Just 11km east of Tulsk is one of Ireland’s most striking planned towns, STROKESTOWN, whose story embodies Ireland’s troubled history in microcosm. The land on which the town lies and the surrounding area, known as Corca Achlann, belonged for more than a thousand years to the MacBranan clan, underlords of the powerful O’Connor kings who ruled Connacht, until dispossessed by Cromwell in the 1650s. Subsequently, part of their territory was granted by Charles II to Nicholas Mahon, whose kin later amassed more than thirty thousand acres for their huge estate, second only in size to Rockingham in Roscommon, becoming one of the great landed families of Ireland in the process. In the early nineteenth century, his descendant Lieutenant-General Thomas Mahon, Second Lord Hartland, requiring a grandiose symbol reflecting the extent of his property, determined to have constructed a central avenue wider than Vienna’s Ringstrasse. This tree-lined mall leads a couple of hundred metres both east and west from the town centre. At its western end sits an octagonal church, now housing the County Roscommon Heritage and Genealogy Company, which conducts research for anyone seeking to trace their Roscommon roots; the eastern end of the mall terminates in a three-arched gateway, marking the entrance to Mahon’s massive estate.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 Feb 2018 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
6 of the best road trips in Ireland

6 of the best road trips in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland’s phenomenally popular Wild Atlantic Way takes in a dizzying 2500km coastal route from Cork to Donegal, but not all of us have three w…

02 Jan 2018 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right