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BALLINAMUCK -Things to Do & See

Battlefield Centre - 1798 Hall

It was built by the King-Harmans in the mid 19th century. It was in fact a fortress with two towers, which have since been removed. It is said that the Board of Works in London sent the wrong plan to Ballinamuck and sent to India the plan which should have come. The barracks was attacked and burned by the I.R.A. on 10th June 1920; this accounts for its altered structure. nnThe 1798 hall was formerly the RIC barracks, however it wasnt the first barracks in Ballinamuck, there was one at the other end of the village at the entrance to the Shanmullagh road. At that time the village extended to there but it was razed by Lord Lorton in 1839 when he sought to clear the poorer tenants of his estate.nnThe memorial hall incorporates the Ballinamuck Visitor Centre, which retraces the steps of the famous battle and deals with such exploits as the heroic stand of ‘Gunner Magee’ and the atrocities of the ‘Walking Gallows’.nnThe Battlefield Centre is a lively exhibition in which the fateful events of the 8th September 1798 which are vividly presented, with eyewitness accounts by local people and officers of the opposing armies. nnThe exhibition explains the background to those events, and the national and international significance of the collision of forces, which sealed the fate of the rebellion, around the little Longford village nnDates: 1 October-31 May, 1 June-30 September. nOpened 10.00 am to 6.00pm nAdmission prices:nAdult IEP2.00nChild IEP1.00nFamily IEP5.00nStudent /OAP IEP1.00nGroup Rate (10+)IEP1.50. nnTel: +353 43 24848 nGroup by appointment

 

 




Battlefield Centre

The Pikeman

The first thing to catch the eye of the visitor on entry to the village is the statue of the Pikeman. The monument designed by Mr B Hynes from Dublin and erected in 1928, represents a wounded Pikeman clutching the broken shaft of the pike and defiantly facing his adversaries. Across his forehead is a bandage and his clothing of knee breeches and brogues are in the peasant style of the period. The statue stands 14 feet high and is of Sicilian marble with a base of Irish granite.

 

 




The Pikeman

Ballinamuck Walking Trails

The Ballinamuck Walking Trails offer a combination of the peaceful tranquillity of the countryside blended with the historical events of 1798. nnChoose from one of the several trails:n1) Ballinamuck 1798 Battle Trail (3.8 miles)n2) Ballinamuck Lake Walk (6.3 miles)n3) Ballinamuck Bog Walk (7.4 miles)n4) Ballinamuck Nature Trail (3.5 miles) nnDetails and maps are available at local outlets.

 

 



Lakes around Ballinamuck

With Lough Sallagh, Fearglass and Cloncoose Lake within a mile of Ballinamuck village and the River Shannon nearby, this area is certainly a fisherman’s paradise. The lakes abound with pike, bream, roach and eel and are set in a remote and unspoilt landscape.

 

 



Garden of Remembrance

The old courthouse site in the village has been developed into a garden of remembrance in memory of all those who died at the Battle of Ballinamuck and a commemorative monument erected therein. nnThe monument consists of three sections:nnSection one represents 1798 and shows the weapons that were used at the time of the battle. nnSection two is left unspoiled and represents the passage of time between then and now. nnSection three with a 1998 inscription, surmounted by a dove with an olive branch, represents the longing for peace on our island which is universally felt today.

 

 




Garden of Remembrance

Church

In 1834, a church was built in the village on a plot of land given by Mary Anne Breslin. This site was where the present church is situated. It was small and had a thatched roof. The people made application to the Bishop, Dr. OHiggins, for a Curate. Their request was turned down as there was a church in Monaduff, a short distance from Ballinamuck. nnThe following Sunday a number of people turned out and stopped-some of the congregation from going to Monaduff. In a short time a Curate was appointed. His name was Fr. Moran. Around the time of the Famine in the 1 840s efforts were made to improve the church. A new one was begun beside the old one. It was completed in the 1860s after Bianconi, the Italian, donated £50 for the roof. nnThe courthouse was not used as such after independence but the Free State Army used it as a military barracks for a short period.

 

 




Ballinamuck Church

Battlefield

The most important historical site outside the village is the battlefield. It is now adequately marked with the new monument and signs point to where Humbert surrendered and to the croppies graves. On the road to Cloone, to the west of the village, are signs pointing out where the first shots were fired and where General Blake was hanged. General Blake was buried in Tubberpatrick cemetery along the Arva Road, his grave is marked by a limestone monument made by a Killoeman called Coffey. nnAlong the Gaigue Road leading into the village is a sign pointing to where the famous Gunner McGee made his last stand. This area, called Creelaughter, has other sites of historical significance, the most obvious is the Black Fort.

 

 




Map of Ballinamuck Battle Area

Black Fort

This is a ring fort, which was a habitation site for a number of families ruled over by a Chieftain. It consists of an earthen bank surrounded by a ditch. They were used for protection for both people and animals. The date of this one is unknown but the majority are dated between 500-1200 A.D., some being of early Iron Age.

 

 



Mass Rock

The Mass Rock at the fort is from Penal times. It dates from early 18th Century when the Penal Laws were enacted. There is another Mass Rock and also the ruin of a church in the townland of Drumbad. Between the roadway and the Black Fort can be seen what was the old road leading into the village. Along this road stood Fureys forge where, according to tradition, the pikes for the battle were made.

 

 



Sweathouse

In the townland of Lettergullion is a sweathouse. This was where the people went to sweat out their aches and pains centuries before the arrival of modern medicine. It is still in good repair.