County Down


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It is one of the most ancient places in Ireland and was once the capital city of the Principality of Oriel. The most famous of its buildings is the cathedral, in which is preserved the ‘Cloghor’, one of the ‘Three stones of Erin’. Although a monastery stood here in earlier times, (two high crosses still survive) and was followed by a medieval cathedral, the present building dates from the mid 18th century.

According to legend, the first bishop of Clogher was St MacCairthinn, the ‘strong man’ of St Patrick.

Close by the cathedral are the ancient Deanery and Park House, a classical mansion built in 1799 as the Bishop’s Palace. Nearby is Carnmore Mountain where in 662 - legend has it - Beigh, said to be the grandson of Noah, landed from a ‘second ark’ with thirty beautiful women.

From this legend originates the name of the nearby mountain of Slieve Beagh (1, 222feet), which is exactly on the national border between Northern and Southern Ireland. Another building of interest in the locality is Carleton’s Cottage at Springtown.

William Carleton, born in 1794 , one of fourteen children of a tenant farmer, was well versed in Irish folklore and was described by Yeats as “The greatest novelist of Ireland”. In August each year a Carleton Summer School is held in the locality.