With sites dating back as far as the Iron Age and 6th century, when Clones was an important Early Christian settlement, right up to the town’s proud tradition of lace-making which kicked off at the time of the Great Famine, it’s little wonder local historian Anne Corley is right at home here in Clones, and she has a passion for sharing the heritage gems of the town with visitors from near and far.
“If you would like to come to our town, experience our history and discover some of the important people who called Clones their home there are a number of ways you can do this,” Anne explains.
Interactive Heritage Tour “You can take a leisurely walk around the town using our self-guided town maps with QR codes, and experience the history of Clones with stories, told by local informed historians, on 18 of the main sites available.”
“These include an Iron Age Hillfort or Rath, now more commonly referred to as a Norman Motte and Baily holds a dominant place in the town; an early Round Tower – reputed to be one of the earliest in Ireland, Clones High-Cross, St. Tiarnach’s Sarcophagus, the “Wee Abbey,” and ancient graveyards, all associated with St. Tigernach’s Monastic Settlement, established in the early sixth Century, that saw many Pilgrims and Journey-men stopping off during their time in Ireland.”
“Enjoy Clones’ parks and looped walks, such as Barry McGuigan Park, Mullanamoy and Carn Lanes.”
“The Cassandra Hand Folk and Famine Centre offers a more personal experience, with pre-bookable one-hour guided tours of the town in the company of a local tour guide.
Tours can be adapted to suit individual or group needs. We can provide a Cream Tea on arrival for group bookings, a talk and tour on Cassandra Hand and the Round Tower Girls and Infant School, a town tour of Clones, or a mixture of all.
Drop into the Cassandra Hand Folk and Famine Centre at any time and learn about the history of this beautiful school building, the woman who gave it its current name, and the development of Clones Lace from a Famine Relief Scheme, to a thriving Cottage Industry up to the modern day or just sit and relax with a cup of tea inside or in the garden and take in your surroundings.
The Cassandra Hand Folk and Famine Centre also offers a Genealogy Research Service for those coming to the town to trace their Clones Ancestors. Monaghan County Library based in Clones also holds a fantastic range of historical material with the indexed Obituary Books providing a wonderful source for family history research in a comfortable and welcoming setting with very helpful staff. “
“After all that walking and talking why not head around the corner from the Centre and pop into the Coffee Box, which offers fine coffee and a selection of fresh homemade light bites in relaxed surroundings.”
“Wander a little further and you will come to the beautifully restored Ulster Canal Stores where you can get a great breakfast and superb lunch choices throughout the day, while learning more about its history.
Located along the banks of the Ulster Canal this is the home of the Clones Lace Museum which houses a truly amazing collection of Clones Lase and the stories of many Lace Workers. A visit to the well-stocked craft shop supplied by many local artists is a must on any visitors list.
2024 will also see the opening of the newly constructed Clones Marina followed by the development of the Ulster Canal Greenway from Clones to Monaghan. You will be able to walk and cycle and can then relax with a coffee while children amuse themselves in the adjacent playground.”
“If you are looking for somewhere to stay a little longer and discover more while in Clones, the family-run Creighton Hotel is a very welcoming venue with friendly and helpful staff where you can book afternoon tea or have a sumptuous fine-dining experience. My personal favourite is Alice Spring Chicken followed by warm Chocolate Fudge Cake and ice-cream.
Alternatively, you can stay and dine in the family-run Cuil Darach Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast located on the Diamond and near the bus terminal for those who are not touring by car.”