Lismore, Ireland Tourist Attractions
Lismore (Lios Mor Mochuda, "Mochuda's Great Enclosure") lies near the Irish south coast on the broad Blackwater, a good fishing river which is spanned by a handsome stone bridge of 1775. North of the town the Knockmealdown Mountains rise to heights of up to 2,560ft/780m.
As early as the seventh century there was a monastery in Lismore renowned for its learning, at which King Alfred of Wessex is said to have studied in the ninth century. Lismore Castle, magnificently situated on a high crag, probably occupies the site of the monastery. Built in the 12th century, it survived the upheavals of later centuries and in 1602 came into the hands of Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, whose son Robert Boyle (1627-91) became the celebrated scientist who formulated Boyle's Law. The castle, which was much enlarged in the 19th century, now belongs to the Duke of Devonshire.The earliest surviving walled garden of Ireland is to be found on the castle grounds. It includes a traditional kitchen garden and an outer park.
St Carthage's Cathedral
St Carthage's Cathedral (17th C., National Monument) was built by Richard Boyle, incorporating parts of an earlier 13th century church (chancel arch, windows in south transept). The elaborate MacGrath tomb (1557) has representations of the Crucifixion, an Ecce Homo and various saints and Apostles; built into the west wall of the nave are a number of early gravestones. The slender and graceful spire was the work of George Richard Pain (1827).
Lismore Heritage Centre
An audiovisual show in Lismore Heritage Centre brings to life the history of the town of Lismore.
The surroundings of Lismore have many features of interest.
4.5mi/7km east of Lismore, where the Blackwater turns south, lies Cappoquin, a charmingly situated little town with good fishing in the Blackwater and its tributary streams. The river is tidal up to this point.
Mount Melleray Abbey
1mi/2km south of Cappoquin, and to the east of Lismore, at the village of Affane, is Affane House, a large Georgian mansion. Here Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) - who is said to have introduced potatoes and tobacco to Ireland - planted the first cherry trees to grow in the British Isles.
At Villierstown, south of Affane, Dromana Castle has a curious gateway in the "Indian" style.The Hindu-Gothic gate lodge was completed in the 19th century to mark the marriage of a popular local landlord and MP.Villierstown also has an elegant Queen Anne style church with stained glass windows.
5mi/8km west of Lismore is Ballyduff, with Ballyduff Castle, a fortified manor house of 1628. Near here is the elaborate entrance, in neo-Early Gothic style, to Ballysaggartmore House, which was never built because of lack of funds.