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Heritage Site's And Stately Home's

In County Offaly.



Birr Castle.
 

Lawrence Parsons was granted an 1,000 acre estate, his family were late ennobled as the Earls of Rosse, he built this massive castle in the 1620's on the site of the Offaly stronghold of the O'Carrolls, the local clan described as 'a hospitable, fierce yellow haired race'. The Earls of Rosse as far as we know still inhabit the castle. The castle was badly damaged by fire in 1823 it was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style.

Birr castle has gardens which extend to 100 acres and are planted with flowering magnolias , cherry and crab apple, hornbeam alleys and box hedges which are claimed to be the highest in the world at 34 ft (32 M) The remains of the third Earls giant telescope are to be seen in the grounds which are open to the public.
Birr
Co Offaly
Tel +353 (0)
E Mail
Web Site

 

 

 

Birr Telescope.
 

In 1845 William Parsons 3rd Earl (1800-1867) built on his estate what was at the time the largest telescope in the world, it was to remain so for 75 years. With a reflector diameter of 72 inches (1.828 M). (The image on the left shows the telescope with the Earl and his family) It is said the earl could look more than 10 million light years into space, much further than any other astronomer of the time. Revealing the spiral structure of nebulae, bodies of rarefied gas and dust in interstellar spaces in galaxies,. He made detailed drawings of all his observations.

William son the 4th Earl (1840-1908) became the first man to measure the heat of the moon. And another son Sir Charles Parsons (1854-1931) built the compound steam turbine.

Birr
Co Offaly
Tel +353 (0)
E Mail
Web Site

 

 

 

Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway.
 

Take a 5.5 mile guided rail your of the Blackwater peat bog, learn about how the bog was formed, the archaeology and heritage of the bog, and how the peat is used to generate electricity.

See also railways in Ireland.

Blackwater Works
Shannonbridge
Co Offaly
Tel +353 (0)90 967 4450
Fax +353 (0)90 967 4210
E Mail
Web Site