Visitors' Guide of Claremorris in Co. Mayo

Find out about places to visit in and around Claremorris.

Moorehall and Lough Carra

The backdrop of beautiful Lough Carra provides an inspirational setting for this historical Georgian house built by George Moore in 1791.

Although today it stands in ruins - a skeleton of it's former glory - it is well worth a visit for those interested in the historical background of the house or simply for those who wish to sample the delights of the beauty of the estate.

Forest walks surround the house and the picnic areas overlooking the lake make this a perfect location for a family day out.

Lough Carra, itself is a limestone lake and relatively shallow, reaching a maximum depth of only 60ft. The natural habitat of the mallard duck makes this an interesting place for wildlife enthusiasts and the burren vegetation makes it an area of botanical interest too.

There is good dry fly and wet fly fishing on the lake and some of the best fishing grounds are on the western shore of Connor's Island.

Clare Lake and McMahon Park

On the Ballinrobe road out of town, this lake is situated in a wild life haven and is a beautiful location for fishing for bream, pike and perch.

Miraculously transformed from an area of heavy pollution, this idyllic lake and surrounding parkland has been the result of an ongoing ecological clean-up process. Once the town dumping ground, today this is home to a wide variety of wildlife and thousands of newly planted and thriving trees.

So landscaped and waterscaped, it is a now a beautiful wooded location only five minutes walk from the town square.

Swans and ducks can be viewed from the bird-watching tower, pike and perch can be fished from the lake from the numerous piers located around the lake and the picnic and bandstand areas provide a resting place to relax and survey the beauty that has become Clare Lake.

Knock Marian Shrine

This place of pilgrimage lies 7 miles to the north of Claremorris. The internationally recognised Marian Shrine originated after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church in 1879 and today it is visited by one and a half million pilgrims each year.

Seven public Masses are said daily and all night vigils are held several times during the year. The annual Novena in Honour of Our Lady of Knock takes place from the 14th to the 22nd of August each year and this includes a candlelight procession following the Celebration of the Eucharist.

Knock Folk Museum

Situated in the grounds of Knock Shrine to the south of the Basilica, the museum documents the story of the apparition in Knock in 1879, the development of the Shrine and portrays the lives and traditions of the people at the time of the apparition.

Town Library

Unique in it's location in what used to be St. John's Protestant Church, Claremorris Library is an excellent public facility in a very distinct setting. Originally built in 1828, through the aid of a cash donation from Dennis Browne MP and Sheriff of Mayo at the time, the Church served the Protestant population of the town until the 1950's when the population declined.

The County Council took over the building in the 1980's renovating it and converting it into a library. Today it also serves regularly as a gallery, often holding art exhibitions and traditional Irish music recitals.

Ballinasmalla Abbey

This Carmelite Abbey, which was thought to have been founded in 1288 with the help of the Prendergasts of Brize Castle, lies in ruins today but still bears testament to the monks and priests who prayed and studied here for centuries. The ruins include the remains of the original 13th century Carmelite chapel and an altar still stands in what appears to have been an often reconstructed Penal Chapel.

Although the Carmelites only arrived in 1288 the ecclesiastical function of this site is thought to go back much further - it is thought that monks lived, prayed and studied here for 500 years previous to this.

The Abbey closed in 1870 due to emigration and the demand for priests abroad in these new lands and has since go into ruin. However, it is still a beautiful historical site and well worth a visit especially for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of the area.

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