Cong Wood is one of Mayo’s temperate rainforests – typical of lush, green and mostly deciduous woodlands found along the wet and mild Atlantic coastal counties of Ireland and the UK. These beautiful native and ancient woodlands are commonly known as Celtic Rainforests where nature abounds.
Mayo Heritage Sites
Some of the most important heritage sites in Ireland are located in Co Mayo. From the 5000 year old Neolithic Céide Fields to the Round Tower in Killala, the history of Co Mayo is recalled in its man-made structures, landscape and folklore. The Monasteries and Abbeys of Mayo are among the best persevered in Ireland, recalling the period between the 4th and 10th centuries when Ireland gained its reputation as the Island of Saints and Scholars. Ballinrubber Abbey, Moyne Abbey and Burrishoole Abbey are prime examples of these monastic settlements that are well worth visiting. There are many holy wells in Co Mayo dating from early Christian times that are still visited by local people. Every parish in Co Mayo has at least one ancient ruin that is a reminder of the locality's rich history and heritage.
The newly-opened Ballina and Killala sections of the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway, the 10km walking and cycling trail, partly follows the route of the old railway line that once linked the two north Mayo towns.
I’m sad to say that I have taken one of the great natural wonders of Mayo for granted – and until last week I didn’t realise that it is under threat.
Blanemore Forest Archaeological Walk near Moygownagh is another gem in Mayo’s treasure chest of extensive Neolithic sites – the best known of which is the Ceide Fields near Ballycastle.
It’s hard to believe that Palmerstown Bridge, the main artery linking Mayo’s remote north-west corner to the rest of the county, dates back to the decade before the 1798 Rebellion.
The ferns, nettles, bushes, and briars now hide much of what was once a 19th-century village on the slopes of the Ox Mountains.
One of my abiding childhood memories of family journeys to Erris was stopping off at the Musical Bridge in Bellacorick to run a stone along the parapet to hear it draw musical notes from the bridge.
Ballina’s Salmon Weir Bridge looks splendid at night and especially in the days around St. Patrick’s Day when the footbridge over the River Moy is illuminated in green.
On arrival at the Michael Davitt Museum, you are greeted by the imposing bronze statue of the Land League founder in front of the restored 17th century Straide Church which houses the magnificent museum in honour of the man who helped free rural communities from the yoke of landlordism.
Lying largely in ruins, the ancient Augustinian Abbey in Ballina has never attracted the same attention as the other abbeys of the Moy, at Rosserk, Moyne and Rathfran – all of which are mostly intact. Nonetheless, Ballina’s Abbey has an interesting story to tell – stretching all the way back to a golden age in our Celtic past.
One of the most interesting aspects of my travels around Mayo is discovering the history behind some of the historic buildings that dot the landscape.
It’s always a great pleasure to visit the Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina and browse the rare and valuable artifacts, including books, maps, newspapers, and other historical memorabilia, that is a treasure trove of Irish history, stretching back over 400 years.
Rosserk Friary near Ballina is a link to a time when Ireland was known as the Island of Saints and Scholars.
The unveiling of The Great War Remembrance Monument in the Green Park, Ballina, took place on Saturday, June 20th, 2015. The monument was unveiled by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD before a large and representative gathering of local people, including public representatives, clergymen, relatives of some of those soldiers whose names are inscribed on the […]
Tobar Mhuire, St. Mary’s Holy Well, near Rosserk Abbey, Ballina, is one of the most unique holy wells in Ireland.
It’s just over a century ago that one of Ireland’s favourite ballads, “When It’s Moonlight In Mayo”, was first performed to vaudeville audiences in the United States – and the earliest recordings of the enduring melody were made in 1915, 100 years ago this year.