Explore County Roscommon
County Roscommon, with the River Suck on its western border, and the River Shannon joining a series of loughs on its eastern border, is very popular with anglers. Roscommon is a small country town with some attractive Georgian and Victorian shops in the centre, and a huge ruined castle standing in a field on the northern outskirts. Roscommon Castle dates from the 13th century, with Tudor mullions added in the 16th century. The quarrelsome O’Kelly and O’Conor clans seized it periodically, but its last definitive remodelling took place at the hands of Cromwellian troops, and its drum towers now stand broken and hollow around a rectangle of neatly mown turf. During the 18th century Roscommon employed the notorious Lady Betty as its hangwoman for some 30 years. Apparently she was the only hangwoman in Irish history.
Strokesdown Park is a major attraction; an 18th-century Palladian mansion owned by the Mahon family for centuries until it was sold in 1979. The stable block contains the Famine Museum, which details one of the most shocking episodes of Irish history; the death by starvation of some one million Irish people between 1845 and 1852.