Carrick-on-Shannon Tourist Attractions
Carrick-on-Shannon (Cara Droma Ruisg, "Weir of the Marshy Ridge"), county town of Leitrim county, lies in northern central Ireland in the upper valley of the Shannon. It is the starting point for cabin cruiser trips on the Shannon (Lough Allen) and the River Boyle (Lough Key).Carrick-on-Shannon has preserved few buildings from earlier centuries. Among them are the Court House (1825) and the Protestant Church (1827).
The R280 runs from Carrick-on Shannon north through the prettily situated village of Leitrim, from which the county takes its name, to Drumshanbo, at the south end of Lough Allen, with the best pike fishing in the country.
From Drumshanbo the R280 follows the west side of Lough Allen, passing the mining area of Arigna (Sligo county).
To the east of Lough Allen are the Iron Mountains, rising to 1,893ft/577m.
8mi/13km northeast of Carrick is Fenagh, with two old churches (National Monuments) on the site of a former monastery. The one to the south has a fine west doorway and east window (14th/15th C.), the one to the north (15th C.) dressed stones from a pre-Norman building; both have barrel-vaulted west ends.
9mi/14km east of Carrick the R201 comes to Mohill, a fishing center.Mohill hosts an annual fair, Monaghan Day, in February and a large agricultural show and Summer festival in August.
Lough Rynn Estate
Lough Rynn Estate has been seat of the Clements family, Earls of Leitrim. William Sydney Clements is regarded as the principal architect of the Demesne. The estate covers 100 acres of woodland, ornamental gardens and 600 acres of lake.
Lough Rinn House
31mi/50km north of Carrick, in the northern part of Leitrim county, is Manorhamilton, where the N16 and R280 join at the meeting point of four fertile valleys, which combine with the step scarps and narrow glens of the limestone hills to form a landscape of great variety and beauty. In the little town can be seen a ruined baronial mansion built by Sir Frederick Hamilton in 1638.
7mi/11km southwest of Manorhamilton is Dromahair, which has its place in history. In the 12th C. Dervorgilla, wife of an O'Rourke, eloped from here with the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough. Outlawed by the High King, Dermot appealed for support to Henry II of England, who refused to help but allowed his vassals to do so. This was the first incursion into Ireland by the Anglo-Normans, who landed at Wexford in 1169. The ruins of Breffni Castle, the stronghold of the O'Rourkes, adjoin the Old Hall (1626) on the banks of the River Bonet.
On the bank of the River Bonet opposite Breffni Castle in Dromahair are the ruins of Creevelea Abbey (National Monument), a Franciscan house founded in 1508. The remains are composed of a church, with choir and tower, and conventual buildings surrounding a cloister. The columns on the north side of the cloister have a number of fine carvings, including a representation of St Francis with the stigmata, preaching to the birds.
3mi/5km north of Dromahair rises a flat-topped hill known as O'Rourke's Table, covered with colorful ferns and mosses. From the top there is a fine view of Lough Gill (Sligo county) and the Dromahair Plain.
Picturesquely situated on the shores of Lough Gill is Parkes Castle (17th C., National Monument), a square three-story building in a spacious courtyard, the walls of which are reinforced by two round corner towers.
8mi/13km west of Manorhamilton on the N16 lies the little Glencar Lough, at the east end of which is a waterfall surrounded by trees.
Northwest of Manorhamilton the R280 traverses the Bonet Valley, between high hills, to Lough Melvin and the pretty village of Kinlough.
From Kinlough village a detour can be made to the sea, joining the coast road (N15) at Tullaghan. On the return trip from Kinlough via Rossinver to Manorhamilton the road skirts the very beautiful south side of Lough Melvin. The lough is well stocked with trout and salmon. From its south end the R282 leads through the hills to Manorhamilton.