From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
The remains of antiquity are very few. A large rath, usually called the Moat of Granard, stands at one end of the main street of that town; another, called Lisardowlin, situate near the road from Longford to Edgeworthstown, is by the people of this country generally believed to be the centre of Ireland. Monastic institutions were numerous, and for the most part held in great veneration and well endowed. Abbeyshrule belonged to the Canons Regular; Ardagh, to the Franciscans; Lerha or Laragh, to the Cistercians; the wealthy abbey of Longford was founded by the O'Farrels; there were also abbeys or priories at Moydow, Clone, Clonebrone, Derg, Druimchei, and Killinmore, besides those on the islands of Innismorey, Innisbofin, Inniscloran, and All Saints Island in Lough Ree.
Ruins of all the above still remain; but of the priories at Ballynasaggard, Kilglass, and St. Johnstown, no vestiges of the original buildings remain, and their actual site is matter of doubt. At Lanesborough are the ruins of a collegiate church or preceptory, originally founded by the Knights Templars. The remains of ancient castles are not so numerous here as in most of the other level counties. Granard castle is built on a hill rising to a considerable height above the town, and commanding an extensive view over all the level country. Besides Castle Forbes, the Forbes family had another fortified mansion at Longford, which was burned by the O'Nials in 1605.
At Tenellick is the ruin of a strong castle, and near Ballymahon are the remains of two others. There are still remains of Rathcline castle, the chief residence of the O'Cuins; and not far from it are the ruins of a very ancient church. At Ballymahon was a strong castle erected to defend the ford of the Inny, the only traces of which are the cellars, under a house built on its ruins. Barnacor castle and Lot's castle, on the Inny, on the opposite banks, were both erected to protect the important pass or ford of that river, and at Castlecor are some remains of its ancient fortress.
Fossil remains of various kinds have been discovered in the limestone caverns and fissures; many of them are those of animals unknown in these regions, and several others of species now extinct in Ireland. The bones and horns of the elk have been discovered in the marl at the foot of the Escars, and beneath several of the bogs, also in a small lake near Ballinalee the antlers and bones of the red deer are often found quite sound, having been preserved by the antiseptic properties of the bog water.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
This is a story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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