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Bawnboy, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan

Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen Castle

Nestled amid Fermanagh’s Lakelands on the banks of the picturesque River Erne you will find Enniskillen Castle.

This fine castle, once the home of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains, represents an important part of Fermanagh’s rich history and heritage.

Enniskillen Castle presents an array of 19th century barracks buildings surrounding the Medieval Castle Keep; to the south with its distinctive turrets is the 17th century Watergate and to the east is the Heritage Centre built in 1992.

Throughout the 16th century the junior branch of the Maguire’s ruled Fermanagh from Enniskillen Castle, their stronghold being captured and retaken many times by the O’Donnell’s, O’Neill’s and the English.

The Heritage Centre exhibits the collections of the County Museum in award winning displays enhanced by audio visual programmes about Fermanagh’s history, wildlife and landscapes. There are also special exhibitions throughout the year.

On view at Enniskillen Castle are the Heritage Centre, the Castle Keep, Watergate and the Arcaded Barracks.

The Heritage Centre:

Award winning displays and special exhibition programme
Audio visual theatre with induction loop for the partially deaf
Gift and book shop; literature in several languages
Children’s activity corner
Refreshments
Adjacent carpark; access and toilet for wheelchair user

The Castle Keep: in origin a 15th century Maguire stronghold, later a military barracks, now housing:

The Museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with displays spanning the history of the famous regiment from 1689 to 1968 Displays about the castle

The Watergate: a twin-turreted building added to the outer walls of the castle in the early 17th century.

The Arcaded Barracks: displays focusing on Fermanagh’s archaeological and historic monuments.

Crom Estate

Crom Estate

On the shores of the Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh lies one of the most important nature conservation sites owned by the National Trust – Crom Estate.

The 1,900 acre estate includes the largest surviving area of oak woodland in Northern Ireland and one of the most important and least spoilt freshwater habitats.

The wealth of wildlife at Crom is exemplified by the presence of two rare butterflies – the purple hair-streak and wood white, the elusive pine marten and the largest herony in Ireland.

There are many fine old buildings which enhance the landscape including the ruins of The Old Castle, Chrchton Tower and Crom Church. The 19th century castle is private and not open to the public.

A Visitor Centre houses an exhibition on the history and wildlife of the estate, lecture room, the Little Orchard Tea Room, a small shop & slipway. Boat hire and overnight bird and mammal watching hide can be arranged through the Visitor Centre. Day tickets for coarse fishing are available.

Castle Coole

Castle Coole

On the outskirts of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh stands Castle Coole, the family home of the Earls of Belmore and one of the treasures of the National Trust.

Designed by James Wyatt, this magnificent neo-classical house took ten years to build. It was completed in 1798.

The interior of the house was created by some of the leading craftsmen of the late 18th century with chimney pieces carved by Westmacott, plasterwork created by Rose, scagliola columns and pilasters created by Bartoli.

Highlights of a tour of Castle Coole are the magnificent state rooms with their sumptuous Regency furnishings. These include the State Bedroom said to have been prepared for a visit by George IV in 1821.

The surrounding estate is a fitting setting for the house, with parkland, Lough Coole and extensive woods.

Visitors may enjoy walks in the grounds and also see the Grand Yard, the Servants’ Tunnel, the recently restored Ice House, the dairy, stables, laundry house and display room which includes the Belmore Private Coach.

A major stonework restoration programme was completed in 1988 after seven years of work. Her Majesty, the Queen Mother, re-opened Castle Coole to the public.

Castle Coole is within easy reach of two other National Trust properties in County Fermanagh – Florence Court and Crom Estate.

Florencecourt House & Gardens

Florencecourt House & Gardens

Is a National trust property just 20 minutes from Bawnboy, Florence Court is romantically named after the wife of Sir John Cole who first built a house on the spectacular site in the early 18th century.

The present Palladian style house was probably built by his son John, afterwards the 1st Lord Mount Florence.

The wings and Pavilion were added to the mid-18th century block around 1770 by Wm Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen and may have been designed by Davis Ducart. Disaster struck Florence Court in 1955 when the main building was virtually gutted by fire.

The rest of the house and the striking plasterwork after the manner of Robert West has been meticulously restored by the National Trust. Family pictures and historic items owned by the 6th Earl of Enniskillen have been returned to Florence Court in accordance with his wishes, and are on display in the house.

Florence Court is well known to gardeners as the home of the Irish Yew, Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’, which is now a feature of gardens throughout the world. The original tree, discovered in about 1760, can still be seen on the fringe of Cottage Wood to the south-east of the house.

Castle Saunderson Demesne – Castle Trail

Castle Saunderson Demesne – Castle Trail

Located on the border between Cavan and Fermanagh, in the heart of the Cuilcagh Lakeland Geopark.

The story of Castle Saunderson is marked by fire and blood, conquest and division and finally, peace, reconciliation and multi-culturalism, with an international scouting centre opening adjacent to the castle in 2012.

In many ways, the story of Castle Saunderson is reflective of the story of the island of Ireland.

The development of the Castle Trail has seen the original walkways around the castle reinstated, and charts the history of the Sanderson’s, one of the most significant Anglo-Irish families, and in particular Colonel Edward Saunderson, known as the ‘Hero of the Loyalists’ and the founder of modern Irish Unionism.

While Col. Sanderson’s legacy has largely been forgotten, there is little doubt that he was a giant of 19th century Irish and British politics, and it hoped that this phase one investment in Castle Saunderson will attract visitors to the area, while acknowledging this family’s fascinating story, which takes in Brian Boru, William of Orange, and even infamous Nazi war criminals.

This exciting new addition to the Cavan tourism offering will provide overseas visitors with yet another reason to visit Cavan. The Castle is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday – Sunday.

The entrance to Castle Saunderson is shared with Castle Saunderson International Scouting Centre, located on the N54 just outside Cloverhill and Belturbet and only 18km from Cavan town.

Jampa Ling – Tibetan Buddhist Mediation Centre

Jampa Ling is a meditation and retreat centre situated on a beautiful nineteenth century estate in County Cavan, Ireland.

We are extremely fortunate to have His Holiness the Dalai Lama as our patron for over 25 years.

Jampa Ling was established in 1990 under the spiritual direction of Venerable Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche, who is a full-time resident here. The Centre is located on nineteen acres of land which include a mature birch forest and views of the spectacular Cuilcagh Mountains. The words ‘Jampa’ and ‘Ling’ together mean ‘Place of Loving-Kindness’, and Jampa Ling is indeed a place of blessing, open to everyone, of all faiths and none.

Aside from organised Buddhist teachings and meditation training, people come to Jampa Ling just to enjoy its peaceful ambience and beautiful natural surroundings – a perfect environment for meditation and relaxation.

The two fundamental elements of Tibetan Buddhism are compassion and wisdom. Developing these qualities improves every aspect of life and ultimately brings the freedom of enlightenment with the capacity to help others effectively. Within that context, and under the guidance of Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche, our aims here at Jampa Ling are:

To preserve the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and culture through teaching meditation and practice.

To work for peaceful co-existence between all living beings.

To create a meditative and educational environment in which people can find peace and loving-kindness.

To promote interfaith dialogue at a deep spiritual level and in the context of the work for harmony on this island.

To encourage the conservation of the earth’s natural resources and to develop an awareness of the oneness and interdependence of existence.