FERMANAGH(permalink)

Posted by Editor Northern Ireland on Wednesday, 19th February 2003 Last updated Monday, 24th February 2003

Occupying the south west corner of Northern Ireland, County Fermanagh is divided nearly in two by the River Erne as it makes its way through the county's predominantly rural landscape.

With numerous lakes, wide expanses of forest, rolling grassland and rugged bogland, it's not surprising that tourism is one of the main sources of employment as city folk seek out the beauty and tranquillity that Fermanagh has to offer.

In the 1980s first year pupils of Enniskillen High School made a guide book to their area called "Childrens Fermanagh". With the kind permission of the school, you can view extracts from the book here at A Sense of Place.

For a virtual tour round the county, visit the Sense of Place Picture Gallery to take a look at Ruth Johnston's photographs of Co Fermanagh.


View Fermanagh content:

Enniskillen | People | Landscape | Traditions | Wartime | Your memories

Enniskillen

Enniskillen, which lies between Lower and Upper Lough Erne, is the main town in the county. The name Enniskillen comes from the Irish inis meaning island and Cethlenn. Cethlenn is believed by some scholars to be Kathleen (Queen of the Formorians) who, after being badly wounded in battle, took refuge on the island and died.

The town was founded in 1612 during the Plantation of Ulster and William Cole was given responsibility for its development. As well as houses and public buildings, there were wooden bridges built at the east and west ends of the island.

These bridges have, of course, long since been replaced. The main street of Enniskillen runs the full length of the island, from one bridge to the other. Brian Willis decided to take a stroll along it for Sense of Place .... find out more>> .

Landmarks in the town include:-

The people

Enniskillen Castle was once the stronghold of the Maguire family, who ruled as peaceful chieftains for over 300 years until the beginning of 17th century. Many of today's Fermanagh residents are descendants of the old Gaelic families who lived in the area before the Plantation or of the British families who settled in the county in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Maguire, MacManus, Cassidy, Johnston, Armstrong and Elliott are all Fermanagh names.

The Carrothers Clan came from the north side of the Scottish borders c1618. The family has not moved from the Carrybridge area near Lisbellaw for nine generations. You can view a few of the hundreds of objects the family have carefully preserved..... find out more>>>>

Vicky Herbert has related stories about some of the people associated with Crom Estate. Read on>>>

Landscape

Exploring the Marble Arch Caves in 1972

Fermanagh is well known for the beauty of its landscape below as well as above ground. Formed thousands of years ago, the Marble Arch Caves in the south west of the county are a fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers.

The deepest pothole in Ireland is to be found in Fermanagh, just north west of Boho. Read more about the exploration and naming of Noon's Hole >>

The extensive Marble Arch system is a popular destination for cavers to indulge their hobby. However, some Fermanagh cavers have harnessed their caving skills to create full-time employment for themselves - work which takes them not just above ground, but into the air! Read on>>

Between Florence Court and Blacklion is a large rock called the "Salter's Stone". How did it come by its name? Find out more>>

Traditions

The folk tradition of mumming is alive and well in Co Fermanagh. Whatever its exact origins, mumming was popular coming up to Christmas time when mummers troupes went about each neighbourhood doing house visits. Read about the Aughakillymaude Community Mummers >> .

Boxty - dine out on that traditional tasty dish. Recipe details >>

Storytelling is as popular in Fermanagh as elsewhere in Northern Ireland. One of Ireland's best known ghost stories is about a family who lived near Brookborough. Find out about the Coonian Ghost >> .

Wartime

Castle Archdale, near Irvinestown, was a coastal command base from which Sunderland and Catalina flying boats flew to search the mid Atlantic for U-boats. Unfortunately some of the young airmen flying back into Fermanagh met with disaster. Read about 2 of these accidents - Chuck Singer 's Sunderland crash near Belleek and the Catalina Lough Navar Crash .

The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers' Museum in Enniskillen Castle has hundreds of items on display, including a Victoria Cross medal posthumously awarded to Enniskillen born Captain Eric Bell >>

During WWII the Government encouraged the growth of flax by paying farmers a subsidy. John Pattison remembers helping his father on their farm in Cornakill, Knockarevan, near Derrylin. Find out more >>


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