The county is of very irregular form, its length being nearly 60 English miles, whilst its greatest breadth does not exceed 32; southward it quickly contracts to ten, and northward it gradually declines to three, forming an important frontier to the whole of Connaught. Its general surface forms part of the vast limestone plain of the central parts of the island, with only four very striking elevations of surface. These are, the mountains on the borders of Lough Allen, in its northern extremity; the Curlew mountains on its north-western confines, near Boyle; the great ridge of Slievebawn, extending through the baronies of Ballintobber and Roscommon, and Slieveaeluyn, near Ballinlough, in the west.

In the plain districts are considerable tracts of flat ground, through which the rivers wind a sluggish course, frequently overflowing their hanks, and inundating the adjoining country. Some of the larger bogs also present flat surfaces of considerable extent, while others are diversified with all the inequalities of the hills upon which they are situated. Remarkably extensive tracts of flat alluvial land, and of bog, occur along the courses of the Shannon and Suck, forming detached portions of the bog of Allen, the most worthy of notice being those situated near Athlone and Lanesborough, both of which are crossed by several ridges of limestone gravel.

Along the Suck, and along the Shannon south of Carrick, the shores in several parts are bold, and the cliffs occasionally overhang the water; but these in general are formed of compact masses of limestone gravel and indurated clay. The highest mountains are those of Bracklieve and Slieve Curkagh, in the most northern extremity of the county, between which the river Arigna flows in a deep valley, over which the mountains rise upwards of 1000 feet with steep and rugged acclivities, and broad perpendicular faces of rock. Next to these in height is the ridge of Slieve Bawn, which, from the shores of Lough Bodarrig on the Shannon, extends nearly southward, from two to four miles distant from that river, to the parallel of Lanesborough.

On the east side, towards the Shannon, a gradual slope extends nearly from the crest of the ridge down to the edge of the flat bogs which stretch along the base, and up the sides of these acclivities cultivation is annually extending. The western side of the range is more broken, the pastures are naturally richer, and groves are scattered along the base. Amid the mountains forming the northern boundary of the county are numerous scenes of a very picturesque character. Some parts of the banks of the Suck are also beautiful, and the shores of some of the lakes are delightful, yet there is a great deficiency of wood throughout the county, although in the neighbourhood of some of the principal residences there are groves and plantations, showing by their luxuriant growth the capabilities of the soil for such productions.

County Roscommon | Roscommon Towns | Roscommon Topography | Roscommon Lakes | Roscommon Agriculture | Roscommon Livestock | Roscommon Geology | Roscommon Mining | Roscommon Manufacturing | Roscommon Rivers | Roscommon Antiquities | Roscommon Town

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