More to See in Monaghan

I’ve been exploring Ireland’s Ancient East over the past few weeks and I’ve been fascinated that there is so much to see and do. Stories emerge from the wonderous eastern landscapes and there is something for all ages and tastes. Monaghan is one of the hidden gems with many novel places to visit – some that have opened recently and others that have been around for a very long time.

Carrickmacross Lace

Carrickmacross Lace recently marked its 200th anniversary making it an institution in the area. 
The traditionally crafted Lace is now carried on by the Carrickmacross Lace Co-op, in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, where a team of around 12-15 talented local ladies are keeping the craft alive. This distinctive lace is expertly hand stitched, beautiful and imbedded with the romance of history. 
This beautiful lace has been inspiration for International designers as well as royalty, from Queen Victoria to the present day royalty. The renowned fashion designers, David and Elizabeth Emmanuel used Carrickmacross Lace on the late Princess Diana’s Wedding dress.
The Carrickmacross Lace Gallery is located in a beautiful Market Square building, a hub for crafts in the county. Open Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, entry is free. View exquisite pieces of antique lace, including show-stopping christening gowns and wedding veils, meeting the makers and shop for souvenirs – everything from bookmarks and broaches to framed pieces.

While you’re in Carrickmacross drop into Collective at Market Square next door, a showcase for local artists and makers, expertly curated by Catherina Donaghy. 

Carrickmacross Workhouse

Carrickmacross Workhouse, one of only a small handful of restored workhouses in Ireland, has recently reopened with a new-look visitor experience. A visit is brought to life by a talented team of guides, striking pieces by local artist, Orlagh Meegan-Gallagher, and a spellbinding audio-visual element, produced by the award-winning Buckled Cranium. Tours take place Mon-Fri at 11.30am and 2pm and booking is essential.

Castle Leslie Estate

Looking for somewhere to stay in Monaghan then few places compare to the stunning Castle Leslie in the idyllic town of Glaslough. The story of the illustrious Leslie family, owners of the beautiful Glaslough Estate, goes back a thousand years to when a young Hungarian nobleman called Bartholomew Leslie was chamberlain to Margaret, Queen of Scotland. One day, as they crossed a swollen river on horseback, the Queen’s horse stumbled. “Will my buckle hold?” the terrified Queen cried. ‘Grip fast’, Bartholomew shouted and so she did. From that time the dynasty Bartholomew founded (he had the good sense to marry the Queen’s sister) had three buckles on their coat of arms.

Now move forward to the 1600s and John Leslie, known as ‘the fighting bishop’, buys the land around beautiful Glaslough, extending the castle and building St Salvator’s Church. Over many generations, the colourful Leslie clan throw up several famous diplomats, writers and soldiers.

Patrick Kavanagh Centre Inniskeen

Monaghan is home to one of the greatest poets and I’d the pleasure of visiting the newly opened Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen last year. I learned the story of Inniskeen’s most famous son, Patrick Kavanagh, in a new and exciting way using immersive and interactive techniques to engage and inspire visitors. A number of key zones in the exhibition focus on different times and aspects of Kavanagh’s life, whilst an accompanying audio-visual experience featuring performed readings of Kavanagh’s poetry (including some by Kavanagh himself) provides an emotive core to the exhibition that is hoped will resonate with visitors long after they’ve left Inniskeen.

 

The Centre also functions as a dynamic performance space for a variety of special events. Very few writers have rooted their work so physically in recognisable fields and buildings as Kavanagh did and many of these places can still be visited today. Visitors are encouraged to get outdoors and explore either on foot or bike those places in the immediate area that so inspired Kavanagh’s works.

Advance booking is advised.

Opening Times:
Open Monday-Friday 10am-4.30pm / Saturdays and Bank Holidays 11am-4:30pm

To see more about what to do in Monaghan see https://monaghantourism.com/

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