Fermanagh

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Fermanagh
United Kingdom
Lower Lough Erne from Ely Lodge Forest. - geograph.org.uk - 69237.jpg
Lower Lough Erne
Fermanagh
[Interactive map]
Area: 715 square miles
Population: 56,861
County seat: Enniskillen
County flower: Globeflower [1]

The County of Fermanagh is a shire in southwestern Ulster. It holds the westernmost point in the inhabited United Kingdom; only Rockall and the abandoned isles of St Kilda lie further west.

Fermanagh is the only county in Northern Ireland which does not adjoin Lough Neagh. It does however have a wealth of lakes of its own as it lies in the basin of the River Erne: Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne fill the middle of the county, each studded with green islands, and lesser lakes lie hereabouts; Fermanagh has been called Ulster's Lake District.

It is a farming shire above all, with its little pockets of industry such as Belleek and the leisure and watersports enjoyed on the lakes and river.

Its longest boundary is with Tyrone, but otherwise Fermanagh is surrounded by counties of the Irish Republic. To the west, separating Fermanagh from the Atlantic Ocean is the narrow neck of County Donegal. The county borders Tyrone to the north-east, and the Irish Republic counties of Monaghan to the east, Cavan to the south, Leitrim to the south-west and Donegal to the north-west. The townlands of Roscor and Sheridan in the parish of Magheracross form a detached part of the county of Fermanagh, locally situate in the county of Tyrone.[1] The county covers an area of 715 square miles, with a population of approximately 60,000. Enniskillen is Fermanagh's county town, and indeed its only town of any size.

The county's name derives from the Gaelic Fear Manach, meaning "men of Manach".

History

Fermanagh was recognised as a county by statute of Elizabeth I, but it was not until the time of the Plantation of Ulster that it was finally brought under civil government.

Fermanagh was a stronghold of the Maguire clan of whom Donn Carrach Maguire (who died in 1302) was the first of the chiefs of the Maguire dynasty. On the confiscation of lands of Hugh Maguire, Fermanagh was divided in similar manner to the other five escheated counties among Scottish and English undertakers and native Irish. The baronies of Knockinny and Maghenaboy were allotted to Scottish undertakers, those of Clankelly, Magherastephana and Lurg to English undertakers and those of Clanawley, Coole, and Tyrkennedy, to servitors and natives. The chief families to benefit under the new settlement were the families of Cole, Blennerhasset, Butler, Hume, and Dunbar.

The Annals of Ulster were written at Belle Isle on Lough Erne.

Landscape

Agriculture and tourism are two of the most important industries in Fermanagh. The main types of farming in the area are beef, dairy, sheep, pigs and some poultry. Most of the agricultural land is used as grassland for grazing and silage or hay rather than for other crops.

The waterways are extensively used by cabin cruisers, other small pleasure craft and anglers. The main town of Fermanagh is Enniskillen, an island town around which on each side flows the River Erne.

Upstream of Enniskillen is Upper Lough Erne and below it Lower Lough Erne, two vast lakes, each with its individual character: Upper Lough Erne is a maze of islands through which the channels of the River Erne thread and Lower Lough Erne a broader body of water, blessed still with many green islands.

Boa Island in the Lower Lough carries the road around the north shore to Belleek, and is famed for its ancient carved figures, reaching back to an ancient time of Ulster's history.

The westernmost part of Fermanagh is the townland of Manger Beg, and here by the bank of the Bradoge River is the westernmost point in the inhabited parts of the United Kingdom.

Towns and villages

Fermanagh is sparsely populated. It has no large towns and indeed only one town of any size: Enniskillen, the county town.

Town

Villages

Parishes

: Extends into Tyrone.
: Two townlands form a detached part of Fermanagh, locally situate in Tyrone.
Additionally, a single townland of the parish of Clogher lies in Fermanagh. The majority of townlands of the parish of Clones also lie in Fermanagh, although the town itself and remaining townlands are situated in County Monaghan.

Baronies of Fermanagh

Baronies of Fermanagh, with parish boundaries

Things to see in Fermanagh

Key
Cathedral/Abbey/Priory Cathedral/Abbey/Priory
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Amusement/Theme Park Amusement/Theme Park
Castle Castle
Country Park Country Park
Northern Ireland Environment Agency NI Environment Agency
Forestry Commission Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museum (not free)
Museum (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Zoo Zoo
Florence Court Garden

The waterways are extensively used by cabin cruisers, other small pleasure craft and anglers. The main town of Fermanagh is Enniskillen, an island town around which on each side flows the River Erne.

Notes

  1. Townlands of Roscor and Sheridan in the parish of Magheracross: 54°26’49"N, 7°34’19"W

References

  • "Fermanagh" A Dictionary of British Place-Names. A. D. Mills. Oxford University Press, 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Northern Ireland Public Libraries. 25 July 2007
  • "Fermanagh" Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. 25 July 2007 <http://library.eb.co.uk/eb/article-9034047>.
  • Fermanagh: its special landscapes: a study of the Fermanagh countryside and its heritage /Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. – Belfast: HMSO, 1991 ISBN 0-337-08276-6
  • Livingstone, Peadar]]. – The Fermanagh story:a documented history of the County Fermanagh from the earliest times to the present day – Enniskillen: Cumann Seanchais Chlochair, 1969.
  • Lowe, Henry N. – County Fermanagh 100 years ago: a guide and directory 1880. – Belfast: Friar's Bush Press, 1990. ISBN 0-946872-29-5
  • Parke, William K. – A Fermanagh Childhood. Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh: Friar's Bush Press, 1988. ISBN 0-946872-12-0
  • Fermanagh Herald

Outside links

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