Monday 25th January, 2021
08:00 PM Irish Standard Time
this week’s article is brought to you by Dawid Kucharski,
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.. .your about to visit Roscrea
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What is known as one of the oldest towns in Ireland, was at one point in its long history, an Irish town inhabited by the souls of the dead… or one can simply say ‘Ghost Town’. Roscrea is also known as ‘Ros Cré’ (Wood of Cré) in Irish. Located in the Mid-West region of the country, near the county boundry of Offaly, this tipperary town is one of the biggest in this part of the county, hidden in a valley between the mountains of Devil’s Bit and the Slieve Bloom. Roscrea is 71Km away from Limerick and a further 122Km from the capital Dublin.
> Notable People from Roscrea
- John Moyney – soldier/recipient of the Victoria Cross.
- Kevin Carroll – world-renowned prosthetist
- Daisy Bates – journalist, activist and amateur anthropologist.
- Michael A. Hess – lawyer in the United States.
- Harry Read – represented Ireland in rugby union and first class cricket.
[1/3] > One of the coolest facts about Roscrea besides it being a town which was once inhabited by.. nobody, was that this northern tipperary town was once notorious for being one of the ancient highways of Ireland, then known as the ‘Slighe Dala’ (Parliament way), stretching from the hill of Tara in the east of Ireland (South of Dublin) to the port of Limerick and Tarbert in the west of the country and it is speculated that this ancient route formed much of the old N7 now R445 that originally passed through Roscrea. The town is also a notable historical market town just like its neighbouring town Nenagh – the second largest town in Tipperary, to the west. Initially the town developed around an ancient monastery (late 6th century) some of which remain preserved to this day. In the medieval ages, Roscrea was one of the main settlements in the medieval Munster Kingdom of ‘Éile’ where erected by King John I of England before his death was a castle (1213) that still stands today. The particular castle built in Roscrea however belonged to the few of which were built as part of a policy to consolidate the Norman conquest of the midlands and was often in the hands of the Butlers who controlled the surrounding lands, having one of their principle castles in Nenagh.
[2/3] > References to ‘the Burgesses of Roscrea’ , two mills and town oven all serve as the accepted proof that the town was a medieval town and as it stands, there is no surviving proof that the founding of Roscrea is due to a royal charter being granted hence it is thought that the town likely expanded around the castle (13th C). When looking into the history of Roscrea, one must include the major significance of the castle as well as the authority (which were the Butlers). In this part of our short article on Roscrea, we are coming to the point in time where Roscrea and its surroundings remained “virtually uninhabited”, this was due to the loss of power the Butlers had over Roscrea after their authority had been weakened by the the most dominant powers, the O’Brien earls of Thomand (from the West) and the Fitzgerald earls of Kildare (East) as well as the death of the 9th earl of Ormond (1546) which followed suite. Though the Butlers did regain their power of the town later when it fell into the northern edge of the County Palatinate of Tipperary where Roscrea was administered from Kilkenny, its jurisdiction held by the Butler Earls of Ormond with royal permission and no longer the King. The town saw much of its surrounding areas fall under the new english control during the planttaions era of Offaly and Laois (1556) counties and its development affected by the Ormond succession dispute that later broke out in (1614). During the Irish Confederate Wars (1641-53) was the castle taken and then recaptured by Cromwellian troops. At one point in time, the castle faced demolishment as orders were issued to do so to prevent it from falling into the hands of the rebels or the opposing power,
happily, can we say that that never took place.
The next couple of decades (1703 – 1859), we’re mostly looking into who purchased the town and who got to inherit them and though we will not be looking into that in greater detail here.. upon our research, when we say that there were many purchases being made..let’s just say.., we mean MANY! John Damer (1722) then went on to build the well known Damer House which you can find today, within the Roscrea castle walls, or another example, the Irish Landed Estates Court where Roscrea was sold to for £20,000. Most of Roscrea was sold to R.S Palmer by the end of July in 1860 which might seem to be the end of the purchase-in-the-making saga of Roscrea, it is also the beginning of a new chapter for Roscrea as it’s from this point onwards, where much of the modern town of Roscrea was built i.e a large graveyard which suposedly contains the remians of hundred of people who died during the Great Famine. Roscrea seemed to have reached its peak in relation to the town’s population in the 1830s and workforce, where reported to the House of Commons Select Commitee on Industries in Ireland where 1000 men were employed in Roscrea as weavers or wool combers. Sadly that number did not go up, but rather shockingly fell to just 2, by the time the 1880s rolled around.
Our Previous Locations…
This article contains set A x5, set B x1 1/5 Set A The front view and castle entrance of the Roscrea Heritage Castle. 2/5 Set A Roscrea Heritage castle entrance II 3/5 Set A A third perspective of the Roscrea Heritage Castle. Image III 4/5Continue reading “TW || ForThePhotographers – Roscrea”
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