A short drive in either direction will take visitors to Killykeen Forest Park or to Billy Fox Park. Both make ideal playgrounds for children or adults seeking the excitement of exploration or relaxation.
The countryside around Cootehill is one of the most striking and a perfect example of Drumlin landscape, a phenomenon created by the ice cap which left behind thousands of low round hills and many lakes dotted with wooded islands. These are the features, which provide much of the picturesque scenery of the area.
Cootehill Heritage Walking Trail
Cootehill is a perfect example of an 18th Century Ulster market town. It began as a small village in the early 1700s and soon developed into an important market town for brown linen. The town owes its origins to the Coote family who acquired a large estate in this area in the late century. The Cootes encouraged the linen trade which attracted a wide diversity of settlers to the town. The town has a cruciform shape. Bridge St, and Church St, followed. The tour begins outside the Church of Ireland at the east end of Market Street. The walk takes approximately 60-90 mins.
1. The Gothic style Church of Ireland 'All Saints' with its imposing spire was built in 1819. It replaced an earlier parish church in Church Street. The church contains a memorial to Charles Coote Esq. who died in 1842.
2. The Allied Irish Bank was designed by William Hague. It stands on the site of a house which was originally occupied by the Coote family and later by three Catholic bishops of Kilmore before the palace was moved to a Cavan town in the early 19th century.
3. Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was raised in this townhouse which later became part of the White Horse Hotel. The hotels ballroom was built on the site of Cootehills Market House and Town Hall which dated from 1806. It was demolished in the 1950s.
4. Across the street is the Courthouse which dates from 1832. It contained several cells to the rear.
5. A short walk down Chapel Lane, formerly Charles Street, past some fine stone built stores and houses leads to the site of the old St. Micheals Chapel. Built in 1826, it was demolished in 1929 when a larger Church was planned. Note the original perimeter walls and pedestrian gateway.
6. The Fair Green was located in this open space. Here cattle and other farm animals were sold on fair days. St Micheals R.C. Hall was built in 1905 and has been a focal point for many townspeople over the years.
7. The Health Centre was built on the site of the Old Darley School. It dated from 1869 and was demolished in 1993. The Darley School relocated to the former Technical School at the end of Bridge St. The old schools inscription stone has been returned to the site.
8. The Sabbath(Sawpit) contains both the Presbyterian Church, 1876 and the Methodist Church, 1870. The Presbyterian Church replaced an earlier Meeting House dating from 1728. The most famous minister to serve in Cootehill was Rev. Thomas Stewart who was actively involved in the United Irishmen in the 1790s. He is buried in the Church Street graveyard. The Methodist Church, presently the Freemasons Hall, replaced an earlier Meeting House dating from 1797. It still stands to the rear of the manse. John Wesly, the famous evangelist, visited Cootehill on at least four occasions.
Turning left into Bridge St, the tour continues at the small square
known at the 'Pig Market'. Here pigs were sold in the thriving Pork
Markets of the 19th century. Formerly, this site was known as Meeting
House Square. The building at the top was seceder Presbyterian Meeting
House. It dates from 1797 when a split emerged in the
10. The famous 19th American writer, Mrs Sadlier, was born on this site. Mary Ann Madden emigrated to New York during the Great Famine and rose to fame as one of Americas most prolific female writers. Check the local library for some of her novels.
11. Church St. takes its name from the old church which stood on this ancient ecclesiastical site. The plantation church dated from 1639 and was used until 1819. The graveyard contains many interesting headstones and Coote mausoleum marks the site of the old church.
12. Cootehills Quaker community had a Meeting House in the centre of this old hillfort. It was built in 1738 and Quakers were active here until 1900. The burial ground contains some inscribed headstones. This is the only Quaker burial ground in the Cavan/Monaghan area.
13. The New Line leads back to the Station Road. The National school was constructed on the site of the former convent of the Sisters of Mercy. It was designed by William Hague and built in 1881. The new convent opened in 1979 and the old building was demolished in 1981.
14. St. Micheals church was built in 1930. It was designed by Dublin architect, William Byrne. It was richly decorated with Italian marble and plasterwork and it contains fine stain glass windows.
15. The tour ends at the gateway leading to Bellamont Forest, the beautiful Palladian Villa built by the Cootes in the 1720s. The Lodge dates from the 1830s. The house and grounds are private but it is possible to walk through the woods via the entrance opposite St. Micheals Church. The walk affords views of the Town Lake and Bellamont Forest.
Cootehill has many
other interesting heritage attractions within easy access of the town
centre. These include; the
There are bait stockists locally where maggots, worms and ground bait can be obtained on your arrival.
There are few rules government coarse fishing in Ireland. However, these rules do apply:
It is illegal to use live fish as bait
Rod and line fishing only on all waters
A person may fish with no more than two rods at any time
Conservation – Pike should be returned to the water alive
Please take all you litter home