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Historical Background
A planned town, built during the great Georgian era of urban development, Cootehill derives its name from the marriage of Thomas Coote, a colonel in the Cromwellian forces, and Frances Hill from Hillsborough, Co.Down.

In 1725 Thomas Coote's nephew, also named Thomas, obtained a charter

Attractions Map

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for holding markets and fairs in the town and in the same year work began on the building of his new mansion, Bellamont House. Designed by Lovett-Pearce, it was, and still is, regarded to be one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in Ireland.

Due to the land in and around the town being very suitable there had always been a tradition of flax growing in the area. The 18th century saw the flourishing of a domestic linen industry in Ireland and Cootehill's landlords had the foresight to take full advantage of this and encourage the industry.

After the opening of the railway linking Cootehill with the important towns and ports of Dundalk, Greenore and Dublin the fairs and markets had a distinct advantage over the neighbouring towns of Shercock and Baileborough. Thus the industry continued to flourish, boosted by the huge demand for linen during the First World War, and the whole of the town and surrounding area prospered. A lull followed until the beginning of the Second World War when another boost occurred. Like all war induced booms, these periods of prosperity were relatively short-lived.

However, due to the enterprise of a local businessman, Cootehill captured the cattle trade of the area at a time when the old pattern of bargaining at fairs was changing to the modern system of selling at marts. The new mart, completed in 1965 generated employment and attracted the farming community to the town. Further confidence in Cootehill was also expressed at the same time in the building of one of the first three comprehensive schools in the country. Then, in the 1970'S, several companies opened factories in the town and the area began to experience a growth in prosperity it had not seen since the days of the linen industry.

Places of Interest
Situated amidst the rolling Drumlin hills of Cavan in an area of outstanding beauty, Cootehill offers the visitor a variety of outdoor and indoor activities within easy reach of the town including swimming, tennis, pitch and putt, golf and gymnastics, as well as the excellent fishing facilities in the surrounding lakes and rivers. The area offers children the opportunity of exploring a safe, unspoilt environment and experiencing the great variety of local wildlife. Many species of birds and animals inhabit the woods and fields surrounding the town, which are rich in a variety of plants and wild flowers such as primrose, violets, bluebells and rhododendrons.

Cycling and walking tours around the town enable you to enjoy the many places of historical interest including the watermills (with stone-grinding) at Foy's Bunnoe, Dawson Monument on Rockcorry Road, 7 Churches and 3 Graveyards, Workhouse, Polthy Mass Rock, the Dartry Estate with its deer herds and a wall constructed during the famine (labourers being paid 1p per week) and Bellamont Forest Park.

If you fancy a picnic there are many suitable areas to be found including Haltons, Billy Fox's Park, Corick Bridge, Dun na Ri, Annamkerrig, Killykeen, and Rossmore, as well as several lay-bys along the quiet, country roads. A stay in Cootehill would not be complete without a visit to Cohaw Court Cairn. Described by experts as the "best example in Ireland", it dates back to 4,000 B.C and was constructed by Neolithic people who came to Drumgoon up to the rivers Erne and Annalee. It was a burial tomb and during excavation in 1949 human bones, both buried and cremated, were found.

The popularity of the car encouraged 'ribbon' development and because of this the original settlement has undergone little change and has preserved its original character. The town itself is well served by a large number of shops and pubs and live music can be enjoyed most evenings, especially during the summer. So, whether you are a fisherman, a person looking for a quiet, relaxing break, or a family ready to explore the wonders of the neighbouring counties as well as Cavan, Cootehill is the ideal location, being only 1.5 hours from Dublin or Belfast.
For the more adventurous visitor there is the option of driving tours which will introduce you to the mystery of Ireland's rich and varied past, and take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe.