Weaving a rich tapestry from Kavanagh Country in the south to an award-winning county museum in the north, Monaghan’s fascinating past is brought to life by its compelling heritage attractions. Monaghan’s landscape and landmarks, ripe for discovery, inspired the work of the celebrated poet, Patrick Kavanagh, and the county’s skilled lacemakers continue to ply their 200-year-old craft, prized by royals including Queen Victoria and Kate Middleton. Meanwhile, a brand-new visitor experience at Carrickmacross Workhouse tugs at the heartstrings, telling of the struggles everyday people faced during a particularly dark period of Irish history. Culturally curious visitors from all walks of life will be captivated by these and many more of the stories of Monaghan.
Here are five key heritage sites in Monaghan you don’t want to miss:
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen underwent a complete overhaul and re-opened to the public in summer 2020. The contemporary new ‘mini museum’ tells the story of the celebrated poet in a fresh, immersive way, and is already picking up prestigious European awards.
Pay tribute to his genius at Kavanagh’s graveside, and walk the 6km Kavanagh Trail, which includes gems such as Billy Brennan’s Barn and Shancoduff.
One of the top heritage attractions in Monaghan, the Carrickmacross Lace Gallery is home to a breathtakingly beautiful 200-year-old craft, coveted by royals including Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton. Browse intricate, antique pieces and see modern-day lace-makers in full swing, before picking up a souvenir of your visit.
Don’t forget to pop next door to Collective at Market Square a showcase for the very best artists and makers in Monaghan and the surrounding area.
A brand-new visitor experience at Carrickmacross Workhouse is sure to become a cultural staycation highlight. One of only a small handful of restored workhouses in the country, visitors can expect an emotive journey through one of the most harrowing periods in Irish history.
The workhouse experience is brought to life through the eyes of teenage inmate, Rose Sherry, and through the course of the experience, we learn of the fate that befell Rose and her peers.
Award-winning Monaghan County Museum has captured the imagination of the nation, with its ground-breaking recent exhibitions, including the Monaghan’s War of Independence and the Monaghan Spitfire.
One of the region’s leading free public heritage attractions, the museum works to promote the cultural diversity and historical richness of the region and is a big hit with visitors of all ages.
Ulster Canal Stores in Clones is where you will find the Clones Lace Museum, the only museum of its kind dedicated entirely to the crochet lace, displaying stunning pieces from the Victorian era, right through to more modern designs, such as jaw-dropping wedding dresses.
Check out the new ‘Linked by a Thread’ exhibition, which lovingly tells of the history and stories of the people whose hands it has passed through over the decades.
To find out more about these and other heritage attractions/things to do in Monaghan, browse the complete listings her: