Clondra

Richmond Harbour in Clondra, County Longford.

Location
Clondra is a charming waterside village built on the banks of The Royal Canal. It is situated approximately 8km from Longford town, en route to the west of Ireland.

Name
The village and area takes its name from the old Irish, ‘Cluain Dá Rath’, which means ‘Meadow of the two ringforts’. It is also known as Cloondara.

History & Info
Richmond Harbour in Clondra  is the terminus of the Royal Canal,  the point at which it meets up with the river Shannon. Made from finely cut-stone, the harbour is one of the most imposing on the River Shannon creating an idyllic setting for the village. The old stone mill with its weir and millpond is another fine building which adds to the charm of the area. Richmond Mill which was started as a corn mill from 1771 to 1827 was converted to a whiskey distillery, producing between 70,000 and 80,000 gallons annually. Power was produced by the use of the mill-wheel. The mill reverted to producing corn during the Fr Matthew temperence crusade in 1843.The Richmond Inn, which was once used as a flax mill, is now run as a traditional style public house renowned for its excellent food, drink, hospitality and traditional music nights. A nearby field, known locally as ‘the bleach’ was used for growing the flax which was soaked in water, left to dry in the field and then transported to Dublin via the canal barges. The houses alongside the Richmond Inn towards the lock keepers house were originally the homes of the mill workers and managers. This pretty village with its picture postcard setting of weirs, locks and water was also the point at which many emigrants embarked on their journey from Co Longford to America and the new world.

Things to See & Do
The Royal Canal provides a wealth of opportunity for locals and visitors to the area who like to fish, boat or walk along its banks. This usually tranquil village becomes a hive of activity during the summer months with several canal rallys, water polo championships, kayaking,  angling competitions, heritage week events, an outdoor  country music festival and many other events.  Enchanting evenings of music, food and various live entertainment  take place along the waterside, which has a wonderful outdoor seating area. Boats can be hired at Richmond Harbour to cruise the canal so as  to experience the tranquillity and beauty of the Irish midlands. Heritage sites to visit in the area include  the old abbey dating from the 12th century which stands beside the present church in Clondra and two gravestones from the 5th century which are located beside the church.   The Abbey which was probably an early monastic settlement, was built in the late 12th century although the lower part of the walls and foundations suggest an earlier church, perhaps 9th century. The south end suggests rebuilding carried out perhaps in the 15th century. It is referred to in the “Annals of the Four Masters”, and the “Clans of Ireland” reports the death in 1323 of Giolla Airnin O’Casey, Erenach (man in charge or steward) of the church in Cluan Dha Rath. Attempts were made some years ago to remove them to the National Museum in Dublin but this was resisted by the local community who felt they should remain “in situ”. The village has two pubs which provide food,  live entertainment and trad music sessions at the weekends. It is also five minutes from the village Tarmonbarry on the River Shannon. with its fine restaurants and excellent Art Gallery at The Purple Onion.

Information on heritage sites around Clondra can be found on the Explore Longford App available to download here:

 

 

County Longford Tourism Office Market Square, Longford, Ireland    Phone: +353 (0)43 33 42577 +353 (0)85 8888876    Email: info@longfordtourism.ie