Places To Visit In LismoreLismore has many fine places of interest for any visitor to the area. The most famous attraction is undoubtedly Lismore Castle sitting on the banks of the Blackwater. However, this is by no means the only historic building in the town. St. Carthages Cathedral and St. Carthages Church of Ireland Cathedral are both striking buildings. There is also a mass famine grave in the local cemetery and nearby, an old workhouse can be seen. A more recent addition to the town is the Millennium Park situated right in the heart of the town. The park was a joint development between Lismore Mochuda and Waterford County Council and is a stunning feature and facility for the town.
Lismore Heritage Centre
The Heritage Centre has an award winning audio visual display of Lismore history in which your host Brother Declan (alias Niall Toibin) takes you on an enthralling journey through time, starting with the arrival of St. Carthage in 636 and bringing you right up to the present. The centre also contains many local facts while a walk around the town will take you to ten places of interest.
Situated in the beautiful Blackwater Valley and commanding a superb position overlooking the river Blackwater this is one of the most delightful parts of Ireland. Lismore Castle was originally built by King John who later handed it over to the church. It remained a Bishop's Palace until 1589 when it was acquired by Sir Walter Raleigh and then sold on to Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, in 1602. Much of the Castle dates back to the early seventeenth century but there are parts that are as early as 1127. The most recent rehabilitation of the Castle was undertaken by the sixth Duke of Devonshire in 1840. The Castle recently opened Lismore Castle Arts which hosts art exhibitions throughout the year.
A few miles outside Lismore you can find Ballysaggartmore Towers, known simply as 'The Towers' to locals. These were built in the early 1800's by landowner Arthur Kiely Ussher as part of his grand plan to build a house bigger than that of his brother. The cost of the Gothic gateway was so great that the house was never built.
The Carnegie Library
The Library is one of many built in Ireland funded by the Carnegie Trust. Andrew Carnegie himself was born in 1835 at Dunfermline in Scotland, the son of a handloom weaver. The general economic downturn in 1848 reduced the family to poverty and they emigrated to the United States. Carnegie was hard-working, shrewd, far-sighted and fortunate. As he made more and more money he invested it first of all in railroads and then in iron and steel. His company, Carnegie Steel, had annual profits of $40m, of which his personal share was $25m. Then, this amazing man, sold his company for $1/4 billion and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropic activities. His beliefs, which came to be called 'the Gospel of Wealth', were briefly that a man who has accumulated great wealth is obviously an exceptional person; it is his duty to use his surplus wealth for the improvement of mankind. 'A man who dies rich dies disgraced,' he snapped. And he proceeded to put his ideas into practice by distributing his own surplus wealth of $350m.
Lismore Railway Station
In 1904 King Edward and his long-suffering Danish wife Queen Alexandra visited Ireland and were received everywhere with rapturous enthusiasm. On leaving Waterford, they travelled by train to Lismore, where they were welcomed at the station by their hosts the duke and duchess of Devonshire. A memorial on the wall of the station commemorates the event.
St Carthage's Church of Ireland Cathedral
St. Carthagh's Cathedral has an aura of peace and serenity. It has a graceful spire, and the interior has some Celtic tombstones and a unique 16th Century monument of the McGrath family.
The Famine Graveyard
The Lismore workhouse was built between 1839 and 1842 and had accommodation for 500 paupers. Within a few years of opening, it was overwhelmed by the catastrophe of the Famine. At one stage there were 700 inmates, most of them starving and disease-ridden. The census of 1841 showed an Irish population of over eight million, at least one-third of which lived almost exclusively on the potato. Then in September 1845 the crop was struck by a mysterious blight; it recurred in the succeeding years. The failure of the potato produced hardship throughout Europe, but in Ireland the situation was uniquely catastrophic - millions faced starvation. Owing to the huge number of deaths, especially from typhus and relapsing fever, the existing graveyards became a health risk, so the duke of Devonshire presented two acres to the Roman Catholic clergy in which the victims could be buried. The Famine Graveyard remains today a grisly reminder of the local impact of the greatest catastrophe in Irish history.
St Carthage's, Catholic Church
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Penal Laws placed many restrictions on Catholic worship. By the early 19th century most of these laws had either been repealed or fallen into disuse, and Catholics began to build churches in large numbers. At Lismore a new parish church was built in the 1880s, replacing an older and simpler building.
St Carthage's, Lismore, is largely the creation of Dublin-born Walter Doolin (1850-1902) and was erected between 1881 and 1884. The church contains some interesting stained glass of the Celtic Revival, notably a set of three windows commemorating saints associated with Lismore - Cathaldus, Carthage (with contemporary picture of the Castle) and Colman.
The Millenium Park
Lismore Millennium Park is a joint development between Lismore Mochuda Development Company Limited and Waterford County Council.
Situated right in the centre of the town the park hosts a number of interesting features and belies the small area that it covers. These features include:
- A water feature
- Ice House
- Bridge and Waterfall