Tullamore Tourist Attractions
Tullamore (Tulach Mhor, "Great Assembly Hill"), county town of Offaly county, lies almost exactly in the center of Ireland at the junction of the N52 and N80 and on the Dublin-Galway railroad line.Until 1804 Tullamore was the terminus of the Grand Canal from Dublin. It is now an important agricultural town. Ireland's main radio transmitter is also sited here.Tullamore has no old buildings, since in 1790, when it was a smaller place than it is now, most of the town was destroyed by the explosion of a large balloon which crashed here. Notable later buildings are St Catherine's Church (1818), the 19th C. Market House and Court House, and buildings erected during the early period of the Grand Canal. Charleville Castle, near the N52 southwest of the town center, was erected at the end of the 18th C. The present owners have lovingly restored the interior.
The surroundings of Tullamore have several features of interest.
4.5mi/7km north of Tullamore is Durrow, where St Columcille founded a monastery in the sixth century. Here in the seventh century was written and illuminated the famous "Book of Durrow," now in the Trinity College in Dublin.
4.5mi/7km north of Tullamore is Durrow, where St Columcille founded a monastery in the sixth century. Here in the seventh century was written and illuminated the famous "Book of Durrow," now in the Trinity College in Dublin.Almost the only relic of the monastery is a high cross (10th C; National Monument) with fine figural reliefs. On the east side are the Sacrifice of Isaac and Christ in Glory, flanked by David with his harp on the left and David killing the lion on the right; on the west side the Watching of the Tomb, the Scourging, the Arrest of Christ and the Crucifixion; on the south side Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, a warrior and a horseman; and on the north side two groups of figures.
22mi/35km northeast of Tullamore, on the eastern boundary of Offaly county, lies the pretty little market town of Edenderry, overlooked by Blundell's Castle.
This annual nine-day festival runs from late July to early August and is considered one of the biggest in the Irish midlands. The varied program includes traditional Irish music and dance along with numerous events aimed at entertaining the whole family.
6mil/9km west of the town of Edenderry, reached on minor roads, is Rahan, on the Grand Canal, where there was a monastery from the eighth to the 18th C. Two churches belonging to the monastery (both National Monuments) can still be seen. The larger of the two (Romanesque) has a beautiful doorway and good carving on the chancel arch and two windows; the nave is 18th C. on earlier foundations. The smaller church dates from the Early Christian period but has been much altered.
14mi/22km northwest of Tullamore, near the R436, stands the parish church (Roman Catholic) of Boher, which preserves the 12th C. Shrine of St Manchan.
Shrine of St Manchan
14mi/22km northwest of Tullamore, near the R436, stands the parish church (Roman Catholic) of Boher, which preserves the 12th C. Shrine of St Manchan. The yew wood casket containing the Saint's remains is contained within a portable metal reliquary decorated with animal symbols and bronze figures (later additions).