Banagher, Co Offaly
Picturesque town in County Offaly
Banagher is a picturesque town on the east bank of the river Shannon located in West Offaly. It is fortified on the Connacht side with a Martello tower. The name Banagher comes from its Irish name, which translates to English as "the place of the pointed rocks”. Banagher is the strategic position on the River Shannon where in by – gone days it was one of the few crossing points between the provinces of Leinster and Connacht.
In the past the town was an important stop on the river for the Dublin - Limerick navigation route, it supported a number of large industries, including milling, malting and distillery. This trade has been replaced by tourism.
Banagher has its own marina, it is the perfect point for hiring a pleasure cruiser and watersports facilities. Visitors can take river buses guide along the water on their way to Clonmacnoise and other towns bounded by the river or just stroll along the marina taking in the sights of the moored houseboats, barges and cruisers or pass some time doing a spot of course fishing along the banks of the river.
In winter Bird lovers will find Banagher a gem of activity as Banagher is the centre of the 'callows' of the Shannon, grassy meadows which flood and provide living space for myriads of waterfowl during the cooler months.
There are numerous Napoleonic / Cromwellian fortifications around the town which were built in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1760 Crank House was built, this is a two storey, six bay Georgian townhouse with bow front and superb limestone doorway. The long sloping streets of Banagher is made up of late Georgian houses running up to the river where a bridge links Offaly with Galway.
Banagher provided a wealth of inspiration for people such as author Anthony Trollope who wrote his first novels “the Macdermots of Ballycloran”.
In 1854 Charlotte Bronte, authoress of Wuthering Heights, honeymooned here.In 1908 Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls, Rector of Banagher and husband of Charlotte Brontes died in Banagher. The father of Oscar Wilde, Sir William Wilde attended Cuba House School, unfortunately the school no longer exists.