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Bawnboy, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan

The Shed Distillery & Visitor Centre

The Shed Distillery & Visitor Centre

On the foothills of Sliabh an Iarainn in Drumshanbo Co Leitrim you will find this hidden gem.

It is an authentic distillery using traditional methods such as gleaming copper pots & column stills.

The Shed Distillery tour brings visitors on the very special journey behind the creation of Connacht’s first whiskey for 105 years, and on a trip into the epicentre of the distillery to witness the slow hand-distillation of premier ‘Grand Cru’ Irish whiskey and Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.

Fenagh Abbey

Fenagh Abbey

Fenagh Abbey is one of the oldest monastic sites in Ireland, believed to date back to the earliest period of Celtic monasticism.

The founder was St. Caillin, thought to have arrived in Fenagh from Dunmore in Country Galway in the 5th century (according to the Book of Fenagh).

The Abbey had a monastic school and was “celebrated for its divinity school, which was resorted to by students from every part of Europe”.

The Abbey has (among other features) an east window of unusual design and a relief-carved 17th-century penal cross. A number of standing stones in the vicinity represent the petrified bodies of druids who tried to expel St. Caillin from Fenagh. There are a number of other prehistoric remains located in or near the village. A portal tomb at the north of the village is said to be the burial place of King Conall Gulban. Nineteen Gaelic kings are said to be buried in the graveyard. There was also a divinity school at Fenagh. It is believed that community life continued until 1652, when Cromwellian soldiers sacked it. It was damaged by cannon fire during the Williamite wars in 1690, and the last service was said in 1729. The site is on the northern shore of Fenagh Lough.

The Book of Fenagh was completed at the monastery in 1516, and a copy is now kept at the Royal Irish Academy. It was written in Irish, and contains verse and prose of the “life” of St Caillin of Fenagh transcribed and translated from the, now lost, Old Book of St. Caillin. The original Old Book of St. Caillin apparently “only contained prose” but the Book of Fenagh / Leabar Chaillín / Leabar Fidhnacha of 1516, contained both prose and verse. Some poems relevant to the politics of 11th – 13th century Tyrconnell, are thought to date from an earlier period than the rest of the manuscript.

Drumlane Abby

Drumlane Abby

Drumlane monastic site is 10 km from Bawnboy.

Located just outside the village of Milltown, County Cavan on a beautiful site overlooking Garfinny Lough, the intriguing monastic site of Drumlane includes an abbey, a monastery and a remarkably intact round tower constructed in the year 555AD.

Although the monastery is closely affiliated to St. Mogue, it is believed the site was constructed some time before his arrival and most likely by St. Colmcille.

The circular round tower, which stands next to the Abbey at Drumlane is remarkably intact and is recognised as the only surviving round tower of its kind in the dioceses of Kilmore.

Round towers were built throughout Ireland between the 5th and 13th centuries. Interpretation and parking are available on site.

St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church A fifteen century Vatican document records the presence of a Church on this site.

The building as ceded to the established (Anglican) Church in 1594. The fine neo-gothic Church that stands there now was rebuilt in 1815.

St Mogue is credited in his time with building the fine Church on Inch Island (St Mogue’s Island).

A roman document of 1416 shows that there is still a church on the island although by this time a new church has been built on the mainland. The new church Templeport, was sequestered in 1590 and handed over to the state of King James 1 in 1609.

Since then it has been the property of the Church of Ireland. It has been renovated at least twice and had a particularly extensive upgrading or rebuilding in 1815 at a cost of £1500 which was a huge sum in those times.

It is now called St Peter’s Church. The parish of Templeport derives its name from this site, Teampall a “Phoirt (the Church on the bank).

Bawnboy Workhouse

Bawnboy Workhouse

A fine cut stone group of buildings erected in 1852. It served the poor of the parishes of Templeport, Corlough, Kildallan, Drumreilly, Newtowngore, Ballinamore, Swanlinbar and part of Glanglevlin.

A board of guardians governed, some were nominated by the Grand Jury and the others by the voters of tax payers.

The Guardians levied a rate on the union (area) and used the proceeds to support the workhouse. Discipline was strict in the workhouse and the diet was limited.

Men were segregated from the women and children from their parents. From left to right in the front row of buildings there were the following sections – lock up, female probation ward, girls school, waiting room, boardroom, office, entrance gates, masters rooms, surgery store, boys school and male probationary ward.

In the central portion of the building with steps up to the entrance hallway – on the right of the hallway was the dairy with a window, wide and low through which food was passed into the kitchen.

On the left of the hallway are two doors, the first is on the porters room, the second a stairway.

A door at the end of the hallway, two steps up, leads directly into the kitchen. There are two boilers in the left hand corners of the kitchen and a fireplace in the centre of the left hand wall.

A door through the centre of the back wall led to the dining room. There are two entrance doors, left and right, on the dining room walls. The dining room and chapel are now one big room (since 1954). In the back there were two doors, right and left through which the inmates entered for Sunday mass, Men through the right door and women through the left door.

Immediately to the right hand side of the chapel in the second row of workhouse buildings is a passage with a staircase. It was here on the first and second floors that a vocational school was opened in 1933 when a Miss Daisy O Connor took charge of a Domestic Economy class, to which, were added manual instruction (woodwork) and general subjects in 1934.

In the first row of buildings (on right when facing) the boy’s schoolroom became a dance hall in the 1920s and was used for meetings, concerts, and Irish dancing classes during the following decades.

Kilnavart Church

Kilnavart Church

Kilnavart Church After the overthrow of Crom Cruaich, St Patrick established the Church at Kilnavart.

The 1609 Baronial map shows a church in the same grounds. At some stage in the 18th century it was reported that at Kilnavart are the remains of an ancient monastery with an extensive burial place still in use.

A thatched church with clay floors and a gallery was built between 1780 and 1790. That church was replaced in 1876/8 with the present building designed by William Hague of Cavan.