The town of Lismore in County Waterford is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Blackwater and at the foot of the Knockmealdown mountains. It is one of the most historic towns in Waterford. The name 'Lismore' comes from two words - Lis meaning Fort and Mor meaning Big. This name derives from the round hill or great Irish fort to the east of the town.
Though much of the town centre dates from the 19th Century, Lismore's historic roots go back over a thousand years earlier, to the foundation here in the year 636 of a monastery by St. Carthage (also known as St. Mochuda - hence the name of our company, Lismore Mochuda!)
Lismore was one of the principal monasteries of the Irish church. It was from here in the 7th century that St. Cathaldus went forth to found a monastery at Taranto in Southern Italy. In the 12th Century, Lismore was at the forefront of a great movement to reform the Irish Church and bring it into line with continental Europe. This was a goal that was achieved by a former student of Lismore named Malachy, who as Archbishop of Armagh was Primate of all Ireland and was the first Irish saint to be canonised following his death.
The town was attacked several times with the Vikings burning the monastery on eight separate occasions and the Normans taking control of the town during their conquest of the country. However, the town persevered and survived.
In 1171 King Henry II of England ordered the building of a castle in the town and by 1185 Prince John had completed the work. The Castle was an Episcopal residence for the local Bishop until it was leased to Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Raleigh later sold the Castle to Richard Boyle, the father of Robert Boyle, the celebrated scientist whose name lives on in "Boyles Law". In 1753, the castle and it's lands passed to the 4th Duke of Devonshire following his marriage to Lady Charlotte Boyle and it has remained in the Devonshire family ever since.
The town of Lismore is one of the most picturesque and historic in Waterford and indeed Thackeray, the Victorian novelist, once described Lismore as "some of the most beautiful rich country ever seen".