – 1825), 1st Baron Whitworth, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (between 1813 – 17) at the time of construction. A plaque to the inner face of south parapet reads ‘This Aqueduct with the entire Royal Canal Extension 24.5 miles in length, having 21 locks, 38 bridges, and 40 tunnels, with several harbours, quays, and other works of masonry was designed by John Killaly Esq., Engineer to the Director General of Inland Navigation and executed under their Direction in the short space of 3 years by the undertakers, Henry, Mullins and McMahon’. This fine aqueduct is a notable addition to the built heritage of Longford, and represents one of the most impressive features of its type in Ireland. It cost c. £5,000 to construct. https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/13402337/whitworth-aqueduct-drumanure-county-longford
Skyline Flying Club at Abbeyshrule Airport
Skyline is based in Abbeyshrule Aerodrome Co. Longford. The local village of Abbeyshrule is picturesque with the River Inny meeting the Royal Canal. The airfield itself boasts a 2000 foot long tarmac runway which is great for training. Our hangar and clubhouse provide a warm space to get to know fellow members, check the weather, get flight planning done and warm up with a nice tea or coffee before setting out on a new adventure. Ground school will be run annually in the clubhouse and will be open to all members. Our aircraft is an UrbanAir Samba XXL. The Samba, registration EI-EHY, is an excellent platform for students to train in, with docile and forgiving handling characteristics and immensely strong landing gear. Her panoramic Plexiglass canopy gives incredible views of the landscape below and sky above as you zip along at her cruising speed of 90 knots (166kph). http://skylineflyingclub.ie/
Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre
within a 15 minute drive, hidden away in the boglands of Longford, not far from Kenagh village, is an inspiring relic of prehistory: a togher – an Iron Age road – built in 148 BC. Known locally as the Danes’ Road, it is the largest of its kind to have been uncovered in Europe.
Historians agree that it was part of a routeway of great importance. It may have been a section of a ceremonial highway connecting the Hill of Uisneach, the ritual centre of Ireland, and the royal site of Rathcroghan.
The trackway was built from heavy planks of oak, which sank into the peat after a short time. This made it unusable, of course, but also ensured it remained perfectly preserved in the bog for the next two millennia.
Inside the interpretive centre, an 18-metre stretch of the ancient wooden structure is on permanent display in a hall specially designed to preserve it. Don’t miss this amazing remnant of our ancient past. http://visitlongford.ie/listings/corlea-trackway/
County Longford, home of the ancient Legend ‘The Wooing of Étain’, is a place of myth and mystery. Steeped in ancient Irish mythology, Longford has many impressive archaeological sites as well as a wealth of historical, literary and musical tradition. Ancestral home of the Farrell Clan, Longford is a tranquil and mainly low-lying county, renowned for its Royal Canal route, its angling, boating and outdoor sporting activities. It is ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region, within easy reach of many stunning and historic tourist attractions. The only county in Ireland with three award winning villages, Its accessibility to many of Irelands other main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. The true beauty of County Longford lies in its rural charm, the hospitality of its people and the breathtaking views of its quiet countryside of farmland, lakes, rivers and bogs.
The Cathedral Church of St Mel is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, located in the town of Longford in Ireland. Built between 1840 and 1856, with the belfry and portico as later additions, it has been considered the “flagship cathedral” of the Irish midlands region, Longford’s “landmark building” and “one of the finest Catholic churches in Ireland”. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mél (died 488), who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick and who was ordained bishop at Ardagh, County Longford.
On Christmas Day 2009, the cathedral was destroyed by a fire in the early hours of the morning. The restored cathedral re-opened in December 2014.
Knights and Conquests
25 minute drive from Abbeyview House
The Knights & Conquests Heritage and Visitor Centre is a tourist attraction located in the picturesque town of Granard, Co. Longford. Come and experience Norman Ireland in a picturesque setting. We nestle in the beauty Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands where a visit truly means getting away from it all. With a history dating back thousands of years, we are situated beside Ireland’s Tallest Norman Motte at 544 feet high. It was built in 1199 by Richard de Tuite. Richard was also the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and therefore a very important man.
