Monaghan County Museum and Gallery
There aren’t too many sites around Monaghan town, but a visit to the free Monaghan County Museum gives you a good sense of the county’s history. Located in two Victorian houses in Hill St, it is one of the best regional museums in Ireland and exhibits reflect developments in the county from the stone age to the town’s current lace and linen making industries.
The gallery features watercolours from the 18th century, as well as modern-day paintings and prints of the area. But the museum’s most important exhibit has to be the Cross of Clogher, a processional cross dating from the 15th century.
The museum is open all year from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Centre
Considered by many as one of Ireland’s best poets, Kavanagh’s work is little known outside Ireland, but the centre in the village chapel of Iniskeen offers a good introduction to his life and work. The centre is open all year between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturdays (June to September) and Sundays (March to November).
Around the town are other Kavanagh memorials including a plaque with some of his writings, his grave and his childhood home. The last weekend in November is the town’s annual Patrick Kavanagh weekend.
The museum also has material on local history and nearby are the remains of a 6th century St Daig monastery and round tower.
Rossmore Forest Park
Little remains of the original Rossmore castle, but the surrounding park has great forest walks, fishing and picnic spots. The park’s more interesting sites include Iron Age tombs, a pet cemetery and Californian sequoias, the tallest trees in Ireland. A gold collar or lunula from 1,800 B.C. was discovered here in the 1930s. It is now on view in the National Museum in Dublin.