An Introduction to Cavan Town


View of Cavan Town

Farnham Street

Georgian Buildings

The Cathedral of St. Patrick and St.Felim

  Cavan is derived from the gaelic word "Cabhan" meaning the hollow.As one can see it is situated in a deep hollow, overlooked by steep hills on three sides. Cavan town is located in the centre of the county is situated on the N3 between Dublin and Donegal, a road reknown for its potholes. It is the principal town in the county.It was founded by the local Gaelic chiefs the O'Reillys in the 1300's when the O'Reilly's moved their principal seat from Clough Oughter Castle to a new castle on Tullymongan Hill. The town grew up in the hollow below. The town was burned on many occasions and as result there are very few historical buildings in the town dating back to the 17th century.
  The town's appearance was improved in the early 19th century by the Lords Farnham, a local landlord family. They built a new, wide street, that still bears their name. It was laid out by the local landlord the owners of the town, the Maxwell Family, who lived at Farnham just outside the town. This was lined with comfortable town houses, public buildings (such as the Court house of 1825) and churches (including Cavan parish church of 1807-25). In the late 19th century Cavan became an important rail junction between the midland and western lines and those of the Northern Railways. In 1842 Farnham Street was described as new. The then Lord Farnham aimed to have a 'tree and terrace lined mall.' Unfortunately he did not succeed. The street has several terraces of Georgian houses and most of the important public buildings. It also has some mature trees along its length.
  Amongst its fine public buildings are the Town Hall, built in 1909, where the first movies were shown and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim. Work began on the building in 1938, but was held up by the Second World War. It is richly decorated on the inside with different colours of marble. There are also stained-glass windows by Harry Clarke (1889-1931), one of the leading Irish artists in this medium.
  The town has two important streets, Farnham Street and Main Street. These are joined by four less important streets; Thomas Ashe Street, Town Hall Street, Bridge Street and College Street. Main Street is the main shopping area in the town. There you will find the Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Allied Irish Bank and the Post Office. The major supermarkets are Tesco and Dunnes Stores. Smaller shops, restaurants and boutiques line the rest of the street.Town Hall Street links Farnham Street and Main Street. The Town Hall itself is the centre of the Urban Council and was built in 1910. Bridge Street was one of the first streets, linking Tullymongan Castle to St. Mary's Abbey. It took its name from the bridge that crosses the River Kinnypottle.

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