Longford

Lower Main Street, Longford Town

Location
Longford town is a bright, bustling town  which lies at a junction of main roads leading to many of the major towns and cities of Ireland. Its accessibility to the rest of the country make it a prime location as a holiday base. Dublin , Galway, Sligo and Mayo are all reachable within an hour and a half from Longford town. The town is situated on the Sligo-Dublin train line as well as a variety of bus routes.

Name
The name of the town comes from the Irish  ‘Longfort Ui Fhearghail’ meaning the ‘O’Farrell Fortress’.

History & Info
The town initially developed on the North side of the River Camlin where there was a medieval castle of the O’Farrells, the Gaelic lords of the territory of Annaly. The O’Farrells submitted to Queen Elizabeth I in 1570 and Annaly became County Longford. At that time the town was concentrated in the area close to the castle, but from the 1620s onwards there was significant expansion southwards. The castle was mostly incorporated into a cavalry barracks in the late 18th century. The other place associated with Longfords early history is St Johns church where a Dominican priory was founded around 1400. A major factor in the towns development during the 19th century was the opening of a branch of the Royal Canal, with its harbour on the western side of the Market Square. Both the Canal branch and harbour closed in the middle of the last century. There are however plans in place to re open the harbour and the Longford branch of the canal in the future.  Longford is home to many other fine buildings of architectural and historical interest including St Mels Cathedral, Longford Convent, St Mels College, Longford Court House, The Masonic Hall, St Christophers buildings, Connolly Barracks and the Market House, located in the old Connolly Barracks Complex. The Market House is Longfords oldest building, having been erected in 1627 on the site of the O’Farrell Castle.

Things to See & Do
The River Camlin flows through the northern part of the town and a delightful walkway has been created along the river leading to the Mall Park, recreational area and sports complex. At the opposite end of the town, walkers and cyclists can enjoy meandering along the pathway of the Royal Canal which is now also fully navigable from Spencer Dock in Dublin to Richmond Harbour in the nearby village of Clondra.

Longford has a fine selection of accommodation, award winning restaurants, pubs and music venues, as well as some excellent boutiques and shopping outlets. Entertainment venues include Longford Cineplex and the Backstage Theatre. Preparing for an evening of socialising can be tiresome so its an added bonus to have a great Urban Day Spa in the centre of town, as well as several excellent hairdressing and beauty establishments. If it is a relaxing and pampering break away you need, then Longford town is a great place to spend a few days. When the busyness of town life becomes too much then  the surrounding countryside, which is steeped in history, also has a wealth of places to visit and things to do.

Information on the heritage sites of Longford town 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