Local Attractions in and around Castlebar, County Mayo
for more information Castlebar is the county town of, and at the centre of, County Mayo in Ireland. It is Mayo’s largest town. A campus of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and the Country Life section of the National Museum of Ireland are two important local amenities. The town is connected by railway to Dublin and the neighbouring Mayo towns of Westport and Ballina. The town has several small satellite villages around it, such as Breaffy. The main route by road is the N5.
History of Castlebar
The modern town grew up as a settlement around the de Barry castle, which was built by a Norman adventurer in 1235 and was later the site of an English garrison. The castle was located at the end of Castle Street, where the town river is thought to have originally flowed. A military barracks operates in the town to this day; armed conflict has been the centrepiece of the town’s historical heritage.
French forces under the command of General Humbert aided in a rout of the English garrison in the town during the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was so comprehensive it would later be known as “The Races of Castlebar”. A short-lived provisional Republic of Connaught was declared following the victory and John Moore, head of the Mayo United Irishmen and the brother of a local landowner, was declared its president. His remains are today interred in a corner of the town green, known as the Mall, previously the cricket grounds of Lord Lucan, whose family (the Binghams) have owned and still own large tracts of the town and county. The Lake in Castlebar is also known as Lough Lannagh.
The Irish National Land League was founded by Michael Davitt, of Straide in County Mayo, at the Imperial Hotel in Castlebar on 21 October, 1879.
Croagh Patrick is a 764 metres (2,510 ft) mountain in the west of Ireland and an important site of pilgrimage. It is located 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Westport, County Mayo above the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. It is the third highest mountain in County Mayo after Mweelrea and Nephin. On “Reek Sunday”, the last Sunday in July every year, over 15,000 pilgrims climb the mountain. The mountain forms the southern part of a U-shaped valley created by a glacier flowing into Clew Bay in the last Ice Age. Croagh Patrick is part of a longer east-west ridge; to the west is the mountain Ben Goram.
Westport House ( Picture is in the sidebar )
Westport House in Westport, Ireland is the stately home of Lord Altamont the Marquess of Sligo. It was built by the Browne family in the 18th Century, on the site of an O’Malley castle whose dungeons are still present today. The architects were Richard Cassels who built (1730 ) the east section of the house facing the town, and later James Wyatt who built the other three facades to form a quadrangle. Later the quadrangle was filled in with a grand staircase. North and south wings were added to the designs of Benjamin Wyatt. The south wing, which contained a library, was burned soon after it was built due to a defect in the heating system. It was subsequently rebuilt.