Ballinrobe like every Irish town has a long and fascinating history. History is often hidden away in obscure books and the half-forgotten memories of the people.
In 2009 the "Ballinrobe Archaeological and Historical Society" was founded by Researcher Averil Staunton, Ger Delany (Director of the South Mayo Family Research Centre) and Mary Farragher (Mayo County Counci's local Librarian).
To salvage the flood of data that is being lost on Ballinrobe and the surrounding towns and townlands and using this to create a digital archive which is presented on the website "Historical Ballinrobe".
Ballinrobe's 2011 Historic Calendar was a great success with photos of Saint Mary's Church, Cranmore House, Glebe Street, Newcastle (the Army Barracks), Bridge Street, Ballinrobe Racecourse etc. This was the first in a series of five calendars seeking to capture "old Ballinrobe".
Work is progressing on Ballinrobe's Historic Calendar for 2012 and for more information you can contact:
Ballinrobe Archaeological and Historical Society
Here is just a sample of the many interesting sections on the Historical Ballinrobe website:
Old Photographs - a selection of old photographs of Ballinrobe and its community down the years.
Places - articles on buildings and places around Ballinrobe.
People - people and families in and around Ballinrobe and its neighbouring towns.
Ballinrobe is one of the oldest towns in County Mayo. Established as a borough in the wake of the Norman conquest of the thirteenth century, this beautiful and historical town is bordered by Cong to the South, Lough Mask to the West, and Lough Carra and Moore Hall to the North.
A recent archaeological survey of Ballinrobe and district identified a wealth of sites and monuments dating back to the neolithic and early bronze age, including crannogs, ringforts, souterains, fulachta fiadh, standing stones, and a variety of burial sites such as cysts, barrows, hedges, and two very impressive cairns associated with the Battle of Moytura.
Evidence of early Christian and medival times can be seen in the remains of the various churches and town houses in the locality. Of particular significance is the 14th century Augustinian Priory of Ballinrobe. The O'Connors were responsible for the building of many fine churches in this part of County Mayo - Ballintubber, Cong, Shrule, and the Holy Rood church in Ballinrobe. This latter Church was erected on the site of a 7th century church built by a Chieftain named O'Ruadhain who lived in Liskillen.
The South Mayo Family Research Centre is based in Ballinrobe in the newly refurbished Schoolhouse on Main Street.
The extensive database held at the Centre enables people with Mayo roots to trace their ancestors. The centre also provides information on other aspects of the area including the social history of South Mayo.
Looking for your roots in South Mayo?
Try the South Mayo Family Research Centre or call in and see them at:
Tel: +353 94 954 1214
Fax: +353 94 954 1214