Kenagh

The White Gates - Entrance gates to Old Mosstown Estate

Location
Kenagh is located in the Southern half of the county, along the R397 en route to Ballymahon.  It is also along the route of the Royal Canal as it winds its way from Spencer dock in Dublin to Clondra in Longford.

Name
Kenagh gets its name from the Irish ‘Caonach’, meaning ‘Moss’. Mosstown Demesne was located beside the village and undoubtedly derived its name from this origin.

History & Info

Kenagh was originally an estate village similar to Ardagh and has many unique features of historical and cultural value.The setting of the village, now devoid of its ‘Big House’ Mosstown House, which was demolished in 1962, is typically Irish in character, its single winding street lined by buildings of varying heights, styles and colour. The village is dominated by the elegant clock tower erected in memory of the Hon. Lawrence Harman King-Harman of Newcastle House in Ballymahon, an estate landlord, who died in 1875. Originally designed in 1878, the clock tower has in latter years been restored, works perfectly, and is one of the few of its kind to have survived in Ireland.

The most important site to visit in Kenagh is the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre which was erected by the Office of Public Works and opened to the public in 1994. The centre houses the impressive remains of an ancient bog road, as well as an exhibition centre and audio-visual room. It opens April to September annually. The trackway, which dates back to 148 BC was excavated by archaeologists during the 1980’s. It has connections to the ancient legend of Midhir and Étain, a love story which recounts the wooing of Étain, a queen of Ireland, by Midhir, a fairy King. Upon challenging the King of Ireland to games of fidhil in order to win the love of Étain, Midhir lost many times. On one of those occasions, as a forfeit, he was made to build a road through the boglands, which is now believed to be Corlea Trackway. The visitor centre in Corlea is surrounded by 30 acres of raised bog, which provides a nature reserve also open to the public. The boglands  of Longford have played a very important role in shaping the history, culture and economy of the county. Along with having once been a source of fuel and power, they are they are places great beauty and a great outdoor laboratory for studying plants and animals in their natural environment.

Things to See & Do
The Royal Canal which was originally opened through Kenagh in 1817, then closed to boat traffic in 1962, was reopened in September 2010. The canal is now navigable from Spencer Dock in Dublin right through to Clondra in Co Longford passing through kenagh en route. Mosstown harbour is a special setting for gatherings during the year and the canal sees much activity during the summer months. The Canal towpaths are a great amenity for walking and in some places for cycling. The Lime Tree Avenue, part of Mosstown Estate and one time promenade for the ladies of Mosstown, offers a unique setting for outdoor adventuring with the children. The National ISPCA Centre is based in Kenagh also and is a great place to visit and offer a home to some of the adorable animals housed there.

Heritage sites and places of interest in the village include ‘The White Gates’, the old entrance gates into Mosstown Estate which have a stone eagle perched on each pillar. The remains of the old Wesleyan Church where John Wesley himself did preach on occasion and The Dovecote are both features of the locality. Built  c1810, the Dovecote is one of only six remaining intact in Ireland and was also once part of the old Mosstown Estate, having been used to supply eggs and pigeon meat to the ‘Big House’. It is now privately owned but its location leaves it visible to the main road. There are also a number of fine old churches in the area, St George’s with its four-spire tower is a beautiful cut stone building erected in 1832. Abbeyderg Monastery, built by the Augustinian order in 1206 AD, is located two miles north-east of Kenagh village, while Kilcommock Church Ruins, built in 1630AD,  is located 2 miles south west of Kenagh.

Information on the heritage sites of Kenagh 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