Edenderry , County Offaly

This spacious Georgian town , with a long , straggling main street lined with neat houses and shops , marks the Westward limits of the Pale , the region centred on Dublin that was under direct English rule , and which gave us the expression ‘beyond the pale’. Still to be seen dotted around the area are the crumbling walls of border castles , such as Blundell’s Castle , on a hilltop just off the main street.

Edenderry was largely built by Lord Downshire , who inherited it late in the 18th century. It was formerly an important trading centre on the Grand Canal that linked Dublin to the Shannon , and is today a busy market town. The canal is popular among anglers.

The town is also the gateway to the Bog of Allen , the largest area of bog in Ireland , which stretches in every direction as far as the eye can see. It is the centre of the thriving peat industry , and the source of much of the regions prosperity.

Edenderry is a hidden gem and is worth a visit on your tours of Ireland.