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Mosstown

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Mosstown 53.621144, -7.828746

Re-crossing under the Ballymahon to Lanesborough Road at Pake Bridge, the canal continues in a northerly direction via Foigha Harbour to Cloonbreany Bridge, beyond which it widens out considerably as it passes across the windswept expanse Of Cloonbreany Bog before reaching Island Bridge and Mosstown Harbour. Beyond the harbour, which is within easy walking distance of Keenagh village, the canal enters a shallow cutting alongside the dense woodland of Mosstown Estate which continues as far as Coolnahinch Lock. From here to Lyneen Bridge the canal is accompanied by a road which has superseded the towpath on the west bank.

The Grand Canal Company opposed any suggestion that the Royal Canal should terminate in Lough Ree, a little over 3 km from Mullawornia. The government agreed that the purpose of the canal was to serve the north Shannon and, in particular, to provide a route for Lough Allen coal. Moreover, was thought to be impractical to terminate the canal in a large lake where adverse weather conditions could hold up traffic for long periods. Thus the canal continues for another 19 km to the junction with the Shannon.

Between the canal and the Shannon lies a vast tract of bog over which, from as far back as 3,500 BC, a large network of wooden tracks was laid. When, in the 1960s, Bord na Mona brought its industry to Corlea Bog these trackways began to be uncovered. A preserved portion of the trackways and numerous important artefacts are on display in the Corlea Bog Visitor Centre about 1.5 km west Of Island Bridge.

Mosstown House, the home of the Kingston family, was demolished in 1962 but visitors to Keenagh village can admire the clock tower (1875) with it’s clock still in working order. Also of interest are the entrance to the estate through a 1.6 km long avenue of lime trees planted in 1850 the eagle topped piers at the White Gate, built by Belgian refugees after the first World War; and the restored Pigeon House, the only one of its kind in the country.