A visit to us helps you experience Norman Ireland at it’s height. Upon arrival you will be checked-in at reception and receive an orientation from one of our expert tour guides who tell you all you need to know. Therefore you are fully versed on the experience you are about to have. You will then begin your journey through our Anglo-Norman history beginning with an immersive introductory movie introducing you to their links to Granard. Likewise, this really sets the scene for your visit. The story of a falling out between two men that ultimately caused the Norman invasion will have you riveted.
At this point, children also have the option to dress up in Norman clothes and receive their Norman name and duties for their visit. We also have a quiz they can take on their journey through the past because a visit here is both fun and educational.
25 minute drive from Abbeyview House
Coolamber Garden Workshops will provide courses and demonstrations through combining hands-on experience with knowledge-based teaching. Our day long workshops will be enjoyable and suitable for all garden lovers. Everything will be provided.
Strokestownpark Famine Museum
50 minute drive from Abbeyview House Strokestown Park is a unique historic property in Co. Roscommon in the west of Ireland with many layers of history. This evocative estate is a capsule in time with many features: an uncommon galleried kitchen; elegant vaulted stables; a six-acre walled garden; mausoleum; bridge; gates; and lodge.
The Palladian House was the family home of the Pakenham Mahon family and is built on the site of the 16th-century castle, home of the O Conor-Roe Gaelic Chieftains. The Landlord Major Denis Mahon was assassinated in November 1847 at the height of the Great Famine of Ireland and it is fitting that the National Famine Museum was established at Strokestown Park in 1994 using the unique Archive of original documents which came to light during the restoration of the House.
Public access to Strokestown Park has been sustained almost entirely by private philanthropy for over 35 years by Mr Jim Callery and the Westward Group. In 2017, Jim Callery’s long-term commitment to Strokestown Park was recognised with the Award of the prestigious EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in the category “Dedicated Service to Heritage”. The Irish Heritage Trust, an independent charity, has been working with Strokestown Park and the Westward Group since 2010 to help secure the future of this special place. In 2015 the Trust became responsible for the property – supported by individual Directors of the Westward Group – to create a sustainable operation for future generations and continue to bring benefits to the local community.
National Famine Way
Follow in the footsteps of 1,490 people, who walked the 165km route from Strokestown Park Estate to Custom House Quay in Dublin, along the National Famine Way, a new interactive historic trail including an official Passport/Guide and OSI Map. This Heritage and Arts Trail is an accredited Trail from Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon through six counties to Dublin, mostly through countryside along the Royal Canal on flat and well-surfaced paths.
The National Famine Way is a self-guided Trail detailing the ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847, at the height of the Irish Famine. With its captivating layers of history and culture, the Trail will give you a truly immersive experience. It is centred around the walk of twelve-year-old Daniel Tighe – one of the original famine walkers from Strokestown Park – who remarkably survived the horrific journey to Quebec in Canada in 1847. Daniel’s journey is reimagined in vignettes written by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna. These are connected to over thirty pairs of 19th-century bronze children’s shoes interspersed along the route which create a thought-provoking experience.
The Hill of Uisneach
15 minute drive from Abbeyview House
The Hill of Uisneach in Co. Westmeath has played a part in just about every significant Irish event, be it political, cultural, religious, mythological and geographical. The centre of Ireland in many ways, the enigmatic hill is one of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world. http://uisneach.ie/
Belvedere House and Gardens
30 minute drive from Abbeyview House
Belvedere House and Gardens are located in Mullingar, County Westmeath and consists of The Victorian Walled Garden, The Enchanted Glen and The Parklands with woodland trials through the ancient wood.
The estate comprises one hundred and sixty acres of parkland with six kilometres of magnificent woodland and lakeshore walks, including the Narnia Trail. Several follies adorn the landscape including Ireland’s largest folly, The Jealous Wall.
The restored Belvedere House is an 18th Century hunting/fishing lodge, designed by the renowned German architect Richard Castle for Robert Rochfort, later the First Earl of Belvedere. A fascinating walled garden, designed by Ninian Nevin in 1857, contains one of Ireland’s finest collections of rare and special plants. The stable block is home to a modern visitor centre with fully licensed cafe.
Adjacent to the visitor centre are two children’s play areas, with another at lakeshore along with a zip-line. Belvedere is open year round with a full calendar of events. http://www.belvedere-house.ie/