Roscrea, a civil parish in the historical barony of Ikerrin, is a small heritage town in North Tipperary. Situated in the southern midlands, at the crossways of the N7 road between Dublin and Limerick and the N62 between Athlone and Horse, Roscrea is an Ecclesiastical parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe. Bus Éireann lines connect the fascinating town with Dublin and Limerick. The Irish railroad network also provides domestic connectivity to this charming town. Glanbia, which distributes meat products all over the world, is the principal business enterprise of the region.
Its designation as one the oldest and most historic towns in Ireland stems from the fact that the valley between the Slieve Bloom and the Devils Bit Mountains has been inhabited by settlers since centuries. Owing to the presence of the Aonach, the monastery and the castle, the town’s history is not completely encrypted and is hence, traceable. Heritage of the town can be traced back to the Stone Age and the subsequent ages, owing to the presence of antiques and monuments belonging to these periods. These amazing monuments, including Monaincha, the thirty-first wonder of the world, today stand as mute reminders to the history and culture of the town. Aonach Éile, the great fair of Ely, served to allure merchants to the town.
The trading town prospered around its ancient monastery, of which, the Round Tower is the oldest surviving part. Dedicated to St. Cronan, the Church of Ireland Parish was erected on the site of the ancient monastery, ensuing its annihilation. The splendour of the churchyard, known as the Shrine of St. Cronan, is accentuated by the crucifixion on a monumental stone. Consecrated in 1490 by the O’Carroll, Chieftain of the district, the Franciscan Friary of the town was supplanted with a Catholic Church, whose altar portrays the crucifixion.
Roscrea continued its stance as the seat of a bishopric until the 12th century, prior to its affiliation to the diocese of Killaloe. Monahincha Priory, which displays 12th century Romanesque features, is an incessant reminder of this era. A castle was constructed at Roscrea by the mighty King John of England. In 1580, Ballinakill Castle was constructed in the town by Piers Butler of Paulstown. These historic monuments not only accentuate the allure of the town, but also serve as mute sentinels of its grandeur.
The enigmatic town boasts an intriguing history, which captures the attention of inquisitive minds. Rich in culture and tradition, Roscrea prides on being the home to innumerable architectural splendours of Ireland. Roscrea Castle, Damer House Complex, the ‘Fancy Fountain’ and other ecclesiastical edifices are just a couple of treasures aggravating the charm of this inscrutable town.
Owing to the location of the town on a small river, which is a tributary to the River Brosna, Roscrea and its surrounding neighbourhood abounds with picturesque scenery. Slieve Bloom Mountains fondle northern Roscrea, according a perfect backdrop to this mystical town. The beauty of the town emanates from its amazing array of breathtaking inland scenery, including boglands, waterways, Irish farmland and forestry.
Although a busy market town with meat processing and pharmaceutical industries, Roscrea is a haven of peace and tranquillity.
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All Imagery Courtesy of Panoramio
